"You have teenagers thinking they're going to make millions as NBA stars when that's not realistic for even 1 percent of them. Becoming a scientist or engineer is." -Dean Kamen
Kamen became famous in 2001 when he introduced the Segway Personal Transporter. However, he holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents. He made his first big invention while still a college undergraduate: the first wearable infusion pump.
Many of his inventions have been in the field of healthcare. DEKA Research, which he founded in 1982, developed the HomeChoice™ peritoneal dialysis system, the Crown™ stent and the Hydroflex™ surgical irrigation pump. Using the balancing principles that he later applied to the Segway, he developed the iBot wheelchair, capable of climbing stairs and rising up on its hind wheels, to bring the rider up to face level.
Dean is an innovator, but not just of things. He hopes to revolutionize attitudes, quality of life, awareness.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
Dean Kamen never graduated from college - yes, he’s a college dropout, but he’s a huge believer in education, and in 1989 established the nonprofit FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to inspire teenagers to pursue careers in science.
Founded in 1989, this year FIRST will serve more than 250,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 50 countries around the globe. High-school-aged participants are eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from leading colleges, universities, and corporations. Studies have shown that FIRST alumni are highly motivated to pursue careers in science and engineering, thus fulfilling Dean's goal of inspiring the next generation of technological leaders.