R&D Magazine’s 2006 Innovator of the Year

Posted on August 21, 2006  Comments (1)

photo of Dean Kamen

R&D Magazine’s 2006 Innovator of the Year

Mega-inventor Dean Kamen has two simple goals: to improve children’s interest in science and technology, and to raise the standard of living for the world’s poor.

A self-taught physicist, with more than 150 patents, Kamen is obviously knowledgeable about what works in the world of science and technology.

Kamen’s latest endeavors involve bringing clean drinking water and cheap electricity to those who don’t have access to either. More than a billion people, or nearly 20% of the world’s population don’t have access to clean drinking water. And even more, 1.6 billion or about one out of every four people on this planet don’t have electricity. Continuing his emphasis on healthcare, Kamen points out that with clean water, you can eliminate more than 75% of those people’s health problems and diseases.

Prevoius post on Kamen’s work with electricity and drinking water for all. Kamen also founded FIRST (see previous post: 2006 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Events).

He cautions that there are few incentives to encourage students to become scientists or engineers. There needs to be a consistent message from the government, the schools, and industry, that scientists and engineers will be the 21st century’s superstars, according to Kamen. “I’m concerned that the U.S. feels it has a birthright where innovation happens,” he says. The global picture appears to indicate otherwise, as Asian countries now graduate more than 12 times as many scientists and engineers every year as does the U.S. “The science and engineering community needs to get to the kids to encourage them to look at science and engineering careers,” he adds.

Some previous posts on that topic: Engineers in the WorkplaceThe Future is EngineeringEconomic Benefits of EngineeringU.S. Slipping on Science.

One Response to “R&D Magazine’s 2006 Innovator of the Year”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Dean Kamen: Stirling Engines
    October 27th, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

    “the Stirling [engine] is a marvel of thermo-dynamics that could help to replace the internal combustion engine – in theory it can turn any source of heat into electricity, in silence and with 100 per cent efficiency…”

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