The Washington Award
Origins of Award
About Engineers Week
Selection of Recipient
Skip to Main Content
Early 1900's - Herbert C. Hoover
1919 – Herbert C. Hoover for his achievements as chairman, commission for relief of Belgium 1914-17 and food administrator of the United States 1917-18.
Early 1900's - Robert W. Hunt
1922 – Robert W. Hunt for his pioneer work in the development of the steel industry in the United States and for a life devoted to the advancement of the engineering profession.
Early 1900's - Arthur N. Talbot
1924 – Arthur N. Talbot for his life work as student and teacher, investigator and writer and for his enduring contribution to the science of engineering.
Early 1900's - Jonas Waldo Smith
1925 – Jonas Waldo Smith for the rare combination of vision, technical skill, administrative ability and courageous leadership in engineering.
Early 1900's - John Watson Alvord
1926 – John Watson Alvord for his pioneer work in developing the fundamental principles of public utility valuation and his marked contributions to sanitary science.
Early 1900's - Orville Wright
1927 – Orville Wright for fundamental scientific research and resultant successful airplane flight.
Early 1900's - Michael Idvorsky Pupin
1928 – Michael Idvorsky Pupin for devotion to scientific research leading to his inventions which have materially aided the development of long distance telephone and radio broadcasting.
Early 1900's - Bion Joseph Arnold
1929 – Bion Joseph Arnold for pioneering work in the engineering and economics of electrical transportation.
1930's - Mortimer Elwyn Cooley
1930 – Mortimer Elwyn Cooley for vision and constructive leadership in the education of the engineer.
1930's - Ralph Modjeski
1931 – Ralph Modjeski for his contribution to transportation through superior skill and courage in bridge design and construction.
1930's - William David Coolidge
1932 – William David Coolidge for his scientific spirit and achievement in developing ductile tungsten and the modern x-ray tube.
1930's - Ambrose Swasey
1935 – Ambrose Swasey for his distinguished contribution as a builder of instruments, institutions and men.
1930's - Charles Franklin Kettering
1936 – Charles Franklin Kettering for his high achievements in guiding industrial research toward the greater comfort, happiness and safety in the home and on the highway.
1930's - Frederick Gardner Cottrell
1937 – Frederick Gardner Cottrell for his social vision in dedicating, to the perpetuation of research, the rewards of his achievements in science and engineering.
1930's - Frank Baldwin Jewett
1938 – Frank Baldwin Jewett for inspiring and directing scientific research leading to improvements in the art of communications.
1930's - Daniel Webster Mead
1939 – Daniel Webster Mead for his superior contributions to sound theory, good practice and high ethical standards in the creation of engineering works, as an engineer and as a teacher.
1940's - Daniel Cowan Jackling
1940 – Daniel Cowan Jackling for pioneering in a large-scale mining and treatment of low-grade copper ores, releasing vast resources from formerly worthless deposits.
1940's - Ralph Budd
1941 – Ralph Budd for vision and courageous leadership in advancing the technological fronties of high speed railroad transportation.
1940's - William Lamont Abbott
1942 – William Lamont Abbott for advancing the standards of the engineering profession and aiding combustion research.
1940's - Andrey Abraham Potter
1943 – Andrey Abraham Potter for distinguished leadership in engineering education and research and patriotic service in mobilizing technical knowledge for victory in war and peace.
1940's - Henry Ford
1944 – Henry Ford for pioneer development of mass production of low cost automotive transportation which revolutionized the way of life.
1940's - Arthur Holly Compton
1945 – Arthur Holly Compton for his research and teaching in the physical sciences, increasing knowledge of the action of x-rays and cosmic rays.
1940's - Vannevar Bush
1946 – Vannevar Bush for outstanding leadership in organizing and directing scientific resources of the nation toward victory in World War II.
1940's - Karl Taylor Compton
1947 – Karl Taylor Compton for progressive administration of engineering education, for leadership in research, and for advancement of American industry in technology.
