Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

2007 Fritz J. and Dolore H. Russ Prize Recipient Acceptance Remarks

The 2007 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ prize was presented to Dr. Yuan-Cheng "Bert" Fung "for the charcterization and modeling of human tissue mechanics and functio leading to prevention and mitigation of trauma". These remarks were delivered on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at the NAE Awards Dinner and Ceremony.


    I feel truly honored to be receiving the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize. Fritz graduated from Ohio University in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and immediately went to work for the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. and made many, many, accomplishments. His work was so distinguished that Ohio University honored him with an honorary doctorate. Fritz certainly enjoyed universal honors from all engineers.

    I was born and educated in China, came to the States in 1945, and received my PhD in aeronautics in 1948 from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. From 1948 to 1965 I was interested only in aeronautical engineering, with my research concentrated on the survival of airplanes and rockets in rough weather, turbulent clouds, or terrible terrains for landing. The science of the art of survival of aircraft in rough conditions is called the theory of aeroelasticity. I worked on aeroelasticity for 20 years. Then I turned to bioengineering, with focus on people, because I felt that although we know so much about airplanes, we don’t know much about ourselves. So finally, beginning in 1965, I decided to change my career to bioengineering. I resigned from Caltech and came to the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla, California and began to work on a subject of my heart’s desire. I really love that subject.

    Nationwide, the bioengineering field is blossoming in many directions. Many other leaders are doing much more important work with more important applications than myself. Dr. Wei Huang and I at UCSD are focusing our work on blood vessels. We welcome you, Dolores, to visit us in La Jolla. We will show you our lab and discuss our work with you. We want you to meet our people, and experience the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean protected by a warm current.

    Thank you.