Rory Cooper Inducted into Inventors HOF

Congratulations to industry icon Rory A. Cooper, Ph.D., a 2023 inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Cooper, the founder and director of the Human Engineering Research Lab (HERL) at the University of Pittsburgh, joins the Hall of Fame during its 50th anniversary year.

A University of Pittsburgh news announcement in February noted that Cooper holds 25 American patents and “is being recognized for his innovations in manual and electronic wheelchair technology. His advancements have proven to be breakthroughs for people with disabilities in finding independence in their daily lives and becoming more integrated into society.”

Cooper and 15 other inductees will be welcomed to the Hall of Fame in October in Washington, D.C.

In explaining his career in the video Selfless Service: The Rory Cooper Story, Cooper recalled his college advisor saying, “You’re a brilliant engineer. You understand people with disabilities’ needs, and they need you. If you don’t go into this field, why should anybody else? You can make a real difference if you do this.”

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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