National Academy of Engineering

National Academy of Engineering

The United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a government-created non-profit institution that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences. As a national academy, it consists of members who are elected by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The election process for new members is conducted annually. The NAE is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the rest of the National Academies the role of advising the federal government. The NAE operates engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers.

The NAE is part of the United States National Academies, which also includes:

Formally, "members" of the NAE must be U.S. Citizens.[1] The term "foreign associate" is applied to non-citizens who are elected to the NAE.[1] "The NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia, and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers," according to the NAE site's About page.[2]

Election to the NAE is considered to be the among the highest recognitions in engineering-related fields, and it often comes as a recognition of a lifetime's worth of accomplishments.

The current president of the NAE is Dr. Charles Vest.



Nomination for membership can only be done by a current member of the NAE for outstanding engineers with identifiable contributions or accomplishments in one or both of the following categories:

  • Engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature.
  • Pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Though the average age of members is over 70,[citation needed] some members have been elected at a relatively young age, the youngest being Google co-founder Larry Page, who was elected in 2004 at the age of 31.[citation needed]

The membership of the NAE includes many notable people – essentially by definition, as the election to membership in the NAE is among the highest forms of recognition of notable accomplishments in engineering.

Major prizes

The Academy annually awards three prizes that each award $500,000 to the winner. In a sense these constitute the "Nobel Prizes of Engineering". The three prizes are the Bernard M. Gordon Prize, the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, and the Charles Stark Draper Prize.

Gordon Prize

The Bernard M. Gordon Prize was started in 2001 by the NAE. Its purpose is to recognize leaders in academia for the development of new educational approaches to engineering.[3] Each year, the Gordon Prize awards $500,000 to the grantee, of which the recipient may personally use $250,000, and his or her institution receives $250,000 for the ongoing support of academic development.[3] Although the Gordon Prize is relatively new, within engineering education, it is viewed by some to be an American version of a Nobel Prize for engineering education (although there is no Nobel Prize for such a category).[4]

  • 2009 Thomas H. Byers and Tina Seelig for pioneering, continually developing, and tirelessly disseminating technology entrepreneurship education resources for engineering students and educators around the world. (STVP Program at Stanford University)
  • 2008 Jacquelyn F. Sullivan and Lawrence E. Carlson for the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program that infuses hands-on learning throughout K-16 engineering education to motivate and prepare tomorrow's engineering leaders.
  • 2007 Arthur W. Winston, Harold S. Goldberg, and Jerome E. Levy for innovation in engineering and technology education. They were founders and lecturers at the Gordon Institute during its early years at Tufts University.
  • 2006 Jens E. Jorgensen, John S. Lamancusa, Lueny Morell, Allen L. Soyster, and Jose Zayas-Castro, for creating the Learning Factory, where multidisciplinary student teams develop engineering leadership skills by working with industry to solve real-world problems.
  • 2005 Edward J. Coyle, Leah H. Jamieson and William C. Oakes for innovations in the education of tomorrow's engineering leaders by developing and disseminating the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program.
  • 2004 Frank S. Barnes for pioneering an Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program (ITP) that produces leaders who bridge engineering, social sciences, and public policy.
  • 2002: Eli Fromm for innovation that combines technical, societal, and experiential learning into an integrated undergraduate engineering curriculum.

Russ Prize

Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize
Awarded for Bioengineering
Presented by United States National Academy of Engineering
Date October 1999
Location Ohio
Country United States
Reward US$500,000[5]
First awarded 2001
Last awarded 2011
Currently held by Leroy E. Hood
Official website Official website

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize is an American national and international award established by the NAE in October 1999 in Athens, Ohio. Named after Fritz Russ, the founder of Systems Research Laboratories, and his wife Dolores Russ, it recognizes engineering achievement that "has had a significant impact on society and has contributed to the advancement of the human condition through widespread use." The award was instigated at the request of Ohio University to honor Fritz Russ, one of its alumni.[5]

The first Russ Prize was awarded to two people, Earl E. Bakken and Wilson Greatbatch, in 2001. Since then, the prize has been awarded to one person every two years. The most recent recipient, in January 2011, was Leroy E. Hood, who received the award for his research on fundamental biology.[6] Only living persons may receive the prize and recipients of the Charles Stark Draper Prize are not eligible for the Russ Prize.[7] Members of the NAE, as well as non-members worldwide are able to receive the award.[5][8]

The winners are presented during the National Engineers Week in February and receive US$500,000, a gold medallion and a hand-scribed certificate.[5] The Russ Prize, the Gordon Prize and the Draper Prize, all awarded by the NAE, are known collectively as the "Nobel Prizes of Engineering".[9][10][11][12]

Year Recipient(s) Nationality Reason Reference
2001 Bakken, Earl E.Earl E. Bakken and Greatbatch, WilsonWilson Greatbatch USA "for their independent development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker." [13]
2003 Kolff, Willem JohanWillem Johan Kolff USA "for his pioneering work on artificial organs, beginning with the kidney, thus launching a new field that is benefiting the lives of millions." [13]
2005 Clark, LelandLeland Clark USA "for bioengineering membrane-based sensors in medical, food, and environmental applications." [13]
2007 Fung, Yuan-ChengYuan-Cheng Fung USA "for the characterization and modeling of human tissue mechanics and function leading to prevention and mitigation of trauma." [13]
2009 Gaden, Elmer L.Elmer L. Gaden USA "for pioneering the engineering and commercialization of biological systems for large-scale manufacturing of antibiotics and other drugs." [13]
2011 Hood, Leroy E.Leroy E. Hood USA "for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized description for Hood Leroy photobiomedicine and forensic science." [13]

Charles Stark Draper Prize

The NAE annually awards the Charles Stark Draper Prize, which is given for the advancement of engineering and the education of the public about engineering. It is one of three prizes that have been said to constitute so-called "Nobel Prizes of Engineering" – the others being the Academy's Russ and Gordon Prizes. The winner of each of these prizes receives $500,000. The Draper prize is named for Charles Stark Draper, the "father of inertial navigation", an MIT professor and founder of the Draper Laboratory.

