Working Group, and Hubble Telescope Repair Project. From 1998 to 2000 he served as chairman of NASA’s Advisory Committee on the International Space Station Decompression Risk Definition and Contingency Plan.
Dr. Lambertsen’s impact on science and the military earned him numerous honors, including the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania and in 1989 the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Perelman School of Medicine—the highest honor bestowed on alumni. He was also presented the Legion of Merit Award and the Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1972, the highest award bestowed on a civilian by the U.S. Department of Defense; the U.S. Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 1976; the U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret Award in 1996; the national UDT-SEAL Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999; and the U.S. Special Operations Command Medal in 2001. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977. He also received the New York Academy of Sciences Award for Research in Environmental Sciences, the Pioneer Award of the Navy Historical Society, and in 2010 the John Scott Award from the Philadelphia Board of Directors of City Trusts, which previously honored Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and Jonas Salk. In May 2011 the U.S. Special Operations Command honored him with establishment of the “Dr. Christian J. Lambertsen Award for Operational Innovation,” which will be presented annually.
Dr. Lambertsen’s most significant and crowning achievements undoubtedly came in 1967 and 1968, when he served as founding president of the Undersea Medical Society (now Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society) and established the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Environmental Medicine and its companion Environmental Biomedical Stress Data Center, where researchers continue to explore the pathophysiology of oxygen toxicity, diving-related diseases, and mechanisms of hypoxic response. His service to our country as a combat veteran, an educator, a medical doctor, an inventor, and a distinguished citizen represents a lifetime of achievement. His impacts on diving physiology, undersea