University of Pittsburgh
March 26, 2006

Pitt Researcher Honored for Fostering Student Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Michael Lovell receives 2006 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award

PITTSBURGH—Michael R. Lovell, associate dean for research and associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering, was honored with the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award by Olympus America Inc. and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) at a March 23 ceremony during the 10th annual meeting of the NCIIA in Portland, Ore.

Offered for the first time in 2006, the award recognizes an individual who has inspired innovative thinking in students and who, the judges believe, has the potential to make even greater future contributions to the field. Lovell received the award, which includes a $1,000 prize, for his many accomplishments in fostering innovation among student entrepreneurship teams during his five years at Pitt.

As founder and past director of the University's John A. Swanson Center for Product Innovation, Lovell secured NCIIA funding to develop a novel curriculum in product development for undergraduate business and engineering students. The curriculum resulted in more than 70 NCIIA-supported E-Teams ("E" for "excellence" and "entrepreneurship"), which in turn formed seven companies and attracted additional NCIIA grants. Lovell also developed an E-Team Prototyping Service Center that led to the formation of RAPID, a network of 21 academic institutions committed to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among E-Teams.

Lovell's other honors include the National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Development (CAREER) Award and the Society of Mechanical Engineers Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award.

Lovell earned the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering at Pitt in 1994. A W.K. Whiteford Endowed Faculty Fellow, Lovell's primary research interests are in the areas of numerical simulation, novel manufacturing processes, tribology, and micro- and nanotechnology.

Others honored through the 2006 Olympus Innovation Award Program were John Ochs of Lehigh University and John Kleppe of the University of Nevada-Reno. Stephen S. Tang, group vice president and general manager of the Life Science Group at Olympus America, who served as one of five judges in the program and presented the awards, said the winners were "not only exemplary teachers but also champions of innovation and entrepreneurship."