wkd_robotics_011010~5SALT LAKE CITY –  The Utah Technology Council (UTC) announced last week that Department of Mechanical Engineering professor Stephen Jacobsen will be inducted into the 2011 UTC Hall of Fame.

Utah native Stephen Jacobsen is one of the most renowned and prolific creators of animate systems in this, or any, generation. With an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, Jacobsen has been mentored by some of the greatest life science minds of the past century – including MIT legend Robert Mann and the protean Willem Kolff, father of artificial organs, with whom he led the development of an innovative wearable kidney. Jacobsen is the founder of Sarcos, which he ran from 1983 until its acquisition by Raytheon in 2007; and of Sterling Technologies, which he currently runs. He has also led the development of an array of life science spinoff companies, including Micro-Drugs Inc., Eye-Port Corp. and Motion Control Inc., all still operating in Utah; Iomed Inc. (acquired by Microject Corp., subsequently acquired by Sorenson Medical); and Precision Vascular Systems Inc. (acquired by Boston Scientific).

During the course of his storied career, Jacobsen has employed more than 200 Utahns in high-level positions, and led more than 359 projects in industry areas ranging from medical to entertainment, commercial and military. Sponsors and clients for these projects have included such iconic organizations as Abbott, Becton Dickinson, Cordis, Merck and Pfizer in the medical arena, as well as Ballys, Disney, Honda, MIT, The Bellagio and Universal Studios, the U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Veterans Administration. Jacobsen and his teams have garnered more than 200 patents to date, with many more in process, through a rigorous creative process that combines the oft-disparate disciplines of engineering, science, art and business. The teams’ creations have broken new ground and stood the test of time. The Utah Arm, developed in the early 1980s, is still widely considered the world’s finest artificial limb, while robots developed at Sarcos for Disney and Honda over the past 30-plus years are still in active use. The exoskeleton developed at Sarcos and Raytheon was a significant inspiration for the Iron Man movie franchise.

Jacobsen is a distinguished professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah, where he has served as director of its Center for Engineering Design and is currently helping establish a new center for biomedical design in the College of Engineering. Jacobsen has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, both within the National Academy of Science, and is a member of the National Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. He has garnered a host of awards, including among many others, the Leonardo da Vinci Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Pioneer of Robotics Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.

The Hall of Fame event honors individuals with Utah ties who have made global contributions to the information technology, life science and clean tech industries through new technology, innovation and leadership. These contributions have resulted in job growth, commercialization of technology and increased growth and development of the nation’s technology sector and economy.

Dr. Jacobsen will be honored at the UTC’s Hall of Fame Gala, along with Mark Fuller from the U of U Civil Engineering Department, on Friday November 4, 2011. The gala will take place at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, starting at 6:00 p.m.

For more information or to register for the Hall of Fame, visit www.utahtech.org or call (801) 568-3500.