excellence in engineering education
gordon medal


Dr. Wendy C. Newstetter

Dr. Joseph M. Le Doux

Dr. Paul J. Benkeser

Georgia Institute of Technology

For fusing problem-driven engineering education with learning science principles to create a pioneering program that develops leaders in biomedical engineering.



Mr. Simon Pitts

Dr. Michael B. Silevitch

Northeastern University

For developing an innovative method to provide graduate engineers with the necessary personal skills to become effective engineering leaders.



Dr. John P. Collier

Dr. Robert J. Graves

Dr. Joseph J. Helble

Dr. Charles E. Hutchinson

Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College

For creating an integrated program in engineering innovation from undergraduate through doctorate to prepare students for engineering leadership.


Dr. Richard K. Miller

Dr. David V. Kerns Jr.

Dr. Sherra E. Kerns

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

For guiding the creation of Olin College and its student-centered approach to developing effective engineering leaders.




Dean Richard F. Vaz

Dr. Kristin K. Wobbe

Dr. Diran Apelian

Dean Arthur C. Heinricher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

For a project-based engineering curriculum developing leadership, innovative problem-solving, interdisciplinary collaboration, and global competencies.


Dr. Julio M. Ottino
Dr. Paul G. Yock


Dr. Paul G. Yock

Stanford University

For the development and global dissemination of Biodesign, a biomedical technology program creating leaders and innovations that benefit patients.



Dr. Julio M. Ottino

Northwestern University

For an educational paradigm that merges analytical, rational left-brain skills with creative, expansive, right-brain skills to develop engineering leaders.



The 2021 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education


Since 2001 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has awarded the Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education to recognize new modalities and experiments in education that develop effective engineering leaders. The focus is on the development of engineering leadership skills that drive innovations such as curricular design, teaching methods, and technology-enabled learning that strengthen students’ capabilities. Gordon Prize recipients have transformed engineering education and inspired students to achieve at their highest level and become leaders with the vision to bring about tomorrow’s engineering breakthroughs.


Nominate at www.naeawardsonline.com


Congratulations to the 2020 recipient!

Congratulations to Professor David M. Kelley of Stanford University for formalizing the principles and curriculum of “design thinking” to develop innovative engineering leaders with empathy and creative confidence to generate high-impact solutions.


Mr. David M. Kelley

Faculty and students are invited to submit nominations online at: www.naeawardsonline.com


January 1–April 1, 2020


The NAE welcomes the nomination of individual educators or teams who are teaching and inspiring engineering students and preparing them for future leadership roles. Presented annually during the academic year at the winning institution, the Gordon Prize carries a cash award of $500,000, half granted to the recipient and half to the recipient’s institution to support the continued development, refinement, and dissemination of the recognized innovation.

The intent of the donor, Bernard Gordon, in endowing this prize was to enhance U.S engineering leadership, to foster the development of engineering leaders through innovative educational programs developed by U.S. institutions of learning in the U.S. (i.e., not an international satellite facility) and to increase U.S economic competitiveness. Accordingly, prize recipients must be US citizens or permanent residents who are currently and have been substantially engaged in the nominated engineering and scholastic work in institutions in the United States and the institution where the innovation was developed and which shares the prize with the innovators must be a U.S. institution located in the U.S. Nomination from international persons or organizations are welcome, but must be for U.S. innovators and institutions. NAE members and nonmembers are eligible.* The prize is awarded only to living persons.



Call for Nominations


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