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Seib recognized as National Academy of Inventors fellow

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 


MANHATTAN — The National Academy of Inventors is honoring Paul A. Seib, professor emeritus of grain science and industry at Kansas State University, for his prolific spirit of innovation.

Seib is one of 155 academic inventors and innovators named as the newest fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. The 912 total fellows represent more than 250 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. The 2017 fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents.

"The best part of a professor's job is discovery — doing research with students and sharing new knowledge with others," Seib said.

"I feel honored to accept the award as a tribute to the K-State community," he said.

Seib brought his research expertise in carbohydrate chemistry to Kansas State University in 1970. He is named on 22 U.S. and several international patents that have generated more than $10 million in licensing revenue by the Kansas State University Research Foundation. Seib has published more than 200 journal articles and has been active in his profession. He served as chair of the Carbohydrate Division of the American Association of Cereal Chemists, now AACC International; was associate editor of the journal Cereal Chemistry; served as chair of the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry of the American Chemical Society; and served as director of the American Association of Cereal Chemists. He has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a doctorate in biochemistry from Purdue University. Seib retired from Kansas State University in 2008.

"Paul Seib is one of K-State's most prolific inventors," said Peter Dorhout, vice president for research at Kansas State University. "He has been adept at finding a need in industry and filling that need, especially in the field of developing ingredients for human and animal food. He used his expertise to improve people's lives and livelihoods."

Seib credits four groups of people for help in pursuing his inventions: graduate research assistants and faculty, staff in the department who "do chores and keep the building functioning," the university administration who set up the Kansas State University Research Foundation and created necessary infrastructure, and the citizens of Kansas who provide funds for the university.

He noted that inventions often fail, but the dedication of the Kansas State University community and the support it provides to researchers allowed him to succeed.

"Maybe one or two out of 20 inventions might mean something," Seib said. "It's an inefficient activity with many variables beyond investigators' control. But it was a learning experience working with a lawyer and looking at findings from a broad perspective. I think patenting achieved for both students and myself a broadened horizon when it comes to research."

Fellows must be named inventors on U.S. patents and nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2017 fellows will be inducted as part of the seventh annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on April 5, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Andrew H. Hirshfeld, U.S. commissioner for patents, will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.


Paul Seib

Peter Dorhout


K-State research

Written by

Sarah Caldwell Hancock