1940's - Ralph Edward Flanders
1948 – Ralph Edward Flanders for highly technical skill in perfecting the tools of the industry and distinguished service in the field of human relationships.
1940's - John Lucian Savage
1949 – John Lucian Savage for unselfish public service devoted to the creation of monumental hydraulic structures utilizing natural resources.
1950's - Wilfred Sykes
1950 – Wilfred Sykes for invention of electrical machines and steel processes for advances in industrial administration and cooperation for counsel to state and college.
1950's - Edwin Howard Armstrong
1951 – Edwin Howard Armstrong for outstanding inventions basic to radio transmission and reception, and notable service to his country.
1950's - Henry Townley Heald
1952 – Henry Townley Heald for distinguished leadership in engineering education in industrial technology in scientific research and in civic affairs.
1950's - Gustav Egloff
1953 – Gustav Egloff for distinguished leadership in petroleum research and development in professional activities and in community service.
1950's - Lillian Moller Gilbreth
1954 – Lillian Moller Gilbreth for her outstanding contributions to engineering and scientific management, for her unselfish devotion to the problems of the disabled.
1950's - Charles Erwin Wilson
1955 – Charles Erwin Wilson for significant leadership in engineering and management and for altruistic devotion to national defense.
1950's - Robert E. Wilson
1956 - Robert E. Wilson for unusual dedication of leadership through science and engineering to the advancement of research, industry, education and public affairs.
1950's - Walker Lee Cisler
1957 – Walker Lee Cisler for outstanding and untiring service to his country by making the world a better place to live through electric power.
1950's - Ben Moreell
1958 – Ben Moreell for distinguished service as a skilled engineer, outstanding naval officer, industrialist, Christian layman and Hoover Commission associate.
1950's - James R. Killian, Jr.
1959 – James R. Killian, Jr. for exceptional leadership and achievement in scientific and technological education and distinguished service to his country.
1960's - Herbert Payne Sedwick
1960 – Herbert Payne Sedwick for leadership and achievement in electric and gas utilities, for true service in educational and humanitarian fields, and for developing young engineers.
1960's - William V. Kahler
1961 – William V. Kahler for exceptional leadership in advancement of communications, for distinguished service in civic affairs and for aid to education and humanity.
1960's - Alexander C. Monteith
1962 – Alexander C. Monteith for outstanding contributions in power generation and utilization and distinguished service to education and development.
1960's - Philip Sporn
1963 – Philip Sporn for pioneering leadership in the technology of power generation and distribution and for distinguished service to education and to his government.
1960's - John Slezak
1964 – John Slezak for inspiring leadership in the field of engineering management, for distinguished and dedicated service to education to the American way of life and his country.
1960's - Glenn Theodore Seaborg
1965 – Glenn Theodore Seaborg for leadership in scientific education and for inspiring and directing major developments in nuclear power for peaceful uses of the atom.
1960's - Augustus Braun Kinzel
1966 – Augustus Braun Kinzel for advancing the role of the engineer in industry and education and developing the National Academy of Engineering.
1960's - Frederick Lawson Hovde
1967 Frederick Lawson Hovde for his vision and leadership in coordinating the engineering and scientific resources of the nation with the national defense and for continuing contributions to engineering education.
1960's - James B. Fisk
1968 – James B. Fisk for distinguished leadership in the field of aerospace communications and for notable service to his country.
1960's - Nathan M. Newmark
1969 – Nathan M. Newmark for specific contribution to the advancement of engineering knowledge of structures subjected to earthquake or blast and for inspiration to others in improving the environment.
1970's - H.G. Rickover
1970 – H.G. Rickover for unique and determined leadership in the development and application of nuclear energy to ship propulsion and the generation of electricity; and for his zeal for excellence in higher education.
1970's - William L. Everitt
1971 – William L. Everitt for his exceptional leadership and innovation in engineering education, for distinguished contributions to science and the advancement of the engineering profession and meritorious service to society.
