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Press Release 12-202

National Science Foundation Director Selected as 2013 Franklin Institute Laureate

Subra Suresh recognized for his mechanical engineering and materials science research

Photo of Subra Suresh, director of National Science Foundation.

NSF Director Subra Suresh
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October 22, 2012

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has selected National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Subra Suresh to receive the 2013 Benjamin Franklin medal for his research in mechanical engineering and materials science. The medal will be presented in April as part of the Franklin Institute's celebration of science, technology and business leadership.

Suresh, who is on leave from MIT where he holds the title of Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering, was selected for "outstanding contributions to our understanding of the mechanical behavior of materials in applications ranging from large structures down to the atomic level. This research also showed how deformation of biological cells can be linked to human disease."

He is one of eight laureates chosen for the 2013 Franklin Institute awards.

According to the Franklin Institute, the list of Franklin Institute Awards Laureates is a roster of science and technology's most important and influential names over the last two centuries, men and women who have deepened human knowledge at both the basic and the applied levels. This list includes such luminaries as Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Rudolph Diesel, Marie and Pierre Curie, Thomas Edison, Jane Goodall, Orville Wright, Stephen Hawking, and Jacques Cousteau.

Some 113 Franklin Institute Laureates have been awarded the Nobel Prizes to date.


Media Contacts
Dana Topousis, NSF, (703) 292-7750,

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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