WEST ORANGE, NJ – Thomas Edison is considered one of America’s greatest inventors and innovators. The spirit of Edison continues on into this century, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation come to the Thomas Edison National Historical Park June 13 to celebrate some of these current inventors and their achievements.

The AAAS and Lemelson Foundation Invention Ambassadors Program was created in 2013 to showcase inventors and demonstrate their role as problem solvers and change agents.  To date, 14 Ambassadors were selected that meet the program’s’ vision to “showcase the human face of inventors in order to inspire, inform and influence thought leaders and global community.”

In July, ten more ambassadors will become the latest to be added to the program. According to AAAS/Lemelson, that group alone has "over 1,100 patents, a high regard for the role of invention,  an invention track record, an accomplished professional career, a commitment to invention’s role in impacting environmental sustainability and experience or interest in speaking to audiences."

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"We are again honored and thrilled to host the Invention Ambassadors at the Thomas Edison Laboratory as they complete their year long "Ambassadorship" in promoting the importance of invention and innovation."  TEHNP Superintendent Tom Ross said. "Their work and efforts is very much in line with what we hope to portray and inspire in our visitors through the preservation and interpretation of Thomas Edison National Historical Park."  

Those current Invention Ambassadors, Lisa DeLuca, Jay Harman, Suzie Pun, and Michael Smith, will speak on Monday about their innovative work:

  • Lisa DeLuca is the most prolific female inventor in IBM history and, at only 32 years old, one of the youngest inventors at IBM to ever reach the 100th Invention Plateau Award (an IBM internal patent award system).  Add to that over 370 patent applications filed within the United States and abroad (150 have been granted to date). The subject of her patent ideas range from areas such as cloud, mobile, social, security, to everything in between. 
  • Jay Harmon is a naturalist, inventor, and entrepreneur whose companies design innovative products, ranging from prize-winning watercraft, to a non-invasive technology for measuring blood glucose. His most recent companies, PAX Scientific and its subsidiaries designs devices including fans, mixers, pumps, refrigeration systems, and distillation systems, all based on Harmon’s ideas for more efficient equipment for manufacturing
  • Suzie Pun focuses on biomaterials and drug delivery and she has published over 80 research articles in this area, holds six patents, and given over 100 invited presentations on her group’s work.
  • Among Michael Smith’s achievements are his works in health systems for remote monitoring and being a co-founder of the Urban Health initiative for improving patient wellness in underrepresented communities. In addition, he has developed advanced media systems for smart phones and other mobile platforms.

To learn more about research into today’s problems, and some solutions and inventions to address them, visit the American Association for the Advancement of Science at