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Charles Stark Draper Prize

Honoring an engineer(s) whose accomplishment has significantly impacted society by improving the quality of life, providing the ability to live freely and comfortably, and/or permitting the access to information.

For more information about the Draper Prize, visit Draper Laboratories at www.draperprize.org

Bernard M. Gordon Prize

Recognizing new modalities and experiments in education that develop effective engineering leaders.

The Founder’s Award

The Founders Award honors an outstanding NAE member or foreign associate who has upheld the ideals and principles of the NAE through professional, educational, and personal achievement and accomplishment

The Arthur M. Bueche Award

The Arthur M. Bueche (Bee' - kuh) Award honors an engineer who has shown dedication in science and technology, as well as active involvement in determining U.S. science and technology policy, promoting technological development, and contributing to the enhancement of the relationship between industries, government, and universities.

Congratulations to the 2013 NAE Awards Winners

Select the Photos Above to View them.

In 2013, we are proud to recognize the work of eleven outstanding engineers whose work has impacted the lives of people throughout the world. For over four decades the National Academy of Engineering has been dedicated to promoting the technological welfare of the nation by marshalling the knowledge and insights of eminent members of the engineering profession.


Charles Stark Draper Prize

For their pioneering contributions to the world’s first cellular telephone networks, systems, and standards, the 2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize selection committee have chosen Mr. Martin Cooper, Dr. Joel S. Engel, Mr. Richard H. Frenkiel, Dr. Thomas Haug, and Dr. Yoshihisa Okumura as the recipients of the 2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize.


Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

For the development of laser ablative photodecomposition, enabling LASIK and PRK eye surgery, the 2013 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize selection committee have chosen Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan, Dr. James J. Wynne, and Dr. Samuel E. Blum as the 2013 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize recipients.


Bernard M. Gordon

For guiding the creation of Olin College and its student-centered approach to developing effective engineering leaders, the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize selection committee have chosen Dr. Richard K. Miller, Dr. David V. Kerns, Jr., and Dr. Sherra E. Kerns of Olin College as the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize Recipients.

Mr. Martin Cooper

2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize

Martin Cooper was the visionary whose push, leadership and technical know-how drove the team at Motorola in the early 1970s to create and deploy the first practical, portable hand-held cellular phone. In 1973, using this phone, he made the now-famous first voice call from a New York City street to a landline phone at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey.

In 1983, based on his work and that of Engel, Frenkiel and their group at AT&T, the first U.S. commercial cellular systems were introduced, enabling the modern global cellular network and systems that we know today.

Dr. Joel S. Engel

2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize

One of the key technologies that underlie modern mobile telephony is the cellular system. Much of the research to develop a true cellular system, where mobile units jump from one cell to another, was done at Bell Labs in the US beginning as far back as 1947.

A breakthrough came with results provided by Joel Engel and Richard Frenkiel of Bell Labs, who developed the concept of a network of hexagonal cells. Engel supervised the group that produced a comprehensive technical filing with the FCC that covered system architecture, detailed design parameters, and the theory and field measurements on which they were based. In 1971, they submitted their report to the FCC proposing an analog cellular telephone system, essentially launching the cellular telephone age.

Mr. Richard H. Frenkiel

2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize

Richard Frenkiel and Joel Engel are often spoken of together for their groundbreaking work in the development of cellular technology, but each is also a pioneer in his own right.

In 1965, Frenkiel joined with Engel and other engineers in the early planning of cellular telephone systems. Their proposal for a commercial cellular system was ultimately implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Later, as head of the Mobile Systems Engineering Deptartment at Bell Labs, his department developed interface specifications for nationwide compatibility among cellular companies.

After the FCC allocated new frequencies in 1968 for mobile phones, Frenkiel’s engineering team developed specifications for cellular networks and its parameterization (1971), which formed the basis for the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS).

Dr. Thomas Haug

2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize

Thomas Haug played a pivotal roll in uniting European mobile phone standards. Named chairman of Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) in 1978, he began there as secretary of the working group’s first meeting in 1970. With a vision of a common Nordic standard for mobile telephony, he led NMT cooperation across the borders of the Nordic countries, paving the way to growth in network continuity and use.

Based on and inspired by the experience gained in the work on the NMT system, he later led a committee (Groupe Spécial Mobile or GSM for short), set up in 1982 by the telecom operators in Europe, in order to develop a common European system. Uniting the telecom operators of Europe involved encouraging competing manufacturers to work out technical solutions based on the developed system standard. Despite countless challenges, he always found a way forward in the pioneering effort.

