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Dr. Roderic Ivan Pettigrew, PhD, MD
2019 Arthur M. Bueche Award Winner
Good afternoon, everyone, and to President John Anderson, Chairman Gordon England, Awards Committee Chairperson Maxine Savitz, and Past President Dan Mote, who called to inform me of this committee decision.
I am so deeply appreciative of this wonderful and historic award. To the committee, Dr. Savitz, and all those involved in the committee’s deliberative process, I thank you. To the nominators and supporters—no doubt some in this audience—I thank you. To my 35 years of colleagues along the way across industry and three institutions—I thank you all. In particular, I thank
Though I did not personally know Arthur Bueche, I have marveled at his history and his professional life. An international statesman for engineering, a steadfast advocate for science and technology, an advisor to the government and academia, a top-level industrial executive, and an innovator relentlessly focused on the application of research to societal needs.… He was truly a man for all seasons.
What a humbling experience to receive an award named in recognition of such a person, and what a great honor for one’s life work to be recognized by colleagues and peers.
All of us are privileged to work in a field that contributes so profoundly to the betterment and quality of life on this planet. In fact, engineering has indeed been transformative for the global society—we know this. Modern medicine, for example, simply would not be possible without engineering, and the same can be said for all sectors of society.
Moreover, what the future holds is staggering to consider. There is realistic hope to meet currently daunting challenges, such as
These challenges can be addressed through converged approaches with engineering playing the role of catalyzing discovery and translating discoveries into practical advances that improve well-being. This is our imperative and our responsibility—we embrace this.
In sum, for health care, engineering medicine can help achieve the overarching goal of good health for the entirety of our lives.
I would like to acknowledge my family in the audience and at home. Critical family commitments prevented the attendance of Robin and Rory Pettigrew, my immediate and dedicated support system. But with me are my dear cousin Denisha Willis, adopted sister Lillian Ashley, and NIH colleagues Drs. Peter Basser, Shadi Mamaghani, Bruce Tromberg, and Michael Cheetham (formerly of the State Department and now at NIH), and my new TAMU colleague Dr Cynthia Hipwell. I also must recognize my deceased parents, Edwina and CW Pettigrew. If they were here today, I can assure you that they would be among the proudest of persons in this galaxy. But more than proud, they would be most pleased to know that the profession I have entered is so meaningful and has brought so much good to so many.
I do thank you all.