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The nine Franklin Institute Awards Laureates. Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute.
The nine Franklin Institute Awards Laureates. Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute.

The 2023 Franklin Institute Award recipients have been announced

The Franklin Institute has honored individuals who make remarkable achievements in science, engineering, and business leadership with the award since 1824.

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The Franklin Institute recently announced the nine recipients of the 2023 Franklin Institute Awards. These awards are given to individuals “for their extraordinary scientific, engineering, and business leadership achievements.”

The 2023 Franklin Institute Awards Laureates are:

Deb Niemeier, P.E., Ph.D., NAE, University of Maryland, College Park

Niemeier is receiving the 2023 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science “for pioneering the advancement and application of knowledge at the intersections among infrastructure, environment, public health, and equity through groundbreaking research on transportation systems and climate-related hazards.” 

This award comes with a $250,000 cash prize.

Niemeier is currently a Clark Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland and the Director of the Center for Disaster Resilience, also at the university. 

She has a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington, a MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Maine, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck & Co., Inc., Retired; General Catalyst

Frazier is receiving the 2023 Bower Award for Business Leadership “for his distinguished tenure leading Merck & Co., one of the world’s most innovative healthcare companies, including driving breakthrough developments in immuno-oncology, and for his authoritative voice for social equity and expanded access to quality affordable healthcare in underserved communities.”

Frazier is the co-founder and co-chair of OneTen. He is also the former President and CEO of Merck. 

He earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. 

Monika Schleier-Smith, Ph.D., Stanford University
Schleier-Smith is going to receive the 2023 Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award “for groundbreaking research elucidating fundamental properties of matter and energy by using ultracold atoms and their interactions with light.”

She is currently an Associate Professor of Physics at Stanford University. 

Schleier-Smith has a Ph.D. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Art in Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics from Harvard University. 

Richard N. Zare, Ph.D., Stanford University 

Zare is going to receive the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry “for fundamental studies of the dynamics of chemical reactions, including the development of techniques to observe molecules as they react.”

He earned a Ph.D. in chemical physics and a BA in chemistry and physics from Harvard University. 

Zare is the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Natural Science and a Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University.

Barbara H. Liskov, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Liskov is receiving the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science “for seminal contributions to computer programming languages and methodology, enabling the implementation of reliable, reusable programs.”

She is currently an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the head of Programming Methodology Group.

R. Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Edwards is receiving the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science “for fundamental advances in high-precision methods for dating geologic records of climate change, leading to a more detailed understanding of the earth’s climate system over the past million years.”

He is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor and the George and Orpha Gibson Chair of Earth Systems Science at the University of Minnesota. 

He has a master’s degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Michigan. He also holds bachelor degrees in Art and Architecture and in Earth and Planetary Sciences. 

Nader Engheta, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Engheta will be receiving the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering “for transformative innovations in engineering novel materials that interact with electromagnetic waves in unprecedented ways, with broad applications in ultrafast computing and communication technologies.”

Engheta has been a H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor at the University of Pennsylvania for 35 years. 

He has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran. 

Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Fuchs is receiving the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science “for elucidating the genetics of skin diseases and mechanisms that guide skin renewal, yielding insights into aging, inflammation, and cancer.”

She earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Princeton University and B.S. in chemistry from University of Illinois. 

She is currently a Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor Investigatorat the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Fuchs is also a professor of mammalian cell biology and development at The Rockefeller University.

Philip Kim, Ph.D., Harvard University
Kim will be receiving the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics “for pioneering discoveries in the new science of materials composed of single-atom-thick layers, opening the door to a vast array of new technologies.”

He earned a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Harvard University and a BS in Physics at Seoul National University. 

Kim is a Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University.

"We are proud to continue The Franklin Institute's longtime legacy of recognizing individuals for their contributions to humanity. These extraordinary advancements in areas of such importance as social equity, sustainability, and safety are significantly moving the needle in the direction of positive change and therefore laying the groundwork for a remarkable future," said Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute. 

The awards have been handed out in some form since 1824. Past laureates include Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Jane Goodall. 

The Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony will be held on April 27, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. at The Franklin Institute. 

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