Arun Phadke and James Thorp will receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering for their contributions to microprocessor controllers in electric power systems that have significantly decreased the occurrence and duration of power blackouts. For a complete award citation, see www.fi.edu/franklinawards/08/laureate_bf_electricaleng-phadke-thorp.html.
Nine individuals will be honored with Benjamin Franklin Medals on April 17 in Philadelphia, and two will be presented with prestigious Bower Awards. The Franklin Institute Awards, often a precursor to the Nobel Prize, are awarded for outstanding achievements that have directly and positively impacted and enhanced the quality of human life and deepened our understanding of the universe.
The issue of America’s competitive place in the global economy as driven by leadership in science and technology has recently attracted national attention from policy makers, business and community leaders, government officials, editors, writers and other thought leaders in this country. This makes the annual celebration of science tied to The Franklin Institute Awards particularly relevant in this election year.
The rich history and tradition of The Franklin Institute Awards Program dates back to 1824, when the Institute was established to train artisans and mechanics in the fundamentals of engineering and science. Past laureates have included Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, Jacques Cousteau, Gordon Moore and Jane Goodall. One hundred-eight Franklin laureates have won 110 Nobel prizes (two won twice) and more than 50 were recognized by The Franklin Institute prior to Nobel, often times decades before, for the same work. Spanning three centuries, this program is among the most widely known and effective awards programs in existence. Why? Because The Franklin Institute Awards Program changes lives by making science accessible and relevant to the lives of everyone, which is key to inspiring the next generation of great scientists and engineers who will invent the future.“The future economic success of our country depends on Americans outperforming the competition with smart people and innovative ideas. These exceptional individuals and their remarkable achievements do more than continue our 184-year-old-legacy.” said Dennis M. Wint, president and CEO of the Franklin Institute, “They serve as role models for our youth, helping ignite that spark of curiosity which has led to so many incredible discoveries and inventions.”