The Pupin Medal was created by the Columbia Engineering School
Alumni Association in 1958, the centennial year of the birth of Michael
I. Pupin (1858-1935), American physicist and inventor who was professor of
electro-mechanics at the Columbia Engineering School from 1901 to
Dr. Pupin, who was born in the former Yugoslavia, is remembered
for his pioneering inventions in communications and for his research on
X-rays. The Pupin Physics Laboratories building at Columbia is named for
him. Among his many epochal inventions is the celebrated "Pupin coil" which
greatly lengthened the range of the long distance telephone. The Pupin
Medal is presented in recognition of "Distinguished Service to the Nation
in Engineering, Science or Technology."
Past Pupin Medalists
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- 1958 - MEDARIS, Major General John B.
- Commanding General of U.S. Army Ordinance Missile Command and earlier
Commander of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. He planned and executed
the Ordinance phase of the Invasion of Normandy
- 1959 - BIRD, Brig. General Harrison K.
- For his endeavors in the field of science with Dr. Pupin in the
development of inventions for the benefit of mankind.
- 1959 - DUNNING, Dean John R.
- For his key role in the development of the U.S. atomic energy program.
He pioneered some of the first neutron experiments in the country in 1932
and was director of the development of the first Columbia University
Cyclotron in 1936.
- 1959 - GIBBS, William Francis.
- (Naval architect and marine engineer) As the country's foremost
designer of large ships he designed both the United States and the America
for U.S. Lines. His Liberty ship allowed for mass production of freighters
during World War II.
- 1959 - O'CONNELL, Honorable James T.
- For service to the nation in the fields of engineering and Federal
construction; manpower and industrial relations; personnel management and
arbitration; and for his distinguished record of achievement as Under
Secretary of Labor during the Eisenhower administration.
- 1959 - RICKOVER, Rear Admiral Hyman G.
- Father of the Atomic Submarine.
- 1961 - HOOVER, John Edgar.
- (Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation) For devotion and
loyalty to the cause of public safety and the example that he set for the
youth of the nation.
- 1966 - KAPPEL, Frederick R.
- (President, and then Chairman of the Board of the American Telephone
and Telegraph Company, and Life Trustee of Columbia University) For his
outspoken championship of free enterprise through strong personal example
and wise counsel.
- 1967 - GLENN, Colonel John H.
- The first American astronaut to orbit the earth.
- 1979 - McGILL, William James.
- (President of Columbia University 1970-1980, and specialist in
psychophysics) For outstanding contributions in information processing and
mathematic psychology, commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression, and
the advancement of higher education.
- 1980 - RABI, Isidor Isaac.
- (The outstanding American scientist of the century) For his
groundbreaking work in atomic physics, his establishment of a major
scientific center in America, his years of peace-promoting service to his
country and to the world, and his extraordinary dedication to teaching.
- 1983 - ROE, Kenneth A.
- For pioneering work in petroleum, electrical and nuclear energy
construction, timeless service to Engineering Societies, and devotion to
his government in advisory and active capacities.
- 1991 - SALVADORI, Mario.
- For his wide-ranging work in civil engineering, applied mathematics,
architecture, and education.
- 1991 - WU, Chien-Shiung.
- For outstanding work in physics. Her 1954 experiments single-handedly
disproved the widely accepted principle of "conservation of parity"; her
1963 experiments confirmed the existence of weak magnetism in beta
- 1992 - RAMSEY, Norman F., Jr.
- For discovery of the deuteron electric quadrupole moment, invention of
high-precision methods of molecular beam spectroscopy, and observations of
parity violating spin rotations of neutrons; and for educational
- 1993 - PRESS, Frank.
- For his extensive work in seismic activity and wave theory; for
organizing the first International Geophysical Year; and for his wise
counsel to four Presidents of the United States.
- 1995 - VAGELOS, P. Roy
- For his leadership in the pharmaceutical industry; for his many
contributions to biological science and pharmaceutical research; for his
role in helping to discover and produce medicines that extend and enhance
life; for his tireless efforts to promote global health as a public
service; and for his outstanding work as a teacher.