United States President George W Bush has conferred the Science & Technology National medal on Indian American Hiren S Gandhi for his pioneering work in automative technology to improve environmental standard at Ford Motor company where he works.
Gandhi is responsible for the 'platinum-free automotive catalyst' used in Ford cars and is considered a research pioneer in automotive technology to improve environmental standards, the National Science & Technology Foundation, which administers the award for the Commerce Department, said in a press release.
Over the years, it notes, Gandhi has been awarded more than 30 patents and has won five Henry Ford Technological Awards.
He has been acknowledged by the UN for his expertise in automotive emissions and in the late 1990s was appointed a member of a panel to advise the Government of India on automotive emission regulations.
Gandhi is among 13 other awardees, who were conferred the Science & Technology National medals by Bush on Thursday.
The citation says Gandhi is receiving the medal for 'research, development and commercialisation of automotive exhaust catalyst technology, shaping the industry from its very beginning and continually pushing to improve the quality of the air we breathe'.
"The medals we confer today are a way of expressing our gratitude to some of the most gifted and visionary men and women in America. The men and women are helping to enhance the nation's health and economic prosperity," Bush said.
"They have made their contributions to progress in a variety of fields -- from physics to genetics, to mathematical theory, to engineering, to the development of the semiconductors. Some of them have made achievements beyond their own fields of endeavour. Each of the recipients has set a standard of excellence," he said.
America, he said, provides opportunities and institutions that make achievement possible. It has a vibrant free enterprise system and the world's finest universities and it gives generous support for scientific and technological endeavour.
"Yet," he said, "all the great achievements we honour today are the sum of individual effort. And when we speak of American creativity and American ingenuity, we are speaking of men and women like our National Laureates of Science and Technology. They have freely accepted the toil of overcoming challenges. They have put their considerable gifts to good purpose. Their fellow Americans are grateful to them, all humanity is in your debt."