National Medal of Technology & Innovation

What do the cell phone, the catalytic converter and optical fiber have in common?

A Rutgers Engineering alumnus as co-inventor!  Three Rutgers Engineering alumni have been honored by the President of the United States with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for their significant contributions to these technologies that have literally changed our way of life. They are:

Richard Frenkiel (Master of Science in Engineering Technologies 1965) – for fundamental contributions to the theory, design and development of cellular mobile communications systems. While working as researchers at AT&T's Bell Labs, he and co-inventor Joel Engel played key roles in the creation of AMPS, the first cellular system. For their achievement, they were jointly awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1994 by former President Bill Clinton. The use of cellular telephones has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry and made it possible for us to communicate with each other anytime, anywhere.

Dr. Irwin Lachman (Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering 1952)– for pioneering work resulting in the design and manufacture of the cellular ceramic substrate for catalytic converters that enabled auto manufacturers to develop the first commercially mass-produced automotive catalytic converter. Together with fellow Corning Incorporated researchers Dr. Rodney Bagley and Ronald M. Lewis, he worked to create cordierite extruded honeycomb structures for catalytic converters – the world’s first significant pollution control for automobiles. Today, all automobiles made the world over are equipped with this device, which has reduced pollutants by more than three billion tons worldwide. Dr. Lachman and his co-inventors received the National Medal of Technology in 2003 from former President George W. Bush.

President William Clinton congratulates
Peter C. Schultz, Ph.D., upon receiving
the National Medal of Technology,
February 2000

Dr. Peter C. Schultz (Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering 1964 and Doctor of Philosophy in Ceramic Science 1967)– for co-inventing low-loss fiber optic cable together with Corning Incorporated fellow researchers, Drs. Donald B. Keck, Robert D. Maurer. This invention has enabled the telecommunications revolution and rapidly transformed our society, the way we work, learn and live - and our expectations for the future. It is the basis for one of the largest, most dynamic industries in the world today. Dr. Schultz received the National Medal of Technology in 2000 from former President Bill Clinton.