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Russ Prize

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

Awarded biennially by the National Academy of Engineering and Ohio University, the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize recognizes a bioengineering achievement in widespread use that improves the human condition. This achievement helps the public better understand and appreciate the contributions of engineers to our health, well-being and quality of life. Established in 1999 by the visionary namesakes of the Russ College of Engineering Technology at Ohio University, the Russ Prize encourages collaboration between the engineering, medical and biological disciplines and professions.

Awarded every other year, the $500,000 prize is named after 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. Recipients are selected by a committee comprised of NAE members and Ohio University officials.

Read about the 2019 Russ Prize recipients.

What is the 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 adviser 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.

The NAE was established in 1964 as an autonomous sister academy to the National Academy of Sciences, under its charter granted in 1863 during the Lincoln administration. NAE's purposes are to:

  • Promote public education and discussion of technology, trade, engineering, innovation, education and the impact that technology has on our society.
  • Advise the federal government, when called upon, on matters of national importance pertaining to engineering and technology.
  • Assist the changing technological and engineering needs of America and encourage engineering activities that are in the nation's interest.
  • Recognize outstanding contributions to the nation by leading engineers; and recognize outstanding engineers by electing them to membership in the NAE.
  • Promote public awareness of the role of engineering and technology.

Many of the nation's engineering and technology leaders in industry, government and universities are members of the NAE. Members are elected to the NAE on the basis of pioneering achievements in the development of new technologies, for important contributions in engineering practice and theory and for demonstrated leadership in the technology community. All engineering disciplines are represented by the NAE membership, which totals approximately 1,968 persons, including 154 foreign associates. More than half of the NAE's members are from industry and around 43 percent are from academia. Each year the NAE elects about 80 new members.

The NAE conducts and oversees a large number of programs whose common goal is to maintain and enhance the technological health of the country.

The NAE believes that the economic well-being of the United States is linked to the advancement of technology. The NAE has prepared reports on the role of technology in economic growth, the state of engineering education in the United States, ways to improve manufacturing productivity and the competitive status of various industries. The examinations have led the NAE to recommend new courses of action for government, industry and academia. The NAE also has focused on national space and environmental policies, as well as on engineering research priorities.

The NAE's many programs, along with those carried out within the National Research Council (see below), require the efforts of more than 400 NAE members every year, who give their time voluntarily and without compensation.

National Research Council

In addition to the NAE's independent program, a wide variety of studies are carried out by the National Research Council, the joint operating arm of the NAE and the National Academy of Sciences. With more than 1000 study committees, the Research Council conducts studies of national importance involving science and technology, whenever called upon by Congress or agencies of the federal government. More than 10,000 men and women serve on a volunteer basis on Research Council committees every year.

For additional information on the National Academy of Engineering, visit NAE.edu.