Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, established in October 1999, is named after Fritz Russ, an esteemed engineer and founder of Systems Research Laboratories, and his wife Dolores Russ, a long-time supporter and benefactor of the engineering industry.
Key Contacts

description for russ medal revised 2010The NAE established the prize at the request of Ohio University to honor the Russes for their dedication to education and the field of engineering. Fritz Russ graduated from Ohio University in 1942 with a B.S. in electrical engineering.

The Russ Prize recognizes an outstanding bioengineering achievement in widespread use that improves the human condition. This achievement should help the public better understand and appreciate the contributions of engineers to our health, well-being and quality of life.  An auxiliary purpose of the Russ Prize is to encourage collaboration between the engineering and medical/biological professions to work closely together.

Awarded biennially (odd number years), the recipient receives a $500,000 cash award and a commemorative medallion. NAE members and non-members worldwide are eligible to receive the Russ Prize.



2023For the development of microwell arrays that greatly advanced the fields of genomics and proteomics
Dr. David R. Walt
2019For 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
2017For 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
2015For 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
2013For the development of laser ablative photodecomposition, enabling LASIK and PRK eye surgery.
Dr. Samuel E. Blum, Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan, Dr. James J. Wynne
2011Automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science.
Dr. Leroy E. Hood
2009For pioneering the engineering and commercialization of biological systems for large-scale manufacturing of antibiotics and other drugs.
Elmer L. Gaden
2007For the characterization and modeling of human tissue mechanics and function leading to prevention and mitigation of trauma.
Dr. Yuan-Cheng “Bert” Fung
2005For bioengineering membrane-based sensors in medical, food, and environmental applications.
Dr. Leland C. Clark
2003Pioneering work on artificial organs, beginning with the kidney, thus launching a new field that is benefiting the lives of millions.
Dr. Willem J. Kolff
2001Independent development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker.
Earl E. Bakken, Wilson Greatbatch