1970's - Thomas Otten Paine
1972 – Thomas Otten Paine for his contribution to the advancement of human progress through the application of engineering, science and economics and his leadership of the Apollo program, and one of history’s greatest scientific engineering and exploration achievements.
1970's - John A. Volpe
1973 – John A. Volpe for outstanding service to his country as Governor and United States Cabinet Secretary and for his dedication, leadership and achievements in transportation.
1970's - John D. deButts
1974 – John D. deButts for distinguished leadership in the advancement of American communications, a vital national resource.
1970's - David Packard
1975 – David Packard for pioneering contributions to the electronics industry, dedicated service to our country, his community and higher education.
1970's - Ralph B. Peck
1976 – Ralph B. Peck for eminent international leadership in, and pioneering contributions to, soil mechanics and foundation engineering practice, education and research, and distinguished service to all people.
1970's - Michael Tenenbaum
1977 – Michael Tenenbaum for distinguished achievements in the steel industry and dedicated service in the interests of the welfare of all.
1970's - Dixy Lee Ray
1978 – Dixy Lee Ray in recognition of significant scientific accomplishments and dedicated service through education and government.
1970's - Marvin Camras
1979 – Marvin Camras, in recognition of significant engineering research and inventions in the field of electronic communications, which have added to human welfare and happiness.
1980's - Neil A. Armstrong
1980 – Neil A. Armstrong for dedicated application of engineering principles to the expansion of man’s knowledge and horizons.
1980's - John E. Swearingen
1981 – John E. Swearingen for farsighted petroleum industry leadership emphasizing domestic energy resource development and fostering opportunities for minority individuals and enterprises.
1980's - Manson Benedict
1982 – Manson Benedict for his key role in the development of technologies and educational programs for the safe and economic generation of electricity from nuclear fission.
1980's - John Bardeen
1983 – John Bardeen for his outstanding engineering leadership in research and development in solid state and low temperature physics and for service to higher education and to our country.
1980's - Robert W. Galvin
1984- Robert W. Galvin for his commitment to excellence, vision, and leadership in the electronics industry, in the education of youth, and in the understanding private enterprise system.
1980's - Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr.
1985 – Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. for his skillful, foresighted and efficient leadership in construction and engineering worldwide and dedication to the engineering profession and education.
1980's - Mark Shepherd, Jr.
1986 – Mark Shepherd, Jr. for leading the development and mass production of transistors and integrated circuits and bringing to mankind the benefits to their many applications.
1980's - Grace Murray Hopper
1987 – Grace Murray Hopper for her pioneering work in developing the first computer language, the first compiler, and the first language compiler, extending the benefits of the computer revolution to experts and lay persons alike.
1980's - James McDonald
1988 – James McDonald for his role in improving the quality of American products through advanced engineering technology.
1980's - Sherwood L. Fawcett
1989 – Sherwood L. Fawcett for his outstanding work in applying science in the service of mankind and his many years of innovative contributions to industry, business, government and education.
1990's - John H. Sununu
1990- John H. Sununu for his contributions as an engineer, inventor, and educator as well as governor of New Hampshire and White House chief of staff.
1990's - Frank Borman
1991 – Frank Borman for his lifelong commitment to aviation and space as commander of the Apollo mission that circled the moon and for his achievements as chairman of Eastern Airlines.
1990's - Leon M. Lederman
1992 – Leon M. Lederman for his contributions to the study of high energy physics.
1990's - William States Lee
1993 – William States Lee for his contributions to safe operations of nuclear power plants.
1990's - Kenneth H. Olson
1994 – Kenneth H. Olson for his development of Digital Equipment Corporation into the world’s leading manufacturer of network computer systems and equipment.
1990's - George W. Housner
1995 – George W. Housner for his leadership in promoting protection of life and property through rigorous seismology research and design applications of predicted structural response.
1990's - Wilson Greatbatch
1996 – Wilson Greatbatch for his invention of the implantable cardiac pacemaker , which has conferred widespread benefit on humanity.
1990's - Frank Kreith
1997 – Frank Kreith for his inventions, research and applications of science to technology that serves humanity.
