The Research Office and the Office for Commercialization & Corporate Development have  created  two  awards  recognizing excellence by Oregon State research faculty. The recipients  for 2012  were announced at University Day in September.

The Faculty Innovator Award celebrates impact through engagement in commercialization partnerships, recognizing a faculty member whose extraordinarily high impact innovations from research are translated into transformative results that help promote economic development and social progress.

This year it was awarded posthumously to Richard Peterson, who passed away in February.

Dr. Peterson was arominent national expert in heat transfer, thermodynamics and combustion, and a leading researcher in miniature and microscale energy systems. He was a professor of mechanical engineering.


“Rich was a prolific inventor whose research will have a profound impact on lives well into the future. He submitted 34 invention disclosures in the past 15 years. Rich really believed in the potential impact his discoveries could have on millions of lives.”

Brian Wall
Director of the Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development


A resolution by the Board of Directors of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) noted Dr. Peterson’s leadership as one of the core founders and as co-director of the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute, and President, CTO, and co-founder of ONAMI Gap Company Applied Exergy. His  many creative contributions to development of technology, included advances in grid energy storage.

Please view an on-line presentation with more details about Dr. Peterson’s career and about the criteria for the annual award.


“Rich was fiercely independent but passionate about his research making a positive impact.  He also cared deeply about teaching and leaves behind a legacy of engineers who will continue making impact. He will be sorely missed.”

Brian Paul
Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering,
Director of the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute



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