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Dartmouth Engineering Professor Honored by National Academy of Inventors

Dec 08, 2022   |   Dartmouth News

Professor Charles Sullivan was among 169 academic inventors named as 2022 Fellows by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Sullivan, the Sue and John Ballard '55 TT'56 Professor of Engineering and director of the Power Management Integration Center, will be inducted at NAI's 12th annual meeting in June in Washington, DC.

Thayer's newest NAI Fellow, professor Charlie Sullivan. (Photo by John Sherman)

"This year's class of NAI Fellows represents a truly outstanding caliber of innovators. Each of these individuals have made significant impact through their work and are highly regarded in their respective fields," NAI President Paul Sanberg says in a news release. "The breadth and scope of their inventions is truly staggering. I am excited to see their creativity continue to define a new era of science and technology in the global innovation ecosystem."

The NAI Fellows Program highlights inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. Election as an NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.

"I'm grateful for this honor, and simply for the fact that my inventions have proven useful in both energy and healthcare applications. Dartmouth is an ideal place for inventors—not only does it have a culture of encouraging and supporting innovation, but also it's a place where interdisciplinary interactions provide fertile ground for new ideas," Sullivan says. "The most significant of my inventions each arose after a colleague challenged me to help solve a specific problem. And the solution to the specific problem turned out to be much more broadly useful."

Sullivan has published more than 200 technical papers in magnetics, power electronics, electric machine modeling and control, and energy efficiency; holds 43 patents; and co-founded Resonant Link, a wireless power transfer startup.

His first important inventions enabled high-performance dimming of compact fluorescent lamps, saving energy in lighting for conference rooms, auditoriums, and even the Oval Office. His circuit and magnetics design for fast-response high-efficiency power delivery systems for microprocessors had been deployed in more than 25 million servers and laptops by 2012 and continues to be widely used.

His academic research and publications on magnetics design include methods widely used in industry to advance power electronic to enable improvements in efficiency and utilization of renewable energy.

The 2022 NAI fellows come from 110 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 5,000 issued US patents, according to NAI.

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