The US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has announced that Iver Anderson has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The NAI Fellows Selection Committee credited Anderson for demonstrating a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.
Anderson is widely known for his co-invention of lead-free solder, an alloy of tin, silver and copper, used globally as a replacement for lead-based solders that can pollute soil and groundwater. The lead-free solder patent is the top-earning patent for Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University (Ames Laboratory’s contractor), and Sandia National Laboratory. It has generated approximately $60 million in royalty income throughout the life of the patent, which expired in 2013. At its peak, more than 50 companies in 13 countries licensed the invention.
In addition to lead-free solder, Anderson has used gas-atomisation technology he and his colleagues developed to produce fine, spherical titanium powder for the Additive Manufacturing and Metal Injection Moulding of aerospace, medical, and industrial parts. A spinoff company, Iowa Powder Atomization Technologies, was created in 2012 to exclusively license Ames Laboratory’s titanium atomisation patents. In 2014, IPAT was acquired by Praxair, a Fortune 250 company and one of the world’s largest producers of gases and powder-based surface coatings.
“I am honoured to have been recognised as an NAI Fellow,” stated Anderson, “This award is an outstanding endorsement of contributions academic inventors like me make to research and, in particular, research that can make a lasting impact on society.”
Anderson will join the NAI Fellows named in 2015 for an induction ceremony on April 15, 2016, at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The induction ceremony will be part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors in Washington, D.C.
“Iver has dedicated his career to conducting outstanding research, and his commitment to excellence has paid off through the awarding of this Fellow recognition,” stated Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz. “He has accomplished much, and we fully expect his list of inventions to grow further in the years ahead.”