Dean Kamen - Founder, FIRST President, DEKA Research and Development Corporation
Dean Kamen is President of DEKA Research & Development Corporation based in Manchester, NH. DEKA is a dynamic company focused on the development of revolutionary new technologies that span a diverse set of applications. As an inventor, physicist, and entrepreneur, Dean has dedicated his life to developing technologies that help people lead better lives. Some notable breakthrough medical devices include the HomeChoiceTM portable dialysis machine, marketed by Baxter Healthcare, and the IndependenceTM IBOTTM Mobility System, a sophisticated mobility aid, developed for Johnson & Johnson. Dean is also widely recognized as the inventor of the Segway® Human Transporter, which was designed to provide a clean alternative for short distance travel and enhance people's productivity.
A few of Dean's current projects include the development of a Stirling engine and a water purification system. Together, these technologies could provide distributed power and safe drinking water, dramatically improving the lives of people particularly in developing countries.
Dean's proudest accomplishment is founding FIRST. In 2006, its flagship program, the FIRST Robotics Competition, will reach more than 28,000 high school students on 1,133 teams in 33 regional competitions. FIRST teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. In 1998, the FIRST LEGO® League was created for children ages 9-14. Similar to the FIRST Robotics Competition, these young participants build a robot and compete in a friendly event designed for their age group. In 2005, over 60,000 children participated in 31 countries.
Some of Dean's awards include: the Kilby Award '94, the Hoover Medal '95, election to the National Academy of Engineers '97, the Heinz Award '98, the National Medal of Technology, awarded by President Clinton, in 2000, and the Lemelson-MIT Prize in '02. Recent awards include the New Freedom Award, ASME's Golden Omega Award, and Global Green USA's Product Design Award.