Michael J. Pappas, the designer of a knee implant known as the New Jersey Knee, will receive an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Newark College of Engineering (NCE) at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Pappas will receive the award during the college’s annual NCE Awards Banquet, scheduled for April 8, 2005, at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel. NCE is one of six colleges that constitute NJIT.
Pappas, of Jensen Beach, Fla., has built a successful design career on the foundation of a solid NCE education and is cited as a role model for current NCE students. He received both a bachelor’s (1959) and master’s degree (1964) in mechanical engineering from NCE.
Pappas is president and CEO of Endotec, Inc., a company dedicated to the development, manufacture and sale of implant systems of advanced design and materials. The company has done pioneering work in the use of ceramic, thin-film coatings on implants.
During the past 20 years, Pappas has focused on human-joint replacement implants in collaboration with Frederick Buechel, PhD, a clinical professor of orthopedics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). In 1977, the two designed the New Jersey Low Contact Stress Total Knee Replacement System, better known as the New Jersey Knee. More than one million people worldwide have enjoyed the benefits of the knee. Pappas and Buechel have also designed a total ankle system, a total hip and a total shoulder.
Pappas has more than 44 scholarly publications and more than 46 U.S. patents to his credit, resulting from his work in computer-aided-design and orthopaedic biomechanics. He served as acting director at NJIT’s Center for Manufacturing Engineering Systems from 1987-1990, and is professor emeritus of mechanical engineering in NCE, where he taught for 25 years.
He has continued his involvement with education, offering opportunities for student work-study assignments at Endotec, supporting research projects as well as funding generous scholarships at NJIT and serving on NCE’s Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board. He was inducted into the New Jersey Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 1999, has received both an NJIT Alumni Achievement Award and an NJIT Outstanding Alumnus Award during Celebration, NJIT’s annual fundraising gala, for his contributions to science, medicine and for his investment in the university’s future.
He and his wife, Cynthia, have three children: Elaine, Michael and John. Elaine is a 1995 graduate of NJIT’s New Jersey School of Architecture.