Named Chairman of the Groupe Spécial Mobile, he served until 1992, when GSM telephony was introduced in Europe. In 1987, together with Östen Mäkitalo, Thomas Haug was awarded the gold medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) for their groundbreaking NMT work.

Dr. Yoshihisa Okumura

2013 Charles Stark Draper Prize

Yoshihisa Okumura was a leader in pioneering the analysis of radio wave propagation and signal strength prediction, and his model is one of the most widely used models for signal prediction in urban areas. Applicable for frequencies in the range 150 MHz to 1920 MHz (and extrapolated up to 3000 MHz) and distances of 1 km to 100 km, it can be used for base station antenna heights ranging from 30 m to 1000 m. His “Okumura curves” were broadly utilized as fundamental data for the development of not only the mobile communication system but also the TV broadcasting system. He was heavily involved at his laboratory in the research and design of the 800 MHz cellular mobile system.

Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan

2013 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan spent 30 years at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. Throughout his career, he has received many honors and awards and has been granted 21 U.S. patents. In 1981, Srinivasan, working with James Wynne and Samuel Blum, discovered that an ultraviolet excimer laser could etch living tissue in a precise manner with no thermal damage to the surrounding area. He named the phenomenon Ablative Photodecomposition (APD).

In 1983, Srinivasan collaborated with an ophthalmic surgeon to develop APD to etch the cornea, which resulted in a procedure to correct vision known today as LASIK surgery. Since the introduction of LASIK, millions of people have taken advantage of this procedure that reduces dependency on corrective lenses.

Dr. James J. Wynne

2013 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

James Wynne is co-inventor of a process using a short pulse ultraviolet laser to etch tissue in minute increments and in a highly controlled fashion. The process, discovered with colleagues Rangaswamy Srinivasan and Samuel Blum at IBM, allows safe removal of material to a precisely determined depth. It led the way to such modern refractive surgeries as PRK and LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis).

Joining IBM in 1969, he was serving as manager of the laser physics and chemistry group when his team discovered excimer laser surgery. The excimer laser breakthrough made it possible to permanently change the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, and thus permanently improve vision.

The recipient of many IBM honors, Wynne has been involved with education outreach since the early 1990s and is presently exploring new ways to apply laser technology to dermatology.

Dr. Samuel E. Blum

2013 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

Dr. Samuel Blum was working with Rangaswamy Srinivasan and James Wynne at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center when they observed the effect of the ultraviolet excimer laser on biological materials. Intrigued, they investigated further, finding that the laser made clean, precise cuts that would be ideal for delicate surgeries.

The laser technique they researched went on to become the foundation for LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery. Among his 11 patents, the patent on ultraviolet excimer laser, which is used in surgical and dental procedures, was a significant contribution to the development of LASIK eye surgery.

Dr. Richard K. Miller

2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize

Dr. Richard K. Miller was named President and first employee of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 1999, where he also holds an appointment as Professor of Mechanical Engineering. As the new College’s visionary leader, he has led its growth and served as constant liaison with its Board of Trustees.

Dr. Miller is the author or co-author of some 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications. He has served as a consultant to such companies as The Aerospace Corporation, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Hughes Aircraft Company (now Raytheon Company), and Astro Aerospace Corporation (now Northrop Grumman Corporation), and more.

Dr. David V. Kerns, Jr.

2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize

As Founding Provost of Olin College, David V. Kerns, Jr., was responsible for determining the qualifications for and recruiting Olin's founding faculty. He authored "The Olin College Curricular Vision" and Olin's faculty manual and led development of Olin's innovative curriculum, student life, library and information services and helped set the College's faculty culture of student-centered, project-based education. Currently serving as Franklin and Mary Olin Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at the College, he has been a leader in engineering education for many years.

A former technical staff member at Bell Telephone Laboratories, he designed and developed bipolar and CMOS, analog and digital integrated circuits. He co-founded and served as President of Insouth Microsystems, Inc., a microelectronics company that produced solid-state sensors, hybrid microcircuits, and silicon VLSI devices.

Dr. Sherra E. Kerns

2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize

Founding Vice President of Innovation and Research at Olin College, Dr. Sherra Kerns guided the development of a unique faculty vision. She also created Olin's intellectual property policy and led efforts that resulted in institutional and professional accreditations for all programs.

She joined Olin College in 1999 and helped create a culture that rewards innovation, learning by discovery, and the taking of appropriate risks. In 2007, she became a F.W. Olin Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the College.

Named an IEEE Fellow for her technical accomplishments in designing computers that are immune to information disruption by harsh cosmic ion and space weapons environments, she is also a recipient of the IEEE’s prestigious Millennium Medal.