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Nadine Aubry named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Nadine Aubry, University Distinguished Professor and dean of the College of Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Aubry is a globally recognized leader in the field of mechanical engineering, particularly fluid mechanics.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to inventors “who have demonstrated a highly 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.”

Of her recognition, Aubry said, “I am greatly honored that the NAI has chosen to recognize my contributions, and look forward to working with the academy to promote technology innovations which benefit society and are crucial to the economic development in the U.S. and across the globe.”

The National Academy of Inventors, comprised of U.S. and international universities as well as government and nonprofit institutions, was founded to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

The academy announced its 2014 class of Fellows on Tuesday morning. They will be inducted in March at the NAI’s fourth-annual conference by Andrew Faile, the USPTO deputy U.S. commissioner for patent operations.

“It is a proud moment when one of our own leaders is recognized for advancing a field as an inventor,” said Stephen W. Director, Northeastern University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Dean Aubry has taken engineering research and innovation to the next level. This latest recognition is exemplary of the multifaceted leader and scholar she is.”

Aubry has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of fluid dynamics that have earned her the distinction of fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Physical Society, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Her pioneering work on low dimensional modeling of turbulent flow has shown that the main features of the flow can be reproduced by using just a few structures. Her innovative techniques are used by industry for the rapid assessment and control of complex fluid flows, with applications in areas such as aerospace, ships and submarines, and turbomachinery.

As founding director of one of the first centers in the area of microfluidics research, Aubry also invented new micromixers, which enable tiny amounts of fluid to be combined very efficiently at a low cost. This technology enabled the next generation of microfluidics, particularly for the biotech industry.

Her research group was also one of the first to study the effect of electricity on microfluidic flows, using that knowledge to create accurate, efficient, scalable, and cheap methods and devices to manipulate micron and nano-sized particles in bulk flows as well as create highly-ordered and adjustable ultra-thin coatings.

Aubry has earned many other accolades throughout her career, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Aubry has also served as chair of the National Academies’ U.S. National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and currently serves as past chair of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics.

Born in France, she received a “diplome d’Ingenieur” from the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble, France, and a master’s degree from the Scientific and Medical University, also in Grenoble. She earned her doctorate from the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University.