Adam Kissiah Wins Space Act Award for Cochlear Implant Invention

Adam Kissiah NASA Spinoff

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 amount of $190,850 is proportionately divided among the four areas of awards. According to KSC Center Director Roy Bridges, the accomplishment displays the Center 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 definitely living up to the Center Director’s statement. Included 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 largest award for a single inventor in KSC history. While medical centers worldwide use Kissiah’s invention, he’s humble about his impact. “Regardless of what level of participation I had, it is nice to know I contributed to making many lives better,” he said.

Another Space Act Award recipient, Allan Dianic, who is an ENSCO Inc. employee, met Kissiah at the ceremony with a warm “thanks” for the invention. In August, Dianic’s two-year-old daughter, Victoria, regained full hearing 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. It provides official recognition and to grant equitable monetary awards. It provides awards for inventions and other scientific and technical contributions. It focuses on inventions that have helped to 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.

One comment

  1. Adam Kissiah’s accomplishments and contribution to the development of the cochlear implant is well-deserving of this award. NASA should be proud that one of their own invented such an impactful device. I know the thousands of people that received cochlear implants must be thankful.

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