Rice University's Maria Oden was chosen to the 2016-17 Class of the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation.
The AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors program serves as a platform for inventors to demonstrate their role as change agents in society and as problem solvers. Since the program’s inception in 2013, there have been two classes and 14 Ambassadors selected to showcase inventors and to inspire, inform and influence thought leaders and the global community.
Oden, a professor in the practice of engineering education and director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) at Rice, is a proven leader in engineering design education and global health technology development. Since the opening of Rice’s OEDK in 2008, student users of the 20,000 square-foot engineering design facility have grown from 250 in the first year to over 1100 in the current academic year. Courses have also increased from fewer than 10 to well over 40 classes. Oden has personally mentored close to 1000 students on at least 200 design teams. Her student teams have filed for more than 20 patents. Over 30 student-teams have won national and international awards for their designs.
Along with her faculty colleague, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, who served as an 2014-2015 AAAS-Lemelson Inaugural Ambassador, Oden co-directs the Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health, and has led the capstone design education efforts for the Rice 360° minor in Global Health Technologies and for the Bioengineering program.
AAAS and the Lemelson Foundation welcomed the 2016-17 Ambassadors at “Celebrate Invention” July 14 at 1200 New York Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20005. Invention Ambassadors also shared their stories as inventors, introduced their inventions and their impact in solving global problems.