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July 2015 (Volume 24, Number 7)
By David Voss
Mildred Dresselhaus, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and past president of the American Physical Society, has become the first woman to receive the IEEE Medal of Honor, in recognition of her “leadership and contributions across many fields of science and engineering.”
The medal is the most prestigious award of the IEEE (formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and was created in 1917 to honor individuals who have made “a particular contribution that forms a clearly exceptional addition to the science and technology of concern to IEEE.” Previous recipients have included physicists such as Nobel laureates Charles Townes, John Bardeen, and Norman Ramsey.
Dresselhaus, Emerita Institute Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at MIT, has focused her research on the properties and applications of carbon, including fullerenes, nanotubes, and graphene. She was president of APS in 1984 and currently serves on the editorial board of Physical Review Applied, published by the APS.
During her career, Dresselhaus has also served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and director of the Department of Energy Office of Science. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and has served on many advisory committees and councils.
In 2012 she received the U.S. Department of Energy Enrico Fermi Award, followed quickly by the 2012 Kavli Prize. In 2014, Dresselhaus was awarded the National Medal of Honor, the United States' highest civilian honor, at a White House ceremony. Dresselhaus has also won the APS Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach and the APS Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize.
IEEE will presented the award to Dresselhaus on June 20, 2015 at its annual honors ceremony in New York City.
For more information, see the IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients page.
Richter and Dresselhaus Win Presidential Enrico Fermi Award - Capitol Hill Quarterly, February/March 2012
Dresselhaus Wins Kavli Nanoscience Prize - APS News, July 2012
Former APS President Honored with Medal of Freedom - APS News Update
IEEE Medal of Honor
Mildred Dresselhaus selected for the IEEE's highest honor - MIT Press Release
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Emily Conover
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik