Stanford Engineering Heroes

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The Stanford Engineering Heroes program recognizes the achievements of Stanford engineers who have profoundly advanced the course of human, social and economic progress through engineering.

Because engineers often work behind the scenes, the Heroes program's objective is to highlight the profound effect engineering has on our everyday lives and to inspire the next generation of engineers. Twenty-three engineers – selected from among alumni and former faculty by a panel of distinguished subject-matter experts and technology historians – have been named as Heroes since the program began in 2010.

DEC 4, 2013 
Stanford School of Engineering Names New Engineering Heroes 
Six Stanford engineers and scientists honored for their impact on our lives and the world.

Heroes - Tabs

Kenneth Arrow

Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow, who got his start in operations research, was one of the first economists to note the existence of a learning curve. He has shown that under certain conditions an economy reaches a general equilibrium. In 1972, together with Sir John Hicks, he won the Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering contributions to general equilibrium theory and welfare theory. Arrow is the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor Emeritus of Operations Research (now part of Management Science and Engineering). Arrow has served on the economics faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard University and Stanford. He has received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Medal, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. He received a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.

Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin co-founded web-search giant Google Inc. in 1998 with fellow Stanford student Larry Page. A key innovation behind the company was their "PageRank" algorithm that calculated the relevance of a web page to the user's query based in part on the number of other pages that linked to it. Today, Brin directs Google’s special projects, developing Glass and driverless cars. Brin has a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics and computer science from the University of Maryland at College Park and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Irmgaard Flugge-Lotz

Irmgard Flügge-Lotz (1903-1974), Stanford's first female professor of engineering, was internationally renowned for her many important contributions to aerodynamics and to automatic control theory. A professor of Applied Mechanics and of Aeronautics and Astronautics, emeritus, she was the first woman elected as a fellow by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and received the Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers. She was also a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a member of Sigma Xi, and a member of the advisory boards of several scientific journals. Flügge-Lotz published more than 50 technical papers and wrote two books. She received a diploma of engineering and a doctor of engineering degree from Technische Hochschule in Hanover, Germany. 

Edward Ginzton

Edward Ginzton (1915-1998), co-founder of Varian Associates, was a pioneer in development of the Klystron radio tube for use in radar and linear accelerators. During World War II, Ginzton worked with a Stanford team hired to employ the klystron in radar, which played an important role in the war. Ginzton later joined brothers Sigurd and Russell Varian, who invented the klystron, to form Varian Associates, which became the world leader in medical linear accelerators and played a major role in Silicon Valley's early development. As a Stanford professor of electrical engineering and applied physics, Ginzton led a Stanford team that designed the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. He received the IEEE Medal of Honor, and was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California-Berkeley, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford.

Larry Page

Larry Page is chief executive officer and co-founder of Google Inc., the world’s dominant web-search company. While pursuing a PhD at Stanford, Page and fellow student Sergey Brin developed a "PageRank" algorithm that calculated the relevance of a web page to the user's query based in part on the number of other pages that linked to it. They launched Google in 1998 with Page as the company’s first CEO. From 2001 to 2011, Page was president of products, then resumed responsibility for day-to-day operations as CEO. Page holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Sally Ride

Sally Ride (1951-2012) was the first American woman to fly in space. She became widely known for her passionate advocacy for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. She served on the commissions investigating the Challenger explosion in 1986 and the Columbia disaster in 2003. Ride was a professor of physics at the University of California-San Diego and director of the California Space Institute. She founded Sally Ride Science to motivate girls and boys to study science and to explore careers in STEM. She also co-wrote seven science books for children. Ride was a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, and the National Research Council's Space Studies Board. She was a fellow of the American Physical Society, and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2013. Ride earned bachelor degrees in physics and English, and master’s and doctoral degrees in physics, all from Stanford.

Kenneth Arrow

Craig Barrett

Andreas Bechtolsheim

John A. Blume

Sergey Brin

Vint Cerf


Morris Chang

James H. Clark

George Dantzig

Ray Dolby

William F. Durand

David Filo

Irmgaard Flugge-Lotz

Edward Ginzton

Martin Hellman

William Hewlett

Donald Knuth

Charles Litton

Theodore Maiman

John McCarthy

David Packard

Larry Page

Bradford Parkinson

William J. Perry

Calvin Quate

Sally Ride

Fred Terman

Stephen Timoshenko

Jerry Yang