Dr. Leo Beranek, Co-Founder of Verizon's BBN Technologies and an International Acoustics Expert, to Receive National Medal of Science

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Dr. Leo Beranek, a renowned acoustical scientist and one of the three co-founders of BBN Technologies, a Verizon company, will receive one of the highest honors bestowed on scientists in this country -- the National Medal of Science.

In an announcement this week, President Bush said that Beranek, who retired from BBN in 1979 but still consults on concert hall and opera house design around the world, will receive the medal along with seven other scientists at a White House ceremony on Nov. 6. The president cited Beranek for his leadership, dedication and contributions to the art and science of acoustics; for co-founding one of the world's foremost acoustical research and consulting firms; and for sustained contributions to scientific societies and civic organizations.

The National Medal of Science honors individuals in a variety of fields for pioneering scientific research that has led to a better understanding of the world around us, as well as to the innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge. The National Science Foundation administers the award, established by Congress in 1959. When the president confers the 2002 awards, 409 distinguished scientists and engineers will have received the medal over the last 44 years. For more information about the National Medal of Science visit www.nsf.gov/nsb/awards/nms/medal.htm.

"One certainly does not expect or anticipate receiving such an honor," Beranek said. "Such a distinction makes me feel that my long years of dedicated effort have been well spent. I owe a lot of it to the years I spent with Bolt, Beranek and Newman Inc., now known as BBN Technologies."

BBN President Tad Elmer said the award is well deserved, adding, "We at BBN are still pursuing today the goals Dr. Beranek and the others began when they founded BBN in 1948. We want to find practical, useful applications of today's most advanced technologies. We are remaining true to his vision."

Verizon Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Mark Wegleitner said, "All of us at Verizon are very proud of this historic recognition for Dr. Beranek. From his groundbreaking work in acoustics to the pioneering work on the Internet, BBN has been at the forefront of some of this century's most significant scientific advances."

In the 1940s, Beranek's leadership and directorships of the Electro-Acoustics Laboratory at Harvard University and the U. S. Navy Systems Research Laboratory at Beavertail Point, R. I., earned him the U.S. Presidential Certificate of Merit from President Truman for contributions to World War II scientific efforts. After joining the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948, he and MIT colleagues formed a partnership to provide consulting services that began with the new United Nations headquarters complex in New York. Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., (BBN) soon filled an increasing demand for architectural acoustical research, noise control and consulting services during the post-World War II building boom. Their work, for example, resulted in the use of noise-suppression equipment and special flight patterns for the introduction of jet aircraft into civilian aircraft fleets. BBN became an internationally recognized acoustical research and consulting firm under Beranek's leadership.

BBN Technologies

BBN Technologies, a Verizon Communications company, was established as Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. in 1948. From its roots as an acoustical design consulting firm, to the implementation and operation of the ARPANET--the forerunner of today's Internet--to the development of the first network email, BBN Technologies has grown to provide technical expertise and innovation to government and commercial customers. Areas of expertise include: system integration; distributed, collaborative applications; speech recognition; language understanding; wireless and satellite networking; network architecture and management; information security; structural acoustics; sensor signal processing; and real-time, multi-processor systems. For more information on BBN Technologies, visit www.bbn.com.


A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.