Nigerians in US celebrate as NASA honours and inducts Nigerian scientist, Dr. Robert Okojie, into the Inventors Hall of Fame.

The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) manages the space programme and conducts aeronautics and space research. Okojie joined the silicon carbide research group at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in 1999.

Dr. Okojie follows a handful of distinguished Nigerian innovators and inventors across the United States recognized for their scientific feats.

“Dr. Okojie has turned US Patent acquisition for NASA into an assembly line effort,” an elated admirer said.

He has 21 US patents to date, 20 of which he acquired while working in NASA, with two additional patents on the way.

“That makes an average of one US Patent for every year that he has worked for NASA,” said a Nigerian-American university don, Dr. Primus Igboaka.

Okojie gained worldwide recognition as leading expert on silicon carbide-based microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used in extreme environments.

Like other Nigerian-based US inventors, he is an inspiration to millions of Nigerian youths at home and abroad.

His 20 plus patents relate to high-temperature devices, including several licensed for commercial use.

One of these patents reduces spacecraft weight which cuts fuel consumption and creates additional space for scientific payloads.

He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers relating to his field and received numerous accolades before the NASA honours.

Among the awards are the 2009 NASA Abe Silverstein Medal for Research and the 2012 Glenn Research Center Distinguished Publication Award.

He was also recognized in 2002 as Scientist of the Year by the National Technical Association for his “exceptional accomplishments in advancing the state–of–the–art of MEMS for use in harsh environments.”

In 2007, he received the Cleveland Executive Board Wings of Excellence award.

Okojie who received all of his University education from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, currently researches single chip integrated multifunctional sensing.