UNLV engineer Kwang Kim was one of 155 academic inventors to be named a 2017 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contributions in areas such as licensing, innovative discovery and technology, and his work’s impact on society. Kim was nominated by his peers for the honor and is the first professor from Nevada to become an NAI Fellow. He was inducted into the academy this spring during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Kim pioneers research in active materials and energy systems, designing substances that propel humankind into a cleaner, healthier future. Among his innovations are a water-repelling substance that modifies the surface of steam-power plant condensers and, in the process, improves the rate of heat transfer by 200 percent in some environments; and artificial muscle developed from materials that can bend, twist, and oscillate, which has the potential to help millions with health problems and disabilities.
Kim has received several accolades in addition to NAI’s recent recognition. He is also Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the recipient of the 2015 Regents’ Researcher of the Year Award from the Nevada System of Higher Education, a 2016 Distinguished Barrick Scholar, and winner of a 2017 UNLV Top Tier Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to UNLV and its mission to become a Top Tier university. He received the university’s highest honor this year when he was named a UNLV Distinguished Professor. Kim also garnered UNLV’s most prestigious research accolade, the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award, last year in recognition of his work, which not only addresses real-world needs and advances the field but also contributes to Nevada’s growth and development. You can read more about Kim and his research in last year’s issue of Innovation magazine.