Three Indian-Americans are named by U.S. President Barack Obama for the highest awards in the field of scientific research and innovation.

According to a press release published by the White House Tuesday, B. Jayant Baliga from the North Carolina State University, Rakesh Agarwal from the Purdue University and Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan from the New York University are the three Indian-Americans among the 12 scientists to be honored with the country's top award in the field of scientific research and innovation.

Baliga, who is director of the university's Power Semiconductor Research Center, developed the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor, an energy-saving device that controls the flow of power in many products.

"It's not something you expect when you are doing the work, because you do the work for its own interest and implications," says Baliga.

"Apart from the award and the recognition, the greatest joy is finding my ideas implemented and widely used," says Baliga.

Rakesh Agarwal, an engineer at Purdue University, received the award for his innovations in producing extremely pure gases and for improving methods of liquefying of natural gas - discoveries made while he worked for Air Products and Chemicals, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

"It truly is a privilege to get this," the ecstatic Rakesh told to the media.

Varadhan has been selected for his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behavior which has revolutionized this field of study during the second half of the 20th century and become a cornerstone of both pure and applied probability.

The mathematical insights he developed had been applied in diverse fields including quantum field theory, population dynamics, finance, econometrics, and traffic engineering, the White House said.

"Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place," said Obama in a statement.

These are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers and inventors. The awards will be presented at a White House ceremony later this year.