A Town of Tonawanda man who developed an oxygen production system that eased the pain for millions of people suffering from lung diseases will be awarded the government’s highest honor for technological advancement.
Norman R. McCombs, senior vice president of research and development at Amherst-based AirSep Corp., will be one of 11 inventors to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama during a White House ceremony Feb. 1.
McCombs developed a portable oxygen system to treat people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other lung diseases.
McCombs, 75, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Buffalo, is only the second person with UB ties to receive the honor. Former UB engineering professor Esther S. Takeuchi won the medal in 2007 for developing a battery used to power implantable cardiac defibrillators.