National Academy Honors Engineers

The US National Academy of Engineering has awarded the following prizes for 2007. All of the information below and more details can be found on  NAE’s website.

Timothy J. Berners-Lee will receive the prestigious Charles Stark Draper Prize — a $500,000 annual award that honors engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society — “for developing the World Wide Web.”

 

Berners-Lee demonstrated a high level of technical imagination in inventing this system to organize and display information on the Internet.  He devised a number of innovations:

  • The uniform resource identifier (URI), which is used to identify or name a particular resource on the Internet. 
  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML), which provides structure to text-based information on the Web.  With HTML, text is not restricted to a linear format; it can contain links to text, images, or objects in Web documents located elsewhere. 

  • One-way and universal hyperlinks that can point anywhere on the Web, a simple but profound difference from other proposals at that time. 

  • HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which conveys or transfers information over the Internet.

 

Yuan-Cheng “Bert” Fung will receive the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize — a $500,000 biennial award recognizing engineering achievement that significantly improves the human condition — “for the characterization and modeling of human tissue mechanics and function leading to prevention and mitigation of trauma.”

Fung’s theories on the mechanical properties and functions of blood cells and capillary blood vessels have led our understanding of microcirculation, endothelial biology, and atherosclerosis.  His “sheet-flow” theory provided a quantitative description of pulmonary circulation, hypertension, edema, and respiratory distress syndrome.  Problems related to severe thorax impact injuries have been solved by Fung’s “stress wave propagation” theory.  Morphometric data worked out by Fung on coronary blood vessels, pulmonary vascular tree, and intestines have proved invaluable for theoretical analyses.  His quantitative methods for characterizing stress-strain behavior of human tissue — now known as quantitative biomechanics — have led to fundamental advances in understanding how tissues interact with dynamic environments.

 

Harold S. Goldberg, Jerome E. Levy, and Arthur W. Winston will share the Bernard M. Gordon Prize — a $500,000 award issued annually that recognizes innovation in engineering and technology education — “for the development of a multidisciplinary graduate program for engineering professionals who have the potential and the desire to be engineering leaders.”

 

Conceived and funded by Bernard M. Gordon, the Gordon Institute was established with the efforts of Harold S. Goldberg, Jerome E. Levy, and Arthur W. Winston.  Its first class graduated in 1987.  Goldberg shepherded the concept through the evaluation and acceptance phases and obtained a charter.  Goldberg and Levy led the development of the curriculum and recruited faculty; Goldberg was instrumental in the development of engineering project methodology courses.  Winston, current director of the Gordon Institute, worked with Goldberg and Levy to define the mission, curriculum, and policies of the school, and to prepare it for accreditation.  He was also responsible for developing and teaching advanced technological methodology for product development.

 

 

Abul Hussamreceives 2007 Grainger Challenge Prize Gold Award — a $1,000,000 competition prize for an innovative solution to removing arsenic from drinking water.

 

Abul Hussam, an associate professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., receives the Grainger Challenge Gold Award of $1 million for his SONO filter, a household water treatment system. Hussam was born in Kushtia, Bangladesh. He graduated in Chemistry (B.S. Honors and M.S.) from the University of Dhaka and earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He has published and presented more than 90 scientific papers in international journals, proceedings, and books. Hussam has established an environmental research laboratory in Kushtia and is actively engaged in educating the public on the nature of present and future environmental crises.

 

The Gold Award-winning SONO filter is a point-of-use method for removing arsenic from drinking water. A top bucket is filled with locally available coarse river sand and a composite iron matrix (CIM). The sand filters coarse particles and imparts mechanical stability, while the CIM removes inorganic arsenic. The water then flows into a second bucket where it again filters through coarse river sand, then wood charcoal to remove organics, and finally through fine river sand and wet brick chips to remove fine particles and stabilize water flow. The SONO filter is now manufactured and used in Bangladesh.

 

A significant aspect of reviewing the finalists for the Grainger Challenge Prize was physical testing of the candidate systems.

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