Awards & Honors


MIT Press was one of three winners of new grants from the Association of Research Libraries that are designed to encourage the development of alternatives to traditional models of scholarly publishing. The award will allow MIT Press to continue the development of CogNet, the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Community Online. The other winning projects are based at Columbia University and the University of California.

Robert J. Birgeneau, dean of the School of Science and the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, has received the American Physical Society's 2000 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize. The $10,000 prize, established by the APS Council in 1988 through a bequest of Beatrice Lilienfeld in memory of her husband, recognizes outstanding contributions to physics by an individual who also has exceptional skills in lecturing to diverse audiences. Last year's prize went to Stephen Hawking.

Dean Birgeneau was recognized for "using neutron and X-ray scattering to elucidate the structure, phase transitions, and excitations of materials that are paradigms of important statistical mechanical models, and for his ability to convey the excitement of physics to a broad range of audiences." Research by Professor Birgeneau, who has been dean of science since 1991, is primarily concerned with the phases and phase transition behavior of novel states of matter.

John Ehrenfeld, director of the Technology, Business and Environment Program, won the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award given by World Resources Institute and the Initiative for Social Innovation through Business, a program of the Aspen Institute. He was honored for his contributions to the field of environmental management, which include teaching environmental and technology management and research on pollution prevention, industrial ecology, environmental management and policy, and environmental practice in businesses. Dr. Ehrenfeld is a senior research associate at the Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development and a senior lecturer in the Technology and Policy Program.

The award was published in "Beyond Grey Pinstripes: Preparing MBAs for Social and Environmental Stewardship," a report on pioneering US business schools and faculty dedicated to educating future managers to handle complex social issues and provide stewardship of fragile environmental resources. For more information, visit the web site.

Professor George Apostolakis of nuclear engineering has been given the 1999 Tommy Thompson Award by the Nuclear Installations Safety Division of the American Nuclear Society for "his contributions to improvement of reactor safety through formulation, development, and application of probabilistic risk assessment methods, and for his support of continual improvement of PRA as a risk management tool."

Anita Goel, an MD/PhD candidate in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), was awarded the Distinguished Student Award at the Seventh Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology. She received the $1,500 award for ongoing research using "optical tweezers" to probe the real-time single molecule dynamics of motor enzymes "dancing on DNA."

Ms. Goel's research is at an emerging interface of physics, biology and nanotechnology. She is applying laser manipulation techniques -- "optical tweezers" -- to stretch out DNA, and is also developing a probe to directly observe the dynamics of enzymes reading a DNA molecule.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 10, 1999.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships

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