Professor Frank Bates named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Status is the highest distinction accorded to academic inventors

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (12/11/2018) — The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) announced today that University of Minnesota Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Regents Professor Frank Bates has been named an NAI Fellow.

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Bates is a world-renown polymer scientist who is known best for his contributions to the fundamental understanding of the phase behavior of polymer blends and to the physics of microphase-separated block copolymers. His group’s research program affects a variety of technologically important fields, including polymer processing, composites, fracture mechanics, separations, catalysis, and drug delivery.

Bates holds 26 U.S. and numerous foreign patents in the field of polymer science. He has long-standing collaborative relationships with both The Dow Chemical Company and ExxonMobil. His collaborations with Dow have resulted in the commercialization of two unique product lines, Fortegra epoxy tougheners now sold by the Olin Corporation and Puratran Cyclic Block Copolymers now marketed by USI Corporation.

Bates has been an author or co-author of more than 400 research papers on research ranging from plastics and rubber made from renewable sources to encapsulants for more effective oral medicines. He has mentored more than 120 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers. Many of these students and post‐docs have gone on to become inventors in their own right.

Bates has received numerous past awards and is one of the few scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1989.

The 2018 NAI Fellows will be highlighted with a full-page announcement in the Jan. 25, 2019, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education and in upcoming issues of Technology & Innovation.

The complete list of NAI Fellows is available on the NAI website.