Individuals and teams are nominated for The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest awards via an online application.

They are selected as winners through a rigorous process by regional leaders based upon different models utilized in the selection process. Each winner receive a personalized certificate and one free year of membership in the Society.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Starting in 2019, a Lifetime Achievement Award winner may be selected at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Not only must our Lifetime Achievement Award winner demonstrate significant innovation, but that the work was sustained over a significant amount of time and their success was not limited to just one role, company or sector. We recognize that the community impact of our Lifetime Achievement Award winner will last more than one lifetime, that the impact of our winner will be felt for generations to come.

This award is the Society of Innovators’ highest honor for an individual leader. The award will not be given every year, but rather will be presented as the organization’s Board of Directors identifies deserving candidates. It is open to any individual whose work took place in or significantly impacted the Northwest Indiana region.

The Society of Innovators Inductees

Originally launched in 2005, the Society of Innovators recognizes and celebrates the spirit of innovation across the seven-county region of Northwest Indiana. Each year, nominated candidates are vetted before finalists are determined and inductees announced. Over 1,000 innovators have been inducted into the Society.

The Society of Innovators Fellows

The Society of Innovators selects up to six innovators each year as Fellows from among inducted Honorees. Our Fellows must live or work in Northwest Indiana and can be found across all walks of like. Each Fellow must demonstrate significant innovation. It must show a new, different, or better way, and be for the greater good of the region, state, nation or world.

  • Dr. Teresa A. Eineman
  • Norman-David P. Fischer
  • Chris Mahlman
  • Michael A. Schrage
  • Chenn Q. Zhiou, Ph.D.
  • Sandra Chimon-Rogers, Ph.D.
  • Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, Ph.D.
  • Jon Groth
  • Elizabeth Lynn, Ph.D.
  • Mayor Joseph Stahura
  • Chancellor Thomas L. Keon
  • Erin Argyilan, Ph.D.
  • Marilyn Brunk
  • Tom Clark
  • Joseph Coar
  • Joseph Ferrandino, Ph.D.
  • Don Galbreath
  • Scott Albanese
  • Robert Colangelo
  • William E. Nangle
  • Robert Palumbo
  • Neeti Parashar, Ph.D.
  • Roger Pradhan, Ph.D.
  • Julie Bombacino
  • Mike Falk
  • Nina Fonstein, Ph.D.
  • Lisa Hopp, Ph.D.
  • Don Keller
  • Stewart G. McMillan
  • Dr. Neal H. Haskell
  • Gus Olympidis
  • Pearl Prince
  • Olga Petryszn
  • Dr. Eugene S. Smotkin
  • Gregg A. VanDusseldorp Sr.
  • Janet Brown, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Mayor Jon Costas
  • Angela Hambling
  • Robert E. Johnson III
  • Julie Rizzo
  • Congressman Peter J. Visclosky
  • P. Scott Bening
  • Ralph W. Braun
  • Howard Cohen, Ph.D.
  • Robert F. Forney, Jr.
  • Tom Sourlis
  • Ernest Talarico, Ph.D.
  • Frank Brummett
  • T. Clifford Fleming
  • Mark Kime
  • John “Jack” Moreland
  • Mike Sanders
  • Patrick A. Wilkins
  • Richard Bender
  • Lee Botts
  • Sarah H. Givens
  • Alan Harre, Ph.D.
  • Dr. Peter C. Kesling, D.D.S.
  • Robert Steingass
  • Shirley Caylor
  • Roman Dziarski, Ph.D.
  • Bill Keith
  • Johnny Mathis, Jr.
  • Ivan Nesch, Ph.D.
  • Emerson Spartz
  • Robert Cornwell, M.D.
  • Arie Donkersloot, Sr.
  • Gayle Faukner-Kosalko
  • Brandon Griffin
  • Daniel Hayes
  • Greg Ludkovsky, Ph.D.
  • Christopher Klocek
  • Richard L. Marrell
  • Mark Spencer
  • Penny Yelkovac
  • Chenn Zhou, Ph.D.

The Chanute Prize for Team Innovation

Up to two co-recipients are selected annually from among our winners to receive the Chanute Prize for Team Innovation. The Chanute Prize is dedicated to promoting 21st century innovation in the private, public, not-for-profit and government sectors. It was created to honor the path-breaking glider flights on our lakeshore by Octave Chanute and his team who helped the Wright Brothers “get off the ground” seven years later.

  • Hammond Group, Inc. (HGI)
  • Grand Calumet River Partners in Restoration
  • The Green Abilities Team from The Arc Northwest Indiana
  • IU Health La Porte Hospital
  • BP Whiting Refinery Modernization Project
  • PCL Alverno
  • Kemin/Lambert Spearmint Team
  • The Chicago “DODO” Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
  • CIVS, Purdue University Northwest
  • ArcelorMittal Global R&D Center
  • IVDiagnostics
  • “Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean” at Purdue University Northwest
  • Dage-MTI
  • ArcelorMittal Global R&D Center
  • Fair Oaks Farms
  • Community Healthcare System
  • Sister of Saint Francis, Northern Indiana Region
  • Team Hammond Robotics by Bemcor

The Leonardo da Vinci Award for Team Innovation

Previously recognized as the Accelerating Greatness Award for Team Innovation.

  • Arconic Power and Propulsion, La Porte Team
  • Plate Accelerated Cooling Team, ACCtec Team
  • ArcelorMittal Global R&D Center
  • Urschel Laboratories, Inc.
  • Edgewater Behavioral Health, Rapid Access Center
  • Methodist Hospitals, Northlake Campus
  • The James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility
  • Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA)