Fritz J. Russ and Dolores H. Russ

Fritz J. Russ (1920-2004) and Dolores H. Russ (1921-2008), dedicated their lives to engineering, and in the process had a profound impact on the profession at the local, state and national levels. Fritz Russ graduated from Ohio University with an electrical engineering degree in 1942, and began his career at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. His work helped lead to breakthroughs in atomic weapons testing systems, engine controls, aircraft weaponry, space flight, television and medical technology. By the mid 1950s, the Russes had converted their basement into a part time repair, research and development business, which became Systems Research Laboratories. This company soon became a leader in the industry, designing and assembling a complex digital computer system to analyze spacecraft signals and assisting the Air Force with testing procedures for astronaut selection. Developments in lasers, chemical warfare shelters, and artificial intelligence soon followed. But more than simply furthering their own careers, the Russes are dedicated to engineering education, building programs at Ohio University, Wright State and other Ohio institutions. They have established professorships and prizes to award and foster outstanding work, thus assuring the future of extraordinary engineering achievements like theirs.–Inducted: 2006