1990's - John R. Conrad
1998 – John R. Conrad for distinguished leadership in the electrical power industry and exceptional commitment to urban development.
1990's - Jack S. Kilby
1999 – Jack S. Kilby for his distinguished electronics career, including the invention of the monolithic integrated circuit which was the foundation for modern electrics.
2000's - Donna Shirley
2000 – Donna Shirley For her lifelong commitment to aerospace engineering and for her leadership as Manager of the Mars Exploration Program that resulted in successful missions to Mars with the landing of the Pathfinder and Sojourner Rover on the planet and the insertion into orbit of the Mars Global Surveyor.
2000's - Bob Frankston
2001 – Bob Frankston For his invention with Dan Bricklin of the first computer spreadsheet program, which led to the proliferation of the computer industry, which in turn led to the economic expansion of the late 20th century.
2000's - Dan Bricklin
2001 – Dan Bricklin For his invention with Bob Frankston of the first computer spreadsheet program, which led to the proliferation of the computer industry, which in turn led to the economic expansion of the late 20th Century.
2000's - Richard J. Robbins
2002 – Richard J. Robbins For his innovation as the developer of the modern tunnel boring machine which has become the world-wide standard method of long rock tunnel excavation. The decrease in costs and danger of rock tunneling with this machine have led directly to a major increase in tunneling for the public good in transportation, sanitation, power and water supply throughout the world.
2000's - Eugene A. Cernan
2003 – Eugene A. Cernan For demonstrating human’s capacity for space flight and performance on the moon, as well as contributing to mankind’s knowledge of the moon through invaluable research while on the lunar surface.
2000's - Nick Holonyak, Jr., PhD
2004 – Nick Holonyak For his pioneering contributions to the development of power silicon electronics and invention of the first semi-conducting light-emitting diodes in a visible part of the spectrum.
2000's - Robert S. Langer
2005 – Robert S. Langer For his extraordinary contributions to biomedical engineering and biomaterial design, including his pioneering work in the field of controlled drug release delivery systems, specifically for the treatment of cancer.
2000's - Henry Petroski
2006 – Henry Petroski For his accomplishments in writing which have made the practice of engineering understandable to the general public.
2000's - Michael J. Birck
2007 – Michael J. Birck For his achievements and leadership in revolutionizing the telecommunications industry around the world. In addition, he is being recognized for contributions to engineering research, education and outreach through his involvement with universities, high schools, and museums.
2000's - Dean Kamen
2008 – Dean Kamen For his numerous contributions and innovations to society and for expanding the frontiers of healthcare worldwide. He is an inventor, entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology.
2000's - Clyde N. Baker Jr.
2009 – Clyde N. Baker For his international reputation in the design and construction of deep foundations.
2010 - Dr. Alvy Ray Smith
2010 – Alvy Ray For recognition of his seminal contributions to computer color systems, the advancement of computer graphics, and fundamental changes in the motion picture and visual arts, and for use of engineering to enhance the enjoyment of life.
2010 - Dr. Martin C. Jischke
2011 – Martin C. Jischke For his dedication and leadership at Purdue University and other academic institutions in promoting engineering research, institutional development and the pursuit of excellence in education.
2010 - Martin Cooper
2012 – Martin Cooper For contributions to the technology of personal wireless communications.
2010 - Kristina M. Johnson
2013 – Kristina Johnson For her contributions in optics, engineering education, service as an Under Secretary in the Department of Energy, and her innovative leadership in energy.
2010 - William S. Nye
2014 – William Nye For fostering a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.
2010 - Dr. Bernard Amadei, PhD, NAE
2015 – Bernard Amadei For engineering a better world, one well, one bridge, one community at a time.
2010 - Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson
2016 - Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson for creating Space orbiting systems to enhance Science knowledge for the betterment of mankind and for human exploration.
Current Recipient - Charles W. Hull
2017 - Mr. Charles W. Hull for his invention of stereolithography and its endless applications toward the betterment of society.
Award Recipient of 2017