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Simulation Pioneer Edwin Link Named to Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Recipient of Honorary Degree
from Florida Tech        

 MELBOURNE, FLA. — Edwin Link, considered the father of flight simulation and a key ally of Florida Institute of Technology and its founder, Jerry Keuper, has been named a 2018 inductee of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

Link, who died in 1981, was a pioneer in aviation, underwater archaeology and submersibles who is most recognized for inventing the flight simulator commercialized in 1929 that trained countless pilots, including 500,000 airmen during World War II. A model of his flight trainer can be found in the lobby of Florida Tech’s College of Aeronautics at Skurla Hall.

A named inventor on 27 U.S. patents, Link will join six others in the 2018 Hall of Fame class: Sara Blakely, a graduate of Florida State University and the inventor of SPANX®; Florida native Emery Brown, a member of all four National Academies whose research has advanced anesthesiology; Phillip Furman, whose discoveries have led to treatments for viral diseases such as AIDS; Richard Houghten, for his groundbreaking research that advanced the field of drug discovery; Sudipta Seal, whose work has led to nano-medicine breakthroughs; and Herbert Wertheim, an optometrist whose eyeglass lenses have helped prevent cataracts and other eye diseases.

“We are delighted to announce this outstanding class of inventors whose work has had enormous impact on the state of Florida and our nation,” said Randy Berridge, who serves on the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame advisory board and as chair of the selection committee.

Inductees, who must have at least one U.S. patent and a connection to Florida, were nominated through an open nomination process and elected by a selection committee comprising distinguished leaders in research and innovation throughout Florida.

Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay and First Lady Mary Helen McCay were inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame in 2017, becoming the first scientific couple to be enshrined in the Tampa-based institution that recognizes Florida inventors whose achievements have advanced the quality of life for Floridians, the state and the nation.

A former trustee and vice president for Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Link’s research in submersibles brought him to live and work near the warm Florida waters. He would spend the final period of his life developing powerful submersibles that provided the means for deep underwater exploration.

The Link Foundation, whose fellowships Florida Tech helps administer and award, was established in 1953. It has awarded more than $14 million to programs that assist young research scholars.

Link’s interest in higher education and research led to a close association with Florida Tech, and Keuper, the university’s founding president, awarded Link and Harbor Branch founder Seward Johnson Sr. honorary doctorate degrees in 1970.

The Link Building on the Florida Tech campus, home of the Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences, was named in his honor in 1979. Marion Link, Edwin Link’s wife, endowed the Library Information Network, or LINK. The Evans Library’s Link Room was established for faculty and students to have a technologically advanced presentation room. And the library is proud to house important documents in the Edwin A. and Marion Link Special Collection.

Marilyn Link, Edwin’s sister, came to the Atlantic coast of Florida in the 1970s at the request of her brother to serve as the first manager of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. She went on to serve as a member of the HBOI Board of Trustees and was serving as director emerita on the board of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation when she passed away March 19 at age 94.

She had served for more than three decades on the Florida Tech Board of Trustees and was trustee emerita at the time of her passing.

Edwin Link and the other members of the 2018 class will be inducted at the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame 5th Annual Induction Ceremony & Gala on Sept. 7, 2018, at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

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