Campus Life

Two Texas A&M Professors Announced As 2023 National Academy Of Inventors Fellows

The highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors, this year’s honor belongs to faculty in engineering and public health.
By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications January 12, 2024

Two professors at Texas A&M University have been named 2023 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI): Dr. Mark Benden, School of Public Health, and Dr. Balakrishna Haridas, College of Engineering.

The NAI is an organization of U.S. and international universities, government agencies and nonprofit research institutes, and was founded in 2009 to recognize and encourage inventors with U.S. patents.

The 2023 Class of Fellows is comprised of 162 academic inventors; election as a fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.

This year’s fellows will be honored and presented medals at the NAI 13th Annual Meeting on June 18 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dr. Mark Benden
Dr. Mark Benden

Texas A&M Health


Benden is a professor and department head for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health. His research interests include office worker obesity, classroom ergonomics and childhood obesity, medical device development and sedentary behavior intervention. Benden is the director of Texas A&M’s Ergonomics Center, chief executive officer of three faculty-led startups and has licensed multiple products.

The School of Public Health reports the expected lifetime economic impact of his designs exceeds $2 billion. Benden has authored many publications and is a high-demand speaker for professional groups around the world. He received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, master’s in industrial engineering and Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering, all from Texas A&M. Read more from the School of Public Health.

Dr. Balakrishna Haridas
(center) Dr. Balakrishna Haridas

Texas A&M Engineering


Haridas is a professor of practice in biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, and deputy executive director, co-founder and principal investigator of the Southwest Pediatric Devices Innovation Consortium, which supports innovation in medical devices for children. His research interests include minimally invasive surgery, tissue repair, and clinical and regulatory strategy. As an inventor and entrepreneur, he has led multiple medical technology ventures and product innovations. Prior to his career at Texas A&M, Haridas was senior director of R&D/innovation at Johnson & Johnson and led innovation and engineering programs at the University of Cincinnati.

Texas A&M Engineering reports that during his career, Haridas has raised and directed over $100 million in funding for product R&D and commercialization. He earned his bachelor’s in civil engineering at Bangalore University, a master’s in engineering mechanics/applied mechanics from the University of Alabama, and his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, mechanobiology and biomechanics from the University of Cincinnati. Read more from the College of Engineering.

With the addition of Benden and Haridas, there are 19 current Texas A&M faculty who are NAI Fellows, as well as 15 current faculty who are NAI Senior Members.

View the full list of 2023 Fellows.

Media contact: Lesley Henton,

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