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Developer of advanced computing memory, father of biochemical engineering, and innovative engineering educators win highest engineering honors of 2009
Date:1/5/2009

WASHINGTON -- The engineering profession's highest honors for 2009, presented by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), recognize three achievements that helped the expansion of computing power; led to the widespread production of antibiotics; and developed unique entrepreneurial-themed curricula for engineers.

ROBERT H. DENNARD will receive the prestigious Charles Stark Draper Prize -- a $500,000 annual award that honors engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society -- "for his invention and contributions to the development of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), used universally in computers and other data processing and communication systems."

ELMER GADEN will receive the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize -- a $500,000 biennial award that recognizes a bioengineering achievement which significantly improves the human condition -- "for pioneering the engineering of biological reactors for large-scale, low-cost production of antibiotics and other drugs."

TOM BYERS and TINA SEELIG will share the Bernard M. Gordon Prize -- a $500,000 award issued annually that recognizes innovation in engineering and technology education -- "for pioneering, continually developing, and tirelessly disseminating technology entrepreneurship education resources for engineering students and educators around the world."

The prizes will be presented at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17, 2009.

THE CHARLES STARK DRAPER PRIZE

Robert Dennard's invention of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) using one-transistor cells paved the way for the worldwide explosion of computing.

DRAM is a form of computer memory that puts bits of data into capacitors energy-storage devices within a miniaturized electronic circuit and periodically recharges the capacitors so that the information in them is not lost. His one-transistor design was a vast improvement over the six-transistor cell in us
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Contact: Nathan Kahl
nkahl@nae.edu
202-334-2226
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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