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Russ Prize

Fritz J. & Dolores H. Russ Prize Awarded by the National Academy of Engineering

Awarding Achievements That Improve the Human Condition

Endowed by the Russ Family through Ohio University, the National Academy of Engineering established the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize in 1999 to recognize outstanding achievement in an engineering field that is currently of critical importance and that contributes to the advancement of science and engineering, as well as improves a person’s quality of life and has widespread application or use.

Awarded biennially, the Russ Prize consists of a $500,000 cash award, a gold medallion and a hand-scribed certificate. NAE members and non-members worldwide are eligible to receive the Russ Prize.

awarded biennially
innovators awarded since 2001
outstanding bioengineering achievements
Fritz and Dolores Russ


Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ

Ohio University alumnus Fritz Russ, B.S.E.E. ’42, H.O.N. ’75, an esteemed engineer and founder of Systems Research Laboratories, and his wife, Dolores. The Russes’ multimillion-dollar endowment to Ohio University funds the Russ Prize, honoring the couple’s dedication to education and the field of engineering.


  • National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

    The National Academy of Engineering of the United States (NAE), a private, nonprofit institution, has dedicated itself to the wise use of technology in this country and around the world. In the United States, the NAE serves as an advisor to the federal government, helping to apply the nation's best engineering talent to the field of public policy. Domestically and abroad, the NAE provides a focal point for engineering excellence by recognizing outstanding engineering achievement and encouraging the study and practice of the engineering disciplines.

  • Nominate the Next Winner*

    These nomination procedures apply only to the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize. Nominations must be submitted through the National Academy of Engineering website. There are no restrictions on who may nominate candidates for the Prize. NAE members and non-members worldwide are eligible to receive the Russ Prize. Solicitations are sent to members and international members of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, international engineering academies, and other organizations and persons from around the world.

    *Note: The nomination window for the 2023 Russ Prize has closed.

Previous Russ Prize Winners

Award Year Achievement and Recipient(s)
2023 Winner

For the development of microwell arrays that greatly advanced the fields of genomics and proteomics
Dr. David R. Walt

2019 Winners

For innovations in medical devices that enable minimally invasive angioplasty treatment of advanced coronary artery disease.
Dr. Julio Cesar Palmaz, Dr. Leonard Pinchuk, Dr. Richard A Schatz, Dr. John B. Simpson, Dr. Paul G. Yock

2017 Winners For optical coherence tomography, leveraging creative engineering to invent imaging technology essential for preventing blindness and treating vascular and other diseases.
Dr. Adolf F. Fercher, Dr. James G. Fujimoto, Dr. Christoph K. Hitzenberger, Dr. David Huang, Eric A. Swanson
2015 Winners

For engineering cochlear implants that enable the deaf to hear.
Professor Graeme M. Clark AC, Dr. Erwin Hochmair, Dr. Ingeborg J Hochmair-Desoyer, Dr. Michael M. Merzenich, Professor Blake S. Wilson

2013 Winners

For the development of laser ablative photodecomposition, enabling LASIK and PRK eye surgery.
Dr. Samuel E. Blum, Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan, Dr. James J. Wynne

2011 Winner

Automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science.
Dr. Leroy E. Hood

2009 Winner

For pioneering the engineering and commercialization of biological systems for large-scale manufacturing of antibiotics and other drugs.
Elmer L. Gaden

2007 Winner

For the characterization and modeling of human tissue mechanics and function leading to prevention and mitigation of trauma.
Dr. Yuan-Cheng “Bert” Fung

2005 Winner

For bioengineering membrane-based sensors in medical, food, and environmental applications.
Dr. Leland C. Clark

2003 Winner

Pioneering work on artificial organs, beginning with the kidney, thus launching a new field that is benefiting the lives of millions.
Dr. Willem J. Kolff

2001 Winners

Independent development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker.
Earl E. Bakken, Wilson Greatbatch

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