PSU To Honor Segway Inventor And FIRST Creator Dean Kamen May 10

May 5th, 2008 by Adam

Dean KamenPLYMOUTH, N.H – Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion for technology and his ability to develop useful and imaginative inventions has made this New Hampshire native renown worldwide.

While Kamen is best-known as the creator of the Segway PT, a one-of-a-kind two-wheeled vehicle ( which debuted in 2001, he has been developing breakthrough technologies designed to improve lives for over 30 years.

In recognition of his technological achievements and efforts to advance science and technology education, Plymouth State University is awarding Kamen an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree at its College of Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony (, Saturday, May 10, at 10 a.m. in the Plymouth State University John C. Foley Gymnasium.

In 1989 with a vision to “…transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes,” Kamen created the Foundation for the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). FIRST develops innovative programs designed to motivate young people to develop their skills in the fields of science and technology.

According to the FIRST Web site (, in 2007 and 2008 over 156,000 students from nearly 40 countries, ages 6-18, participated in FIRST competitions, like robotics, tech challenges, and LEGO leagues.

Dr. Julie Bernier, PSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said the University is privileged to honor Kamen’s success.

“Participating in the FIRST Robotics program can change the course of a child’s life. I can understand why Dean Kamen, of all his creations, is most proud of the success of FIRST,” said Bernier. “And we are pleased and proud to be able to honor him this Saturday with the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.”

While still a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Kamen invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as chemotherapy, neonatology, and endocrinology.

In 1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. By age 30, he had developed a number of other infusion devices, including the first insulin pump for diabetics.

In 1982, he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide research and development for major corporate clients.

Kamen received the National Medal of Technology in 2000, awarded by President Clinton for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. He was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.

His latest creations are designed to offer potential solutions to the need for clean water and electricity in developing countries.

Following the Commencement ceremony Kamen will give a brief lecture to undergraduate students at noon in Heritage Commons.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or