Karen L. Wooley, chief technology officer (CTO) of plastic substitute specialist Teysha Technologies, has been selected to be inducted into the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) as a 2019 NAI Fellow, effective as of April 10, 2020. The distinction, the highest given solely to academic inventors, highlights Wooley’s contributions to polymer science that include Teysha’s own biopolymer plastic with tuneable biodegradability properties.
The NAI Fellow Program recognises academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of invention, and created outstanding inventions that have had a positive impact on quality of life, economic development and society. Founded in 2010, the NAI is a US non-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging inventors in academia.
“Karen’s NAI fellowship highlights the importance of the work she has pioneered with Teysha,” said Matthew Stone, managing director of Teysha Technologies. “This is a strong recognition of her crucial role in developing Teysha’s AggiePol® platform, which turns organic material into a viable plastic substitute. That invention could significantly reduce plastic pollution in our ocean, and is just one of Karen’s achievements that could benefit society.”
Teysha Technologies’ bioplastic platform, called AggiePol, uses natural, sustainable feedstocks to develop polymer materials. Because the natural building blocks used offer higher chemical diversity than typical petrochemical hydrocarbons, it is possible to control the polymer’s physical, mechanical and chemical properties, and broaden the diversity and scope of those characteristics. Its biodegradability can be tuned, as an improved alternative to conventional bioplastics.
As well as being inventor and CTO at Teysha Technologies, Karen L. Wooley is a University Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M University, among the world’s leading research institutions in science and technology.
Other inventions from Wooley’s laboratory include a non-toxic polymer coating that prevents marine animals from sticking to ships’ hulls, nanomedical devices for treatment of disease, and nanoparticles that can absorb 10 times their weight in spilled crude oil.
The NAI will induct Wooley with 167 other fellows in Phoenix on April 10, 2020. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued US patents, have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. More than $1.6 trillion has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.
For more information about Tesha Technologies’ natural product polycarbonate platform, visit the company’s website.