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16 Martin graduate fellows to work on environmental sustainability

Sixteen graduate students have been named Fellows for the 1998-99 academic year by the Martin Family Society of Graduate Fellowships in Sustainability.

The Martin Fellows are overseen by Professor Rafael Bras, head of civil and environmental engineering (CEE) and a member of the MIT Council on the Environment.

The fellows are Saleem Hassan Ali of the Environmental Studies Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP); Veronique Bugnion, the Donald D. Lucas and Makoto Saito of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences; Barclay Gibbs, Michael J. Lenox and Ian Sue Wing of the Technology and Policy Program; Jared V. Goldstone, MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Chemical Oceanography; Marybeth Long, CEE/DUSP; Yves S. Mantz, Center for Global Change Science; Xudong Yang, Building Technology Program; and Paul D. Fricker, Nicole M. Gasparini, Jennifer A. Jay, Rolf H. Reichle and Guiling Wang of CEE.

The Martin Society was created by the Council on the Environment to engender cross-disciplinary collaboration in the study of environmental sustainability issues. The complexity of these issues demands the committed participation of experts from many different disciplines, from science and engineering to management and political science. The council sought to provide MIT students with the opportunity to see important issues from different perspectives.

The society hosts a series of monthly dinner seminars at which MIT faculty and other experts speak on topics of special interest. Professor Shiela Widnall of aeronautics and astronautics, former secretary of the Air Force, spoke at this year's first dinner last week. The Fellows also meet to discuss topics of mutual interest. In some cases, Fellows from previous years may participate in the activities.

In describing the Fellows, Professor Bras said, "It's a real pleasure to interact with such a wonderful and bright group of students, and it is uplifting to know that the future stewardship of the environment is in such good hands. The students and I take the opportunity to thank the Martin family for their steadfast commitment to MIT's efforts in environmental education and research."

The Martin Society was endowed with an $8 million gift last spring from the Martin Foundation Inc., founded by Lee and Geraldine Martin of Elkhart, IN, in 1953. The gift will ultimately fund eight Martin Fellowships a year. This is in addition to the existing Martin Fellowship in Environmental Issues that the family created in 1992.

Mr. Martin (SB 1942) is chairman of NIBCO Inc., a manufacturer of pipe fittings, valves and plumbing fixtures, primarily for water distribution in buildings. The president and chief executive officer of NIBCO is Rex Martin, son of Lee and Geraldine, who received the SM from the Sloan School in 1983. Another son, Casper, received the SM from Sloan in 1985.

The Martin Foundation also endows the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professorship in Environmental Studies, now held by Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow. Part of last spring's gift was earmarked for Institute Professor Mario Molina's Fellowships in Environmental Science that bring graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and young scientists from emerging nations to MIT to pursue studies in atmospheric science and related areas. The Molina Fellowships were established by Professor Molina, who previously held the Martin Professorship, with part of his Nobel prize money in 1995.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 21, 1998.

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