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

Robert V. Duncan

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.”

Mohamed Soliman

Mohamed Soliman

A 1982 physics graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duncan received a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1988.

Prior to coming to Texas Tech in 2013, Duncan served as the vice chancellor for research at the University of Missouri, where he was also a founder and interim director of the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance. Also, he was the founding director of the New Mexico Consortium's Institute at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2006, following his appointment as the associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico.

Duncan was a member of the International Steering Committee for Quantum Fluids and Solids, and he chaired the International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids in 2003. He was named the Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar in the Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy Division at California Institute of Technology (2004-05). He is a fellow and life member of the American Physical Society.

Soliman holds a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering with top honors from Cairo University and master's and doctoral degrees in petroleum engineering from Stanford University. He has designed and analyzed hundreds of pressure transients, FET, and micro-frac tests. He is a distinguished member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Prior to joining Texas Tech University in January of 2011, Soliman worked for Halliburton Energy Services for more than 30 years. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 technical papers and articles.

The NAI Fellows Selection Committee chooses people for fellowships who have demonstrated a highly 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.

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