Program areas

  • Grand Challenges for Engineering

In February 2008 the NAE announced a list of 14 "grand" challenges for engineering in the next century. The NAE convened a committee of experts in engineering, science, and technology to form this list. The committee convened over the course of several months and took input from public comments made on the project website as well as opinions from experts external to the committee.

On October 6, 2008 at the NAE annual meeting, a public symposium was held where several members of the committee spoke publicly about the challenges. Following this event, a print version of the Grand Challenges website was made available online at the site.[14]

Members of the public voted on the challenges in rank order of importance, and as of the close of voting on June 30, 2008, the results of the votes are as follows: (poll rankings)[14]

  1. Make solar energy economical
  2. Provide energy from fusion
  3. Provide access to clean water
  4. Reverse-engineer the brain
  5. Advance personalized learning
  • Frontiers of Engineering

The Frontiers of Engineering program assembles a group of emerging engineering leaders - usually aged 30–45 - to discuss cutting-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. The goal of the meetings is to bring participants together to collaborate, network, and share ideas. There are three Frontiers of Engineering meetings every year: the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, the German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, and the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. The Indo-U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium is held every other year.[15]

  • Diversity in the Engineering Workplace

The goal of the diversity office is to participate in studies addressing the issue of increasing and broadening a domestic talent pool. Through this effort the NAE convenes workshops, coordinators with other organizations, and idenitifies program needs and opportunities for improvement.

As part of this effort the NAE has launched both the EngineerGirl![16] and Engineer Your Life[17] webpages.

  • The Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education

The Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education.[18] works to advance engineering education in the United States, aiming for curriculum changes that address the needs of new generations of engineering students and the unique problems they will face with the challenges of the 21st century.

The Center works closely with the Committee on Engineering Education, which works to improve the quality of engineering education by providing advice to policy makers, administrators, employers, and other stakeholders.[19]

  • Engineering, Economics, and Society

This program area studies connections between engineering, technology, and the economic performance of the United States. Efforts aim to advance the understanding of engineering's contribution to the sectors of the domestic economy and to learn where engineering may enhance economic performance.[20]

  • Technological Literacy/K-12 education

The goal of this project is to provide advice regarding the creation and implementation of engineering curricula at the school-age level. The project also hopes to inform instructional practices, particularly dealing with the connections among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

The project also aims to investigate the best ways to determine levels of technological literacy in the United States among three distinct populations in the United States: K-12 students, K-12 teachers, and out-of-school adults. A report (and associated website), Technically Speaking,[21] explains what "technological literacy" is, why it’s important, and what is being done in the U.S. to improve it.

  • Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society

The Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society seeks to engage engineers and the engineering profession in identiftying and resolving ethical issues in associated with engineering research and practice. The Center works is closely linked with the Online Ethics Center.[22]

  • Engineering and the Environment

This program, recognizing that the engineering profession has often been associated with causing environmental harm, looks to recognize and publicize that the profession is now at the forefront of mitigating negative environmental impacts. The program will provide policy guidance to government, the private sector, and the public on ways to create a more environmentally sustainable future.[23]

Outreach efforts

To publicize the work of both the profession and the NAE, the institution puts considerable efforts into outreach activities.

A weekly radio spot produced by the NAE is broadcast on WTOP radio in the Washington, DC area and the file and text of the spot can be found on the NAE site.[24] The NAE also distributes a biweekly newsletter focusing on engineering issues and advancements.

In addition, NAE has held a series of workshops titled News and Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis, in which experts from the National Academies and elsewhere provide reporters, state and local public information officers, emergency managers, and representatives from the public sector with important information about weapons of mass destruction and their impact. This project is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation.

In addition to these efforts the NAE fosters good relationships with members of the media to ensure coverage of the work of the institution and to serve as a resource for the media to use when they have technical questions or would like to speak to an NAE member on a particular matter. The NAE is also active in "social media," both to reach new and younger audiences and to reach traditional audiences in new ways.

See also


  1. ^ a b Becoming a Member, NAE website.
  2. ^ About NAE, National Academy of Engineering.
  3. ^ a b "Gordon Prize information". Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  4. ^ William A. Wulf and George M.C. Fisher "A Makeover for Engineering Education" Issues in Science & Technology Spring 2002 p. 35-39.
  5. ^ a b c d "Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize". NAE. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  6. ^ "2011 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize Recipient". NAE. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  7. ^ "History of the Russes and the Russ Prize". NAE. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  8. ^ "Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize Nomination Procedures". NAE. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  9. ^ "GPS, dialysis inventors win top awards". Chicago Tribune. 2003-02-19. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  10. ^ Laura A. Bischoff (2001-01-31). "First Russ Prize to be Awarded". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  11. ^ Rex Graham (2007-01-11). "Y.C. Fung Wins Russ Prize". Medical News Today. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  12. ^ "Leroy Hood wins 2011 Russ Prize". Ohio University. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Previous Recipients of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize". NAE. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  14. ^ a b Grand Challenges for Engineering
  15. ^ Frontiers of Engineering
  16. ^ EngineerGirl!
  17. ^ Engineer Your Life
  18. ^ CASEE
  19. ^ Committee on Engineering Education
  20. ^ Engineering, Economics, and Society
  21. ^ Technically Speaking
  22. ^ Online Ethics Center
  23. ^ Engineering and the Environment
  24. ^ Engineering Innovation Radio Series

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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