< Back to
< Back to all News
Dean Kamen, Inventor and Science Advocate, to Deliver 134th Commencement Address
April 20, 2012
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Matt Branam
announces that world-famous inventor, innovator, entrepreneur and
advocate for science and technology education, Dean Kamen, will
deliver the commencement address at the Institute's 134th
commencement on May 26.
"Dean Kamen is a man who inspires us not only for his
inventiveness and success, but for his tireless devotion to young
people around the world," said President Branam. "As the founder of
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology),
an organization dedicated to introducing young minds to science and
technology, Dean Kamen has set more young people on the path to
becoming engineers and scientists in America than perhaps any other
Carlotta Berry, Ph.D., Rose-Hulman's Director of the
Multidisciplinary Minor in Robotics, has been a volunteer judge in
the FIRST Robotics Competition since 2007. "I know dozens of
students who gained their inspiration to enroll at Rose-Hulman and
to pursue a career in technological innovation after their
experiences in Kamen's FIRST organization. For many of our
graduating seniors, seeing Kamen in person and hearing him speak
will be the crowning moment when a dream that began as youngsters
is achieved as they receive their degrees from our esteemed
institution," she said.
Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 and by 2011 was serving more than
250,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 50 countries.
"I am excited to visit Rose-Hulman for the first time. Its
reputation for inspiring young people to become innovative
technology leaders is well known. Rose-Hulman is a true partner in
my mission to help young people become scientists and engineers,"
As an inventor, Kamen holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign
patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have
expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a
college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion
pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical
specialties as chemotherapy, neonatology and endocrinology. In
1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe,
Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. At age 30, he sold that
company to Baxter Healthcare Corporation. By then, he had added a
number of other infusion devices, including the first wearable
insulin pump for diabetics.
Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., Kamen founded DEKA
Research & Development Corporation to develop internally
generated inventions as well as to provide research and development
for major corporate clients.
In addition to DEKA, one of Kamen's proudest accomplishments is
founding FIRST. High school-aged participants are eligible to apply
for more than $14 million in scholarships from Rose-Hulman and
other leading colleges, universities and corporations. Studies have
shown that FIRST alumni are highly motivated to pursue careers in
science and engineering, thus fulfilling Kamen's goal of inspiring
the next generation of technological leaders.
Kamen has received many awards for his efforts. Notably, he was
awarded the 2000 National Medal of Technology by President Bill
Clinton in recognition for inventions that have advanced medical
care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in
awakening America to the excitement of science and technology.
Kamen was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was
inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.