Russ Prize

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Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize
Gold medal with the heads of a man and a woman
A gold medal depicting Fritz and Dolores Russ
Awarded for Bioengineering
Date October 1999
Location Ohio
Country United States
Presented by United States National Academy of Engineering
Reward(s) US$500,000[1]
First awarded 2001
Last awarded 2011
Currently held by Graeme Clark
Erwin Hochmair
Ingeborg J. Hochmair-Desoyer
Michael M. Merzenich
Blake S. Wilson
Official website Official website

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize is an American national and international award established by the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in October 1999 in Athens, Ohio. Named after Fritz Russ, the founder of Systems Research Laboratories, and his wife Dolores Russ, it recognizes engineering achievement that "has had a significant impact on society and has contributed to the advancement of the human condition through widespread use." The award was instigated at the request of Ohio University to honor Fritz Russ, one of its alumni.[1]

The first Russ Prize was awarded to two people, Earl E. Bakken and Wilson Greatbatch, in 2001. After that, the prize has been awarded to one person every two years until 2011. Multiple winners were recognized in 2013 and 2015. The first non-Americans to receive the Russ Prize were three of the five co-winners honored in 2015.

Only living persons may receive the prize, and recipients of the Charles Stark Draper Prize are not eligible for the Russ Prize.[2] Members of the NAE, as well as non-members worldwide are able to receive the award.[1][3]

The winners are presented during the National Engineers Week in February and receive US$500,000, a gold medallion and a hand-scribed certificate.[1] The Russ Prize, the Gordon Prize and the Draper Prize, all awarded by the NAE, are known collectively as the "Nobel Prizes of Engineering".[4][5][6][7]


Earl E. Bakken was one of the first persons, along with Wilson Greatbatch, who received the Russ Prize.
Year Recipient(s) Nationality Reason Reference
2001 Bakken, Earl E.Earl E. Bakken and Greatbatch, WilsonWilson Greatbatch USA "for their independent development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker." [8]
2003 Kolff, Willem JohanWillem Johan Kolff USA "for his pioneering work on artificial organs, beginning with the kidney, thus launching a new field that is benefiting the lives of millions." [8]
2005 Clark, LelandLeland Clark USA "for bioengineering membrane-based sensors in medical, food, and environmental applications." [8]
2007 Fung, Yuan-ChengYuan-Cheng Fung USA "for the characterization and modeling of human tissue mechanics and function leading to prevention and mitigation of trauma." [8]
2009 Gaden, Elmer L.Elmer L. Gaden USA "for pioneering the engineering and commercialization of biological systems for large-scale manufacturing of antibiotics and other drugs." [8]
2011 Hood, Leroy E.Leroy E. Hood USA "for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science." [8]
2013 Blum, Samuel E.Samuel E. Blum, Srinivasan, RangaswamyRangaswamy Srinivasan and Wynne, James J.James J. Wynne USA "for the development of laser ablative decomposition, enabling LASIK and PRK eye surgery." [8]
2015 Clark, GraemeGraeme Clark, Hochmair, ErwinErwin Hochmair, Hochmair, IngeborgIngeborg Hochmair, Merzenich, Michael M.Michael M. Merzenich, and Wilson, Blake S.Blake S. Wilson Australia, Austria, Austria, USA and USA "for engineering cochlear implants that enable the deaf to hear." [8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize". NAE. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  2. ^ "History of the Russes and the Russ Prize". NAE. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  3. ^ "Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize Nomination Procedures". NAE. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  4. ^ "GPS, dialysis inventors win top awards". Chicago Tribune. 2003-02-19. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  5. ^ Laura A. Bischoff (2001-01-31). "First Russ Prize to be Awarded". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  6. ^ Rex Graham (2007-01-11). "Y.C. Fung Wins Russ Prize". Medical News Today. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  7. ^ "Leroy Hood wins 2011 Russ Prize". Ohio University. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Previous Recipients of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize". NAE. Retrieved 2015-03-02.