Robert V. Duncan

Administrator, Engineer Become National Academy of Inventors Fellows

Robert V. Duncan and Mohamed Soliman are two of the 170 named as this year’s distinguished fellows.

A Texas Tech University top administrator and a professor of petroleum engineering became fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Robert V. Duncan, vice president of research, and Mohamed Soliman, the Livermore Chair Professor in the Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, will be honored for their work March 20 during a luncheon and induction ceremony at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

Duncan holds 10 domestic patents and many international filings, nine of which involve a new form of cryogenic surgery. By using a tiny needle that freezes rather than burns, doctors can kill cancerous tumors. They can even ablate material from the heart in a much less-invasive procedure that enters the heart through the circulatory system instead of through an incision in the chest. It is easier to control, less painful, and offers faster recovery times. It can restore a normal heart rhythm to patients with arrhythmia and perform some heart surgeries without requiring extended hospitalization. This new technology is in human clinical trials.

“I am humbled and honored to become a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” Duncan said. “We are committed in higher education to involve all faculty and students in the excitement of discovery, and the application of these discoveries, to improve the human condition through commercialization.”

Soliman said he, too, was honored to be named as a fellow to the academy.

“I have 28 patents on fracturing operations and analysis that have already been issued and nine more are pending,” Soliman said. “It is a very nice recognition for the work that I have done over the years. It is also good for Texas Tech University and the Petroleum Engineering department. The recognition will help in commercializing new inventions by giving more credibility to new work.”