James Smith, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, has been selected as an award recipient by the National Association of Entrepreneurship. The NAE 250 Awards are presented annually to leaders who excel in free enterprise.

“I have had the pleasure of working with colleagues and students for almost three decades on new and innovating technologies and it was a real surprise to be acknowledged for those efforts,” said Smith. “A new era in innovation has started in this country and I believe WVU will participate in a large share of that effort. We have the brain power and the facilities. All we need is the desire and direction, which we clearly have an ample supply of.”

A member of the faculty since 1976, Smith has been involved in technology transfer from academia into the commercial sector. To date, he has been granted more than 30 U.S. patents and helped 11 companies that now market commercial applications of technology developed at or through the University. Prior to joining the staff at WVU, Smith was a research engineer for the Department of Energy and a business owner.

The NAE is a Washington, DC-based association whose mission is to advance free enterprise. Chief among its goals is providing and expanding opportunities for America’s emerging mid-market companies to grow and succeed in a competitive global economy. NAE helps promote business excellence through peer connectivity, institutional partnerships, information and education.

The award will be presented at the NAE 250 Awards Showcase and First Generation Summit, scheduled for Jan. 11-12, at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, in Farmington, Pa.



CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon
304-293-4086; mary.dillon@mail.wvu.edu

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