Fritz 1920 – 2004
Dolores 1921 – 2008
Fritz and Dolores Russ dedicated their lives to engineering and, in the process, had a profound impact on the profession at local, state, and national levels. Fritz graduated from Ohio University in 1942 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and began his career at the Nava Research lab in Washington DC. 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 research and development business, which ultimately became Systems Research Laboratories. The 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. More than simply furthering their own careers, Fritz and Dolores were dedicated to engineering education, building programs at Ohio University, Wright State University, and other Ohio institutions. They also established professorships and contests to foster outstanding work (Naional Academy of Engineering Russ Award, Ohio University Russ Prize), thus assuring the future of extraordinary achievements like theirs.