Awards and Honors


The MIT Sea Grant College Program has selected two MIT faculty as recipients of the 2008 Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization. Franz Hover, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Eric Alm, assistant professor with appointments in the Department of Biological Engineering and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will each receive a supplemental award of $25,000 per year for two years.

The Doherty Fellowship encourages promising, nontenured professors to undertake marine-related research that will further innovative uses of the ocean's resources. The area of research may address any aspect of marine use and/or management, whether social, political, environmental or technological.

Hover's research with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) will focus on developing and demonstrating a manipulation system for unknown environments; Alm will be studying genetic diversity in ocean bacteria.

Joseph M. Sussman, the JR East Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division, has been named chair of the federal Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Advisory Committee.

The ITS, under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, advises the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on the study, development and implementation of "intelligent" transportation systems.

Alejandro N. Flores, a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won the Outstanding Student Paper Award of the American Geophysical Union's Hydrology section.

The paper, co-authored with Professors Rafael Bras and Dara Entekhabi, is titled, "Modeling Uncertainty and Correlation in Soil Properties Using Restricted Pairing and Implications for Ensemble-Based Hillslope-Scale Soil Moisture and Temperature Estimation." Flores presented it at the AGU's meeting in September 2007.

School of Engineering Dean Subra Suresh, DMSE Department Head Ned Thomas and Professor Carl Thompson have been named among the 34 chosen as the inaugural class of fellows for the Materials Research Society.

Jimmy Bartolotta, an MIT junior, has been named to the 2008 "ESPN The Magazine" Academic All-America First Team in men's basketball.

Bartolotta was the only junior selected to the college division first team. A native of Littleton, Colo., Bartolotta maintains a converted 3.79 grade-point average while majoring in management science and physics. He also averaged an Institute-record 23.9 points per game this season.

An MIT undergraduate and two graduate students studying in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program were recently named fellows in the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship program--which recognizes students who are immigrants or children of immigrants.

MIT undergraduate Sudeb Dalai; and Robert Koffie and Vijay Yanamadala, both in the Harvard-MIT program, have each received up to $16,000 a year for their tuition, and $20,000 maintenance grants. Each award lasts two years.

Research by Moshe Ben-Akiva, the Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was featured in an episode of The History Channel's "Modern Marvels," which aired Thursday, Feb. 28.

The episode, titled "Superhighways," also featured a short interview with MIT alumnus Ramachandran Balakrishna PhD '06 describing the traffic modeling program, MITSIM.

MITSIM simulates traffic the way drivers experience it--cars following each other, changing lanes, braking when the car in front slows down--and models the drivers' responses in real time.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 12, 2008 (download PDF).


Topics: Alumni/ae, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Students

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