Issa Batarseh

2017 Inductees

Issa Batarseh

Issa Batarseh, Ph.D., PE

Director of the Energy System Integration Division
Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Central Florida

35 U.S. patents

Issa Batarseh is the Director of the Energy System Integration Division at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF), in Orlando. Batarseh is being recognized for inventing and developing low cost, high efficiency micro-inverters for photovoltaic (PV) applications that led to the creation of the first compact single solar PV panel. The technology developed by Dr. Batarseh and his team at UCF have made significant contributions in smart solar energy conversion. As a passionate entrepreneur and innovator, Batarseh co-founded two successful solar-focused start-up companies: Petra Systems and Advanced Power Electronics Corp. (APECOR), both of which are now operating nationally and internationally. Petra Systems launched in 2007, by licensing Batarseh’s patents from UCF. Today, Petra design and manufacture the first smart-grid interactive solar power system for installation on utility distribution poles. And, the Florida-based APECOR is a leading designer of solar chargers for military applications. Batarseh is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, AAAS, and IEEE, and holds 31 U.S. patents.

Michael J. DeLuca

2017 Inductees

Mike DeLuca

Michael J. DeLuca, J.D.

Electrical Engineer and IP Counsel
Florida Power & Light, NextEra Energy

150 U.S. patents

Michael J. DeLuca is an electrical engineer and currently manages the intellectual property portfolio for NextEra Energy including its subsidiary Florida Power & Light in Juno Beach, Florida. Mr. DeLuca is being recognized for his groundbreaking technology known today as “voltage scaling,” which significantly increases the battery life of portable communication devices. He has invented for numerous employers and partners such as Motorola, BlackBerry, SiriusXM, and PhotoNation while patenting his own inventions developed on his own time. Today at NextEra, he is dedicated to inspiring a new generation of inventors, helping them to cultivate their own creative problem solving abilities related to large scale clean solar and wind energy. These technologies benefit our entire society and are being invented here in Florida. Mr. DeLuca holds 150 U.S. patents in a number of different fields including electric power conservation, wireless communications, advanced interfaces, augmented reality, and digital camera technologies.

Kenneth M. Ford

2017 Inductees

Ken Ford

Kenneth M. Ford, Ph.D.

Co-founder and CEO
Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

2 U.S. patents

Kenneth M. Ford is co-founder and CEO of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), a not-for-profit research institute headquartered in Pensacola, with a second location in Ocala. Ford is being recognized for his pioneering work in artificial intelligence and human-centered computing, and for his significant contributions to the United States and Florida’s technology and research communities. Under his leadership, IHMC has grown into one of the nation’s premier research organizations with world-class scientists and engineers investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion and resilience. Ford is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the AAAS, a charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE Computer Society, and the National Association of Scholars. He is the author/editor of six books and holds two U.S. patents.

Phillip Frost

2017 Inductees

Phillip Frost

Phillip Frost, M.D.

CEO and Chairman
OPKO Health

10 U.S. patents

Phillip Frost is one of the nation’s leading philanthropists, a highly-respected physician, an internationally-lauded businessman in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, and the current CEO and chairman of OPKO Health in Miami, Florida. Frost is being recognized for inventing a revolutionary disposable punch biopsy tool, as well as various therapeutic methods for treating rhinitis, cell disease, and diabetes. He was also the founder, chairman and CEO of IVAX Corporation, a Miami-based multinational pharmaceuticals company and chairman of the Board of TEVA Pharmaceuticals. Frost served on the board of regents of the Smithsonian Institution from 2006 to 2010, and as a trustee of the Scripps Research Institute until November 2012. He is a member of the board of trustees of the University of Miami (UM), and with his wife Patricia, is the namesake of the Frost Miami Science Museum, the Frost School of Music at UM, and the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University. Frost holds nine U.S. patents.

Richard D. Gitlin

2017 Inductees

Richard D. Gitlin

Richard D. Gitlin, Sc.D.

State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar
Distinguished University Professor
Agere Systems Endowed Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering
University of South Florida

75 U.S. patents

Richard D. Gitlin is a State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar, Distinguished University Professor, and the Agere Systems endowed Chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. Gitlin is being recognized for his innovative research and development in digital communications, broadband networking, and wireless systems that transformed communication technology. He has more than 40 years of leadership in the communications and networking industry. At Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies Gitlin performed and led pioneering research and development for 32 years. After retiring from Lucent as Senior VP of Communications and Networking, he was a visiting professor at Columbia University, and Chief Technology Officer of Hammerhead Systems, a venture funded networking company in Silicon Valley. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Bell Laboratories Fellow, a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a co-recipient of the 2005 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award and the S.O. Rice prize. Gitlin has co-authored a text and holds 65 patents.

Thomas H. Maren

2017 Inductees

Thomas Maren

Thomas H. Maren, M.D.

Graduate Research Professor
University of Florida
Chair, Department of Pharmacology
UF College of Medicine


2 U.S. patents

Thomas H. Maren was a physician, Graduate Research Professor at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, and charter member of the UF College of Medicine faculty, who chaired the Department of Pharmacology for 22 years. Maren’s research resulted in the invention and commercialization of Trusopt®, the first topical treatment for glaucoma. In 1955, Maren was recruited to UF where he was a major influence in developing the medical curriculum and recruiting faculty. At UF he continued his work on the medical effects of the inhibition of carbonic anhydrase, a prominent enzyme in renal function, respiration, and fluid secretion, which led to his revolutionary treatment for glaucoma using eye drops containing carefully designed inhibitors of carbonic anhydrase. Maren was also a generous benefactor establishing endowed chairs at the UF College of Medicine and supporting programs to promote reading efficiency among disadvantaged young students in Gainesville. During his career he accumulated over 200 research publications and is a named inventor on two U.S. patents.

Mary Helen McCay and T. Dwayne McCay

2017 Inductees

Dwayne McCay and Mary Helen McCay

Mary Helen McCay, Ph.D.

Director, National Center for Hydrogen Research
Florida Institute of Technology

14 U.S. patents

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.

President and CEO
Florida Institute of Technology

15 U.S. patents

T. Dwayne and Mary Helen McCay, the first scientist couple nominated to the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, hold 15 joint U.S. patents in the area of metallurgical engineering, specific to laser-induced surface improvement (LISI) that has greatly contributed to increased patient safety and improved medical outcomes in facilities nationwide. Dwayne McCay is the current president and CEO of the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Melbourne. Prior to coming to FIT in 2003, he held leadership positions at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory. Mary Helen McCay is a native Floridian, FSU and UF alumnus, former NASA Payload Specialist Astronaut, and director of the National Center for Hydrogen Research at FIT. Both highly regarded academics, the McCays’ life-long commitment to education, the ideals of invention, and the advancement of science has greatly impacted the aerospace industry and advanced STEM education in central Florida.