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CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision technology leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide, today announced Dr. John Ochs , Lehigh University; Dr. Michael Lovell , University of Pittsburgh ; and Dr. John Kleppe , University of Nevada-Reno as the 2006 winners in the Olympus Innovation Award Program. The program recognizes individuals who have fostered and demonstrated innovative thinking in education. The winners received their awards from Dr. Stephen S. Tang , group vice president and general manager, Life Science, Olympus America, in Portland , Ore. at the 10th Annual Meeting ofthe National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), Olympus' partner in conducting the program.
Ochs, 57, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Integrated Product Development (IPD) program at Lehigh University, won the Olympus Innovation Award, which recognizes a faculty member who fosters an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods and hands-on opportunities. Lovell, 38, associate dean for researchand associate professor of industrial engineering, School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh , received the Olympus Emerging Educational LeaderAward. Offered this year for the first time, the award recognizes an individual who has inspired innovating thinking in students in a discrete areaand who, the judges believe, has the potential to make even greater contributions to the field in the future. Kleppe, 67, chairman and professorof electrical engineering, University of Nevada-Reno, won the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award, another new award category recognizing faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students intheir own universities and throughout academia.
"I am honored to have served as Olympus' judge for our 2006 award program with the NCIIA, and I salute the winners for their outstanding accomplishments," said Tang. "They have not only been exemplary teachers but also champions of innovation and entrepreneurship, which are integral parts ofour culture at Olympus and critical for companies to successfully compete in today's global economy."
"We are excited about the extended award program, which allows us to recognize the work of more individuals," added Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA. "Through this program, Olympus continues its strong commitment to education as an important way to foster innovation in America."