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Awards and Honors

The US Department of Transportation has given its National Award for Advancement of Motor Vehicle Research and Development to Dr. John B. Heywood, Sun Jae Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Sloan Automotive Laboratory.

The award was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 as recognition for work in the fields of motor vehicle safety, energy savings or environmental impact.

In recommending that Professor Heywood receive the award, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration praised him "for his lifetime career of engine-related research at a fundamental level leading to engine design and emission control concepts used throughout the automotive industry. Dr. Heywood has had an enormous positive impact on the US automotive industry."

Professor Heywood received the BA degree from Cambridge University in 1960, the SM and PhD degrees from MIT in 1962 and 1965, and the ScD in 1967 from Cambridge University. He joined the MIT faculty in 1968 and has been director of the Sloan Automotive Laboratory since 1972. He has received many awards for his research and publications on engine phenomena and is the author of a major text and professional reference, Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals.

The Phi Beta Kappa Society has named Dr. Marcia K. McNutt, Griswold Professor of Geophysics in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, as one of 13 Visiting Scholars for 1996-97.

Visiting Scholars travel to universities and colleges with Phi Beta Kappa chapters, spending two days on each campus. The Scholars meet with undergraduates in informal settings, participate in classroom lectures and seminars and give one major address open to the entire academic community.

The purpose of the program, begun in 1956, is to enrich the intellectual atmosphere of the institution and encourage the pursuit of scholarship.

Professor McNutt is a noted geophysicist with extensive experience in oceanographic research. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and has served as president of its Tectonophysics Section. She received the organization's Macelwane Award for outstanding contributions to research by young scientists in 1988, and has held a National Science Foundation Visiting Professorship for Women.

Dr. McNutt received the BA degree in physics from Colorado College in 1973 and the PhD in earth sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, in 1978. She was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Minnesota in 1978-79, and a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey from 1979 to 1982, when she came to MIT. She is the MIT director of the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography and Oceanographic Engineering.

The US Department of Energy has given its highest award for fossil fuel researchers to an MIT faculty member-Dr. Adel F. Sarofim-and its two other 1995 Energy Science and Technology awards to MIT alumni.

Dr. Sarofim, Lammot du Pont Professor of Chemical Engineering and director of the Center on Airborne Organics, received the Homer H. Lowry Award, which honors outstanding achievement in fossil energy research and development. The award, consisting of a gold medal, citation and $10,000, was presented at a ceremony in Washington, DC, on March 29.

Also honored were Dr. J. Douglas Balcomb (PhD in nuclear engineering, 1961), who received the John Ericsson Award in Renewable Energy, and Roger S. Carlsmith (SM in chemical engineering, 1950), who received the Sadi Carnot Award in Energy Conservation.

Dr. Balcomb of the DOE's National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO, was recognized for his contributions to solar energy, particularly to the advancement of the design and construction of passive solar energy systems. Mr. Carlsmith, formerly with the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, won the award for the development of energy-efficient technology such as the heat-pump water heater and a high-efficiency refrigerator.

Deputy Secretary of Energy Charles B. Curtis, who presented the awards, said, "These scientists are helping the United States maintain its scientific and technical leadership in finding new ways to meet our energy needs while maintaining our commitment to the environment."

Dean Philip S. Khoury of the School of Humanities and Social Science has announced that the 1996 Levitan Prize in Humanities has been awarded to Dr. Elizabeth A. Wood, assistant professor of history.

The $20,000 prize, first awarded in 1990, supports innovative and creative scholarship in the humanities by the school's faculty members.

Professor Wood will use the prize money to continue research for a book, Revolutionary Judgment: The Performance of Agitation Trials in Soviet Russia, 1920-1933.

The prize was established by a gift from James A. Levitan, a 1945 MIT graduate in chemistry, a member of the MIT Corporation and a senior partner in the New York City law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom.

Previous recipients were Professors Joshua Cohen of linguistics and philosophy, Barry R. Posen of political science, Peter C. Perdue of the history section, Elizabeth Garrels of the foreign languages and literatures section, Hugh Gusterson of the anthropology/archeology section and the Program in Science, Technology and Society, and Edward B. Turk of the foreign languages and literatures section.

Professor Wood received the AB degree from Harvard University and the PhD from the University of Michigan. She has been at MIT since 1990. Her publications include The Trial of a Prostitute: Theater and Political Ritual in Post-Revolutionary Russia, 1920-1928, and a book manuscript in progress, From Baba to Comrade: Gender and State Formation in Early Soviet Russia, 1917-1930.

Johnson & Johnson's Focused Giving Program has awarded a three-year research grant to Professor Ian W. Hunter of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, well-known for his contributions to biomedical engineering in general and for the development of micro-surgical robots in particular.

Dr. Hunter is a D'Arbeloff Scholar and associate professor of mechanical engineering. Recipients of this grant usually are biologists or chemists, the company said.

The company describes The Focused Giving Program, in existence for 15 years, as a "no-strings-attached research award program that funds leading-edge researchers in areas that do not necessarily have commercial intent, but where research would have a beneficial impact on society."

Johnson & Johnson awards six to eight grants each year, ranging between $60,000 and $90,000 a year.

The researchers present their work at an annual symposium at corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ.

Dr. Nam P. Suh, Ralph E. and Eloise F. Cross Professor of Manufacturing and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, told representatives from Johnson & Johnson at the award presentation in Dr. Suh's office that the department values its industrial support. Within the year, he said, 70 percent of the department's research budget would be from industrial backing while the government would support only 30 percent of the research budget. In the 1970s, he noted, the department's industrial support was three percent.

A plaque presented to Professor Hunter said he was receiving the award "in recognition of outstanding research toward the advancement of science and technology in health care."

Dr. Hunter has published more than 150 papers in refereed journals. His work which also has been widely reported on television and in scientific magazines and newspapers, is focused on developing micro-robotic and micro-surgical robotic systems, subsystems and associated electro-optical-mechanical instrumentation.

With his colleagues, he has used these remotely operated surgical robots in physiological experiments on organs such as eyes, hearts and muscles.

Dr. Hunter, born and raised in New Zealand, received the BSc, MSc, DCP and PhD degrees from the University of Auckland. He was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University in Canada and taught there from 1985 to 1994, when he joined the MIT faculty.

The American Chemical Society presented its 1996 ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry, sponsored by the Monsanto Co., to Dr. Richard R. Schrock, Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Schrock was cited for his efforts to develop cleaner and more efficient ways to manufacture chemicals.

Accepting the award at the Society's national meeting in New Orleans, Professor Schrock said, "The real impact here is ultimately in making pharmaceuticals, polymers and other products where exquisite control is necessary, and now it's possible."

Dr. Schrock achieves that exquisite control, according to the citation, with catalysts structured to lock onto and join molecules that normally do not react. He focuses on those catalysts that contain a metal to which the molecules bind and react with each other.

"This will reduce the amount of waste and make the environment safer and cleaner in the long run," Dr. Schrock said. "For example, the idea is to conduct a reaction in water instead of [the industrial solvent] toluene..."

Dr. Schrock's particular contribution, the Society said, "was to develop a method and a catalyst to break open compounds whose atoms are arranged in a ring. Once opened up into chains, these molecules can be strung together in specific ways to form polymers for everything from garbage cans to athletic clothing. Or he can close up a chain into a ring, for example, from which medicinal chemists can design pharmaceuticals."

Dr. Schrock obtained the BA degree in 1967 from the University of California at Riverside and the PhD from Harvard University in 1971. He spent a year as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University followed by three years at the Central Research and Development Department of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co. before joining the MIT faculty in 1975.

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