National Academy of InventorsECS fellow Plamen Atanassov was recently elected as a 2017 National Academy of Inventors Fellow. Atanassov is among 155 renowned academic inventors awarded this year’s fellowship, which is regarded as the highest professional accolade bestowed 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 welfare of society.

Atanassov, a Distinguished Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering and Director of the University of New Mexico Center for Micro-Engineered Materials, focuses the majority of his research efforts on developing catalysts for fuel cells. His work in creating a platinum-free catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells has helped overcome major barriers in applications such as hydrogen-powered vehicles, which could play a major role in transforming transportation and reducing greenhouse gasses.