Air Products Home

News ReleaseFormer Air Products Technologist Rakesh Agrawal Presented National Medal of Technology and Innovation

October 21, 2011 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

In his 24-year chemical engineering career at Air Products, (NYSE: APD) Rakesh Agrawal was awarded the most technology patents in the company’s 71-year history and received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence–the company’s most prestigious award. Today he added another award to his collection when he was presented the United States Government’s highest honor for technology the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. President Barack Obama presented the award to Agrawal and four other inventors at a White House ceremony today.

“We are certainly proud of Rakesh and congratulate him for this prestigious national honor and award. It recognizes him for his outstanding work at Air Products for nearly a quarter century. Rakesh’s innovative work is in place and has had a profound impact on the success of our industrial operations every day around the world,” said John McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Air Products.

“It was an honor to receive the medal today and to have it presented by the President is truly exciting. The award recognizes technology and innovation, and I was very fortunate in my career to work for Air Products, where technology is a core company strength and innovation is encouraged. The personal recognition I received today was wonderful, but it would not have happened without the many fine people I worked with over the years and the opportunities I was provided,” said Agrawal. “I believe the folks in my team were some the brightest and the most competent engineers you could find anywhere.”

Agrawal received the award in recognition of his extraordinary record of innovations improving energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation. Overall, he holds 116 U.S. and nearly 500 foreign patents. More than 100 Air Products industrial plants with a total capital investment of many billions of dollars incorporate Agrawal’s inventions. In 1992, he received Air Products’ Chairman’s Award for Excellence for his work.

In an earlier news release issued by the White House announcing the medal winners, President Obama said each of the winners “is guided by a passion for innovation, fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place. Their ingenuity inspires us all to reach higher and try harder, no matter how difficult the challenges we face.”

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce.

After Air Products, Agrawal joined Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana), where he is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2011, Air Products had revenues of $10.1 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,900 employees around the globe. For more information, visit

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.

Connect with us on:


Contact Information

  • Press Contact
    Art George
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
    Allentown, PA 18195-1501
  • Investor Contact
    Simon Moore
    (610) 481-7461
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
    Allentown, PA 18195-1501
    (610) 481-2729
An error has occured, please fix the highlighted fields.
To request a quote or for more information about Air Products, please fill out the form below, and an Air Products representative will contact you shortly.
Please use the form below to contact us.

What can we answer for you?

  1. What kind of inquiry?

If you would prefer to contact us by phone, you can call any of our Air Products locations worldwide by visiting Worldwide Locations & Phone Numbers.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us to better understand our users. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Legal Notice to learn more.