National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2021 Simon Ramo Founders and Arthur M. Bueche Awards


Fri, October 01, 2021

Washington D.C., October 01, 2021 —

On Sunday, Oct. 3, during the 2021 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) will present two awards for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession. The Simon Ramo Founders Award will be presented to William A. Wulf for his research contributions and leadership in engineering. The Arthur M. Bueche Award will be given to John P. Holdren for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation.

William A. Wulf is a University Professor Emeritus — one of only 13 University Professors of 2,500 faculty members — and AT&T Professor of Engineering (emeritus) in the computer science department of the University of Virginia (UVA). He served as president of the National Academy of Engineering from 1996–2007, on leave from UVA. 

Prior to joining UVA, Wulf was an assistant director of the National Science Foundation, responsible for computing research, the national supercomputer centers, and the NSFnet —predecessor to the internet as we know it now. Before that he founded and was CEO of Tartan Laboratories, a software company in Pittsburgh that was based on research he did while on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University. He has conducted research in computer architecture, programming languages, optimizing compilers, and computer security.

Wulf is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Philosophical Society, eminent member of Eta Kappa Nu, corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain, past trustee of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), and a foreign member of the Engineering Academy of Japan, Russian Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering of Venezuela. He is also a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds honorary doctorates from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Connecticut, Colorado School of Mines, New York Polytechnic University, and Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is the recipient of the ACM Policy Award and ACM Karl Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Ralph Coats Roe Medal, and the American Association of Engineering Societies Kenneth Andrew Roe Award. He has authored over 100 papers and technical reports and three books, holds two U.S. patents, and has supervised over 25 Ph.D. students in computer science.

His extensive engagement in activities of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine includes chairmanship of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (1992–96) and the newly formed Division Committee on Engineering and Physical Sciences (2001–07), and membership on the Issues in Science and Technology editorial board and the advisory committee for the Engineering Ethics Center (2007–13), which he was instrumental in establishing at the NAE.

John P. Holdren is a research professor in Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and co-director of the science, technology, and public policy program in the school’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He retired in June from positions as the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Kennedy School, professor of environmental science and policy in the department of Earth and planetary sciences, and affiliated professor in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

From 2009 to 2017, Holdren was President Obama’s science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His responsibilities included advising the president on all science and technology (S&T) issues bearing on the national agenda, including energy and climate change, the oceans and the Arctic, and the space program. He also had major responsibilities around national R&D budgets and interagency S&T programs, and in developing initiatives in STEM education; advancing scientific integrity and openness in government; and representing the U.S. government in interactions with the science and engineering community. 

Before joining the Harvard faculty in 1996, he was a physicist in the Magnetic Fusion Energy Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; senior research fellow at Caltech in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Caltech Environmental Quality Laboratory; and co-founder and co-leader, for 23 years, of the interdisciplinary, graduate-degree-granting Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. In an advisory capacity, he has served on the board of the MacArthur Foundation (1991–2005), the NAS Committee on International Security and Arms Control (chair, 1994–2005), and President Clinton’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (1994–2001).

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a foreign member of both the Royal Society of London and the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His honors include a MacArthur Prize Fellowship (1981), the Volvo International Environment Prize (1993), Tyler Prize for Environment (2000), Heinz Prize for Public Policy (2001), AAPSS Moynihan Prize (2018), and Order of the Rising Sun from the government of Japan (2019). In 1995 he gave the acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.



Founded in 1964, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Its mission is to advance the welfare and prosperity of the nation by providing independent advice on matters involving engineering and technology, and by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and public appreciation of engineering.

Deborah M. Young
Contact Deborah M. Young
Program Officer, Awards Program
National Academy of Engineering
NAE awards founders Bueche