Gary Hieftje has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. His inventions are used in several fields including agriculture, biology, energy, forensics, material science, medicine, nuclear science and pharmaceutical science. Hieftje is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Robert and Marjorie Mann Chair in the Department of Chemistry in Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Election to NAI fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Hieftje and his colleagues have developed a number of methods and devices to improve optical and mass spectrometry and other analytical techniques. The best-known is one that corrects errors caused by particulate matter and smoke created when a flame or furnace is used in atomic absorption spectrometry. This work and others have resulted in more than 20 patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and international organizations. Hieftje’s inventions have been licensed to six companies and are found in commercial instruments in use around the world.

During his career, Hieftje has received the ANACHEM Award, the William F. Meggers Award, the Lester W. Strock Award, the Monie A. Ferst Award, the Maurice F. Hasler Award, the Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science and a Humboldt Research Award for senior U.S. scientists. He is a fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a member of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Hieftje joins David Clemmer and Richard DiMarchi as IU researchers elected as NAI fellows. To date, there are more than 1,000 NAI fellows who have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, created more than 1.4 million jobs, and generated over $190 billion in revenue.