Design Day Keynote and Blumenthal Lecture

Dean Kamen, Founder of DEKA R&D and FIRST®

Dean Kamen

Founder and President
DEKA R&D and FIRST®

Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined—his own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology’s virtues and by so doing to change the culture of the United States.

Kamen is the founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation. Examples of technologies developed by DEKA include the HomeChoice™ portable dialysis machine, the iBOT™ Mobility System, the Segway™ Human Transporter, a DARPA-funded robotic arm, a new and improved Stirling engine, and the Slingshot water purifier.

In addition to DEKA, one of Kamen’s proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. Founded in 1989, this year FIRST® will serve more than 3,200,000 young people, ages 4 to 18, in more than 100 countries around the globe. Last year, high-school-aged participants were eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships from over 200 leading colleges, universities, and corporations.

Kamen has received many awards for his efforts. Notably, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Presented by President Clinton, this award was in recognition for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. Kamen was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. He was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, as well as many other national and international engineering organizations.

About the Blumenthal Lecture and Award

For Contributions to Management in Technology

Established by Sydney C. Blumenthal ’37 and his wife, Mitzi Blumenthal, the annual Blumenthal Lecture highlights distinguished leaders whose careers have demonstrated an exceptional bridging of business with technology, capped by managerial accomplishment. The purpose of this award is to enrich the educational environment at Johns Hopkins by providing students with opportunities to hear how fields such as business management, entrepreneurship, law, and ethics interface with engineering and technology. For the first time in this award’s illustrious history, the Blumenthal Lecture will take place during the 2024 Johns Hopkins Engineering Design Day.

Previous Keynotes

Design Day 2023

Vicky Demas

Vasiliki (Vicky) Demas, Ph.D.

Before joining identifeye HEALTH (f.ka. Tesseract) as CEO, Dr. Demas led the development of new products at the cancer screening company GRAIL, where she also managed the scientific and technology portfolio and led a cross functional competitive intelligence program. She supported the development of the core platform technology which formed the basis of the company’s first multi cancer early detection test (Galleri), and she led GRAIL’s post-diagnostic efforts. Prior to joining GRAIL, she was a founding member of the Google Life Sciences (GLS) team within Google [x], which was later spun out to form Verily. At Verily, she led several teams and projects, including in diagnostics, medical devices, and translational laboratory science, and helped build its multidisciplinary science and engineering programs. Before Verily, Dr. Demas held multiple positions of responsibility at T2 Biosystems. She worked in engineering consulting and led a three phase NASA sponsored project prior to that. She holds several patents and has authored and co-authored numerous publications across multiple disciplines.

Vicky received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Illinois – Urbana/ Champaign and her Ph.D. from University of California – Berkeley. During her Ph.D. and subsequent Postdoctoral fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley and Livermore National Labs, she developed portable magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging systems, set up international collaborations, and supported efforts to commercialize magnetic resonance in ambulatory settings.