Frances Arnold Receives 2017 Robert Fletcher Award

April 17, 2017

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.

Frances Arnold is the Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology, where her work focuses on protein engineering by directed evolution, with applications in energy, chemicals, and medicine.

Her work has been recognized by the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research (2017), the Millennium Technology Prize (2016), the Eni Prize in Renewable and Nonconventional Energy (2013), and the Charles Stark Draper Prize (2011). She was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011 and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. She is an elected member of the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Prof. Arnold has honorary doctorates from Stockholm University, the ETH Zurich, and the University of Chicago. She chairs the Advisory Panel of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships in Science and Engineering program and serves as a judge for the Queen Elizabeth Prize in Engineering. Arnold holds more than 55 US patents and is active in technology transfer. She has a BS in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a PhD in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley.