Ong elected to inventor’s academy

Knight Campus professor and entrepreneur Keat Ghee Ong was officially inducted as a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors at the organization’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15. Ong was elected in the spring of 2021.

Ong’s research centers around implantable sensors, wireless sensors, electronic devices, and magnetoelastic materials. He has founded multiple companies to pursue the commercialization of his and other technologies, including Penderia Technologies, which he founded in 2020 —with Robert Guldberg, vice president and Robert and Leona DeArmond Executive Director of the Knight Campus — to further develop implantable orthopedic sensors. Ong’s other entrepreneurial pursuits include the company Norinse Technologies LLC, which he founded in 2007 to implement battery-free wireless sensors to track tools and consumables during surgeries, and Insite Technologies LLC, which commercialized magnetic-based implantable devices.

Ong is also a principal investigator in the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Oregon, which is part of a global effort to promote wellness and peak performance through scientific discovery and innovation. The university is one of six institutions in the research alliance.

According to the academy, senior members have demonstrated remarkable innovation producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. They also have growing success in patents, licensing and commercialization.

Jim Deane, associate director of UO’s Innovation Partnership Services, praised Ong’s accomplishments as an academic with an innovative spirit and an entrepreneur with a collaborative drive.

“Ghee has made an immediate impact at the UO, setting the tone for later Knight Campus recruits by balancing academic and entrepreneurial efforts with a focus on creating a positive impact on patients and society,” Deane said.

Ong is the second Knight Campus faculty member to join the ranks of the National Academy of Inventors. He follows Guldberg who was named a fellow of the academy in 2019 for demonstrating a tangible impact in innovation and the community. Becoming a senior member is a stepping stone to becoming a fellow in the academy.

Susan Sokolowski, a UO professor and director of the Sports Product Design Program who collaborates with Knight Campus professors and associates as a principal investigator in the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Oregon, was also officially elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors at last week’s annual meeting. Sokolowski and Ong collaborated recently on an interdisciplinary project that leveraged an optical shear force sensor developed in Ong's lab.

Other past UO senior members include chemist Darren Johnson, biologist Shawn Lockery, chemist Michael Haley and emeritus chemistry professor Jim Remington. UO psychology professor Don Tucker,  physics research professor David Wineland and emeritus chemistry professor Bruce Branchaud are academy fellows.