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2007 Engineering Leader of the Year

Dean Kamen, Inventor and Founder of FIRST

Dean Kamen Dean Kamen is president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation in Manchester, N.H. As an inventor, entrepreneur, and humanitarian, his contribution to the field of engineering is extensive. His vast knowledge of the physical sciences, combined with his ability to integrate the fundamental laws of physics with the most modern technologies, has led to the development of breakthrough processes and products.

Dean holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices, including the first wearable infusion pump and the iBOT® Mobility System; an all-terrain electric wheelchair that has the ability to climb stairs and curbs. He is also widely known for his invention of the Segway®; a self-balancing transportation device for use by pedestrians. His most recent project, a water purification system, is intended to bring potable water to impoverished regions around the world.

Among Dean's proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology.

Dean’s other awards include the National Medal of Technology in 2000, awarded by President Clinton in 2000 for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. He was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.”