Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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Diversity in STEM

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) encourages the public to nominate an inventor of Asian American or Pacific Islander heritage for consideration for our 2021 Class of Inductees!

Nominees are evaluated based on the following criteria:

Patent: Nominees must hold a U.S. patent for an invention that has contributed to and advanced society.

Progress: Nominees’ inventions must have contributed greatly to the progress and improvement of their industries.

Perseverance: Nominees are characterized by inspiring stories of determination, perseverance and beating the odds.

Passion: Nominees are leaders in their fields, and they understand the importance of developing and inspiring the next generation of American innovators.

For inspiration, we invite you to learn more about three influential NIHF Inductees and how they have changed the world.

Ashok Gadgil

NIHF Inductee Ashok Gadgil, born in India, has invented life-saving technologies. Most recognizable is his UV Waterworks System, which uses UV light to kill pathogens in water, requiring only 60 watts of electricity. This system provides clean, affordable drinking water to 2,000 people in low-resource settings each day. Gadgil also invented the Berkeley-Darfur Stove to reduce the fuel demand of millions of people in displacement camps in Darfur, Sudan. His stoves have benefitted hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Dawon Kahng

Born in Seoul, South Korea, NIHF Inductee Dawon Kahng studied at Seoul National University and immigrated to the United States to continue his education at The Ohio State University. He co-invented MOSFET, or Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor, alongside fellow NIHF Inductee Martin Atalla at Bell Labs. MOSFET is a fundamental element in much of today’s electronic equipment. Kahng received 23 patents for his work with semiconductors and became the founding president of the NEC Research Institute.

Sumita Mitra

Sumita Mitra, invented Nanocomposite Dental Materials in the late 1990s while she was a chemist at 3M Oral Care, the dental products divisions of 3M Company. Her dental filling material, called Filtek™ Supreme Universal Restorative, is a versatile material that could be used for restoring teeth in any area of the mouth. Mimicking the beauty of natural teeth, it had better polish retention and exhibited superior strength than existing dental composites. Born and raised in India, Mitra earned her B.S. in chemistry from Presidency College and her M.S. in organic chemistry from the University of Calcutta. She came to the United States for graduate studies, and she received her doctorate in organic/polymer chemistry from the University of Michigan. Mitra retired in 2010 after more than 30 years with 3M, and now runs Mitra Chemical Consulting LLC with her husband. 

Our recognition of Ashok Gadgil, Dawon Kahng, Sumita Mitra and other world-changing innovators all began with a nomination. 

During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and throughout the year, we encourage everyone to nominate an inventor to join our growing list of nearly 600 Inductees who have moved society forward. Submit your nomination here.

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