James J. Duderstadt Receives 2009 Robert Fletcher Award

The Robert Fletcher Award is given annually to a graduate or friend of Thayer School in recognition of distinguished achievement and service in the highest tradition of the School. The award is named in honor of Robert Fletcher, who was appointed by Sylvanus Thayer as the School's first professor of engineering and its first director (1871–1918). The Dean of Thayer School chooses each year's award recipient who then traditionally delivers Thayer School's Investiture speech.

Dr. James J. Duderstadt
Dr. James J. Duderstadt

The 2009 Robert Fletcher Award recipient is Dr. James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan.

A graduate of Yale (B.S. 1964) and the California Institute of Technology (M.S., Ph.D. 1967), Dr. Duderstadt joined the faculty at Michigan in 1968 and has served as dean of engineering and provost as well as president of the university. Dr. Duderstadt's teaching, research, and publishing activities include nuclear science and engineering, applied physics, computer simulation, science policy, and higher education. He has served on and chaired numerous boards and study commissions including the National Science Board, the National Academies of Science and Engineering, and various federal advisory committees in areas including nuclear energy, space science, atmospheric science, science policy, and science education.

Most recently he served as a member of the Spellings Commission and currently chairs the NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. Dr. Duderstadt has received numerous awards for his teaching, research, and service, including the nation's highest award, the National Medal of Technology. At the University of Michigan he currently directs the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Graduate Certificate Program as well as The Millennium Project, a research center exploring the impact of over-the-horizon technologies on society.