Jan D. Achenbach, Walter P. Murphy Professor and Distinguished McCormick School Professor of the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, was awarded the 2003 National Medal of Technology March 14 at the White House.
President Bush presented him with the nation’s highest honor for technological innovation at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
"All of you have been blessed with great talent and you have applied your talent to great purposes. Your work is making our country more competitive, more hopeful and more prosperous,'' Bush said. "Many of your breakthroughs are changing entire industries, from airline safety to chemical production, to computer software and networking.''
A gala dinner sponsored by the National Medals of Science and Technology Foundation was held that evening in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Ballroom. Achenbach was honored for seminal contributions to engineering research and education and for pioneering ultrasonic methods for the detection of cracks and corrosion in aircraft, leading to improved safety for aircraft structures.