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Tuskegee University has announced that Dr. Michael L. Curry, associate professor of chemistry and adjunct associate professor of materials science and engineering, has been named to The Top 100 magazine’s 2022 list of “Top 100 Innovators & Entrepreneurs.”

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According to Tuskegee, those selected are ranked on a variety of online resources for industry-specific terms, keywords, and search engines.

Dr. Curry was recognized for his extensive work on reducing the world’s carbon footprint. He has been an award-winning research scientist since 2005.

In 2018, he launched Eco-Friendly Plastic Materials, LLC to focus on revolutionizing plastics manufacturing. Dr. Curry replaced traditional plastics with biodegradable material that can decompose in a much shorter period. The team of chemical, material, and manufacturing engineering experts and scientists work on eco-friendly plastic research that provides cost-effective and less hazardous solutions for the industry by using natural products.

“I am extremely honored to be listed as one of the Top 100 Innovators and Entrepreneurs by Top 100 Magazine,” Dr. Curry told Tuskegee. “This recognition shines a spotlight on my entire research group – past and present students – showcasing their commitment and resilience toward creating HBCU-inspired innovations. More importantly, this recognition highlights our efforts to continue Carver’s legacy of using scientific innovations to change the education and economic landscape for disadvantaged communities.”

As an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, Dr. Curry has significantly contributed to innovations at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through his research and student mentoring.

Most recently, he became the first professor at Tuskegee to gain a U.S. patent with an African American student co-inventor. In 2018, Dr. Curry and chemistry graduate student Demetrius Finley (photo inset) created a new means of delivering nutrients to plants that promise to be more effective, ecological, and less expensive than conventional products used by farmers and amateur green-thumbs alike.

“As an HBCU faculty and researcher, I aim to increase the number of highly trained minority professionals within the STEM and entrepreneurship pipelines; I want to strategically move the needle forward on minority-inspired innovation and powerfully influence the movement of STEM diversity,” said Curry.

Dr. Curry’s recognition adds to the several honors and accolades he’s received, including recognition as a Black History Maker in Alabama, where he’s credited with developing innovations that utilize cellulose to make biodegradable plastics; STEM Summits Success Scientist of the Year Award nominee, and recipient of the 2021 National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ HBCU Pioneer Award.

Curry holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of West Alabama.

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