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Rigoberto Advincula

Advincula Earns Prestigious NAI Fellow Honor

Rigoberto “Gobet” Advincula has been awarded one of the highest honors of his profession.

Advincula, the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair of Advanced and Nanostructured Materials, has been elected National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow.

Advincula is a leader in the polymer field with inventions and many publications in polymer nanocomposites, graphene nanomaterials, polymer layered films, and coatings. He has been granted 14 US patents and has 21 published filings related to graphene nanomaterials, solid-state device fabrication, smart coatings and films, and advanced chemical additives.

“I was elated to be elected with the National Academy of Inventors because I know the people who get this award are really accomplished and dedicated toward intellectual property creation,” Advincula said. “It is a testament of my focus and our group efforts in IP and research innovation.”

Advincula is the seventh UT faculty member to be chosen as an NAI Fellow, joining Taylor Eighmy (2013), Mark Dean (2014), John Birdwell (2015), Yilu Liu (2016), Fred Wang (2017) and Michael Simpson (2018).

The 2023 Fellow class hails from 118 research universities, governmental and non-profit research institutions worldwide. This class includes 89 individuals from the Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions and 128 individuals from R1 universities that boast very high research activity. The Fellows represent 35 US states and 10 countries, with underrepresented inventors comprising 33% of this year’s class.

Collectively, the 2023 Fellows hold more than 4,600 issued US patents. The class includes two Nobel Laureates, three National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, and twenty-two members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The nomination is competitive, and the case for being nominated not only considers the number of patents but the potential to contribute to society.

Advincula was chosen by the NAI selection committee for induction because he has “demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating and facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

Advincula’s areas of research include utilizing the structure and functionalities of materials on a near-atomic scale, characterizing and developing new materials sensors, optics, biotechnology, energy production, and advanced manufacturing.

His patents can potentially contribute to health and safety, a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing leadership, and more efficient fossil-fuel energy generation. Several companies can license his inventions with a high potential for scalable manufacturing. 

Advincula is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Fellow of the Polymer Chemistry Division and PMSE Division of the ACS, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), 2023 Netzsch NATAS Fellow, and a foreign member of the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). He received a Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award in 2022 from his alma mater, the University of the Philippines. 

Advincula received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of the Philippines and his PhD in chemistry from the University of Florida. He did his post-doctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and Stanford University.

Prior to joining the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UT in 2020, Advincula was a professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering.

At UT and ORNL, Advincula has led and built research programs and capabilities related to additive manufacturing or 3D printing and the application of artificial intelligence in synthesis and process optimization. He is passionate about mentoring future scientists and STEM students while providing research environments that foster high research skills and innovation.  

“I am genuinely interested in finding what is important in our research and what is helpful to society. I am looking for things that can also benefit the university and institution I work for,” Advincula said. “I have been fortunate to work with many talented people and get good advice over my career.”

Since its inception in 2012, the NAI Fellows program has grown to include 1,898 researchers and innovators who hold over 63,000 US patents and 13,000 licensed technologies. NAI Fellows are known for their inventions’ societal and economic impact, contributing to major advancements in science and consumer technologies. Their innovations have generated over $3 trillion in revenue and generated 1 million jobs. 

The 2023 class of Fellows will be honored and presented their medals by a senior United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) official at the NAI 13th Annual Conference on June 18, 2024, in Raleigh, N.C.

“I look forward to the induction ceremony because I know I will meet some colleagues there who have been awarded, too,” Advincula said. “I am excited to meet the previous NAI Fellows and new NAI members. It will be like a reunion for all of us.”


Rhiannon Potkey (865-974-0683,