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Stephanie L. Kwolek succeeded in creating the first of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength and stiffness. The best known member is Kevlar, a material used in fragmentation-resistant vests as well as in boats, airplanes, ropes, cables, tires, and so forth. Kwolek has received many awards, including the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1996 she received the National Medal of Technology, and in 1997 the Perkin Medal.