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Prolific patent portfolio earns mechanical engineering professor NAI Fellow status

Prolific patent portfolio earns mechanical engineering professor NAI Fellow status

By Jeremy Henderson
February 05, 2024 @ 2:31 p.m.
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Auburn University has yet another National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow.

Mehmet Arik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was recently tapped for the professional honor (widely recognized as the most prestigious awarded to academic inventors) on the strength of more than 120 issued patents with a broad range of applications in medical systems, energy systems, aviation systems and photonics technologies.

Already an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow, Arik says his latest distinction means even more.

"Being an NAI Fellow is even more of a joy for me because it shows that collaborative work always pays off," Arik said. "I developed my patents with many colleagues from academia and industry and I truly enjoy collaborating with researchers and engineers across many fields."

Arik came to Auburn in 2022 after 11 years as a faculty researcher at Özyeğin University in Istanbul, Turkey. He began his professional career at General Electric (GE) Global Research Center in 2000 as a senior engineer working on research and technology development programs related to energy, aviation, medical, industrial systems and lighting industries. The electronics thermal management group he organized conducted award-winning research for both GE and government organizations such as the Department of Energy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While at GE, Arik created a suite of respected intellectual property built on innovations benefitting multiple industries while building an exceptionally robust portfolio of scholarly contributions to more than 75.

It was his patent portfolio, however, that earned him nominations from multiple NAI Fellows.

"Many of my patents went into practice in industry in many different product segments, which I'm very proud of," Arik said. "Those inventions already have social and economic impact as well as environmental benefits. While publishing extensively can be very satisfying, patents have a different value in science and technology."

A patent in which Arik takes particular pride is a novel cooling approach that has been instrumental in many modern LED lighting applications. But the most meaningful may be his system for measuring junction temperature of photonics devices.

"That was very special for me because I developed it with my undergraduate and graduate students while I was in Turkey," Arik said. "It was so hard to get a USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) patent from Turkey but young minds helped make it happen."

The same can be said for his latest patent disclosure, which was developed last year with one of his current graduate students.

"Being named an NAI Fellow is  yet another testament to the impact of Dr. Arik's work," said Mario Eden, dean of engineering. "But the collaborative spirit that drives his research is, I think, as impressive as the innovations that have earned him this distinction."

Arik believes the prestige stemming from the NAI's recognition will enable even more opportunities for invention and development, both individually and collaboratively.

"I want to be an ambassador for innovation and entrepreneurship within the communities I belong to," he said. "Auburn is, of course, top of that list. I want to help young students, fellow faculty and researchers to develop intellectual property that truly makes an impact."

Arik is Auburn’s eighth NAI fellow. Previous honorees include J. David Irwin, Joseph W. Kloepper, John Weete, S.D. “Dave” Worley, Bruce Tatarchuk, Vitaly Vodyanoy and Fa Foster Dai. Dai, Irwin and Tatarchuck are all engineering faculty.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson, jdh0123@auburn.edu, 334-844-3591

Mehmet Arik

Mehmet Arik

Categories: Energy & the Environment, Health Sciences, Transportation, Engineering, Economic Development


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