UF alumnus and professor to be inducted into 2019 Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

UF alumnus Chris Malachowsky and UF chemistry professor Richard Yost will be inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame this year. 

UF will reach double digits in the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

On March 26, the Hall of Fame announced that a UF alumnus and a UF professor will be inducted into the 2019 cohort. Eight other UF affiliated individuals are already inducted, said Holly Behrend, the program manager for the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. The duo will be inducted Sept. 20.

“Inventions have to have a significant impact on society and be commercialized in some way,” Behrend said. “It doesn’t have to be something new. It can just spark something else.”

Richard Yost, a UF chemistry professor, was selected for his invention of the triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, an instrument used to determine a molecule’s structure, Yost said. His invention, which is used daily in drug development, disease testing, food safety and environmental studies, generates over $1 billion in annual sales, he said.

Chris Malachowsky, an alumnus of the UF College of Engineering and co-founder of the Fortune 1000 technology company NVIDIA, was selected for his invention of the graphics processing unit, which creates interactive graphics, Behrend said.

Other notable inductees include Herbert Wertheim for his invention of the ultraviolet light dye absorbers for eyeglass lenses and Robert Cade for Gatorade, Behrend said.

The list, which started in 2013 and now has more than 40 people, brings innovative talent in Florida to light, Behrend said. The selection committee doesn’t share why it chooses candidates but says that it’s difficult to choose between inventors.

Candidates must have at least one U.S. patent, be affiliated with Florida and be nominated by someone, Behrend said.

About six to eight people are inducted into the list each year, Behrend said.

“This is a great recognition for the development of innovative instruments and their impact on science and human health,” Yost said.