NASA Engineer Wins Space Act Award Invention that Helps Deaf People Hear Again
More than 100 inventors, including the father of the cochlear implant, received recognition at the Sixth Annual Kennedy Space Center Space Act Award Luncheon. KSC’s Technology Commercialization Office Chief Jim Aliberti and Spaceport Engineering and Technology Director Jim Heald welcomed the inventors. NASA held the event at the KSC Visitor Complex’s Debus Center.
This is the third consecutive year KSC earned more Space Act Award dollars than any other NASA civil service center. The fiscal year 2002 award of $190,850 is proportionately divided among the four award areas. According to KSC Center Director Roy Bridges, the accomplishment showcases that the workforce is hardworking and creative.
“It makes my day to see this becoming an annual thing,” Bridges said. “You’re creating a standard and improving the quality of life.”
This year’s inventors are living up to the Center Director’s statement. Among the winners who individually received an award ranging from $500 to $21,000 was a NASA retiree and exceptional Space Act Award recipient, Adam Kissiah.
Not only did Adam Kissiah finally receive well-deserved praise for inventing the cochlear implant 25 years ago, but he also won an award for $21,000. His monetary award is the most significant award for a single inventor in KSC history. While medical centers worldwide use Kissiah’s invention, he’s humble about his impact. “Regardless of my level of participation, it is nice to know I contributed to making many lives better,” he said.
Another Space Act Award recipient, an ENSCO Inc. employee Allan Dianic, met Kissiah at the ceremony with a warm “thanks” for the invention. Dianic’s two-year-old daughter, Victoria, regained full hearing in August after receiving a cochlear implant. “It’s wonderful to get a chance to meet the inventor of the technology that made it possible for my child to hear,” he said.
The Space Act Awards program is possible due to the Space Act of 1958. The prestigious award provides official recognition and grants equitable monetary awards. In addition, it provides awards for inventions and other scientific and technical contributions. It focuses on inventions that helped achieve NASA’s aeronautical and space goals. The awards help stimulate and encourage the creation and reporting of similar contributions in the future.
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Learn more about Adam’s invention of the Cochlear Implant.