Two University of Central Florida researchers this week were named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Issa Batarseh, who has made significant technical contributions in the field of power electronics, and Guifang Li, a professor of optics and photonics who specializes in optical fiber communications, are UCF’s eighth and ninth members of the select academy.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction given to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The class of 168 Fellows named today brings the total number of NAI Fellows to 582, representing more than 190 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions. The 2015 Fellows account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000. These academic luminaries have made a significant impact to the economy through innovative discoveries, creating startup companies, and enhancing the culture of academic invention.

Batarseh joined UCF in 1991 and has distinguished himself by establishing the Florida Power Electronics Center, conducting significant scholarly research which has resulted in more than 100 published papers in refereed journals, and more than 200 refereed papers at international conferences. He is a Fellow of both the IEEE and the AAAS and, in 2004, received the Davis Productivity Award for Best Invention recognized by the State of Florida. He has graduated 42 Ph.D. students and more than 70 masters and undergraduate students.

Over the years, Batarseh has helped secure more than $12 million for his work in developing innovative power electronic systems to convert energy collected in solar panels into domestic electricity grids and similar topics in power electronics. He is also a founding partner of a start-up, Petra Solar, which is commercializing solar-electronics-conversion systems, and he has received 27 patents.

Li is the recipient of both the NSF Career award and the ONR Young Investigator Award, and is a fellow of IEEE, SPIE and the Optical Society of America. He is a deputy editor for Optics Express and an associate editor for Photonics Technology Letters.

His research interests include optical communication and networking, RF photonics and all-optical signal processing. He has collaborated widely with academic institutions and industry.

Li’s research, totaling $4.7 million, has focused on high-capacity optical fiber communication systems. He has been awarded 26 patents.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted April 15 as part of the fifth annual conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. Fellows will be presented with a trophy, medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

Other UCF members of the academy are Leonid Glebov, Shin-Tson Wu, Michael Bass, and Peter Delfyett, all from the College of Optics & Photonics; MJ Soileau, vice president for research and commercialization; Sudipta Seal, NanoScience Technology Center and the College of Engineering & Computer Science; Tson Wu and Marwan Simaan from the College of Engineering & Computer Science.