On The Cutting Edge

Who will lead the next tech revolution? B.e. takes a look at entrepreneurs, researchers,and scientists inspired to change the way we work and live.

Jersey, has produced a number of novel ideas that incorporate the phone and PC. He refuses to go into detail because of pending patents but says he’s developing an inventive way of logging phone calls, a unique form of Caller ID, and a graphical interface for these features. “There’s much to be gained in IP enhancement of standard telephony,” says Henderson, who started out in the field as a technical associate. And although many of us are not familiar with his products, they are currently being used by many major corporations. But don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long for his innovations to reach out and touch your life.

Anna-Maria McGowan
Age 33 / Occupation Manager of the Morphing Project / NASA Langley Research Center
No doubt, this month’s Space Day, celebrated May 1, will be bittersweet for McGowan. At a time when the nation is still reeling from the Columbia shuttle tragedy, McGowan is serving as the national spokesperson for the math- and technology-oriented Space Day Education Initiative. Despite the timing, McGowan is perfectly suited to encourage young people to become part of the next generation of inventors, aviators, and explor
ers.

At the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, the heart of NASA’s flight innovation efforts, McGowan leads a team of more than 100 engineers who are designing tomorrow’s aviation vehicles. The engineer, who holds a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from Old Dominion University, focuses on “pre-competitive” technologies such as biomimetics, which looks to nature for inspiration for future aircraft designs. McGowan’s goal is to make future space travel more efficient, environmentally friendly, and safer—a major focus in recent months.

Her parents nurtured her love for flight. In fact, they sent McGowan, who originally wanted to be a pilot, to a private flying lesson for her 16th birthday. Her other big booster was the space program. Says McGowan: “I got support from NASA, and that’s made an incredible difference.”

Sonya Summerour Clemmons
Age 31 / Occupation Bioengineer and Founder /SSC Enterprises
As the first African American female to earn a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego in 1999, Clemmons has a rather personal milestone attached to her name. Over the years, the Gainesville, Georgia, native, who was the first in her family to attend college, has racked up an impressive set of academic credentials. She has a B.S. in physics from Spelman College, a B.M.E. from Georgia Tech, an M.S. and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from UC San Diego, and a post-doctoral fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. If that’s not enough, in 2000 Clemmons launched the San Diego-based SSC Enterprises, a 3-year-old biotech consulting company that helps firms identify the next wave of medical products.

Clemmons’s research is in tissue engineering and artificial organs. By focusing on the cardiovascular system and liver tissue, she has already helped design biological and medical breakthroughs such as the extracorporeal liver assist device (ELAD), an apparatus that detoxifies the liver and performs its functions

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