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Awards and Honors

Astronaut and MIT alumnus Franklin Chang-Diaz (Sc.D. 1977), a world-class rocket propulsion scientist, has won Discover magazine's 2003 Innovation Award for Space Science and Technology in the space explorer category. The awards will be announced in the magazine's November issue.

Chang-Diaz is a veteran of seven space flights, a record he shares with one other astronaut. He also is director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. He and his team are developing the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket Engine, which may one day enable humans to explore more distant parts of our solar system and even beyond.

"Lean Enterprise Value: Insights from MIT's Lean Aerospace Initiative" (Palgrave, 2002) won the 2003 Engineering Sciences Book Award from the International Academy of Astronautics. The book was written by a team of MIT scholars affiliated with the Engineering Systems Division and its Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development (CTPID), which is home to the Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI).

The book's lead author is Earll Murman, the Ford Professor of Engineering and professor of aeronautics, astronautics and engineering systems. He was LAI's MIT director from 1995 to 2002 and was head of aero/astro from 1990-96. Co-authors include Thomas J. Allen, the Howard W. Johnson Professor of Management and professor of engineering systems; Institute Professor Sheila Widnall of aero/astro and engineering systems; Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, executive director of the Engineering Systems Learning Center and a senior research scientist at the Sloan School; Deborah Nightingale, co-director of LAI and professor of the practice of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems; and from the CTPID, principal research associate Kirkor Bozdogan and research associates Eric Rebentisch and Tom Shields.

Freshman Barry Barrios is one of 127 recipients of inaugural NASA Hispanic Explorers Scholarships totaling $500,000 this year. He was also one of 10 students invited to represent the recipients at the 10th annual Hispanic College Fund (HCF) Scholarship Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22. Since 1993, HCF has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships to more than 1,600 Hispanic students in science, engineering, technology and business-related disciplines. HCF administers the NASA Hispanic Explorers Scholarship on behalf of the agency.

Freshmen Chintan Hossain and Daniel Gulotta helped the United States win its first-ever gold medal in the 34th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in Taipei in August.

Gulotta, who attended the Ilinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, Ill., ranked 13th out of the 238 students from around the world who participated. Hossain, from the Charter School of Wilmington, Del., ranked 19th. They won two of the U.S. team's three gold medals. Gulotta also won a prize for best score in theory. South Korea, Taiwan and Iran finished second through fourth, respectively.

Gulotta and Hossain were among 1,400 students nominated by their high school physics teachers to compete for the U.S. team. That group was successively winnowed to 200 semifinalists and 24 team members; only five of them were chosen to go to the international event. The contest itself included a five-hour theoretical exam plus an experimental competition in which students measured properties of laser diodes and liquid crystal cells.

Three faculty members in the Department of Chemistry recently won awards from the American Chemical Society. Professor Gregory C. Fu received the E.J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator. Professor Stephen J. Lippard, department head, won the Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry. Professor JoAnne Stubbe won the Repligen Award for her contribution to the understanding of the structure and function of complex biological systems through implementation of modern methods of chemical and spectrophotometric analyses.

MIT OpenCourseWare was a winner in the categories of "Best User Experience" and "Best Web Site for Educational Institutions" at the 2003 Massachusetts Interactive Media Council (MIMC) Awards. This is the largest awards competition in the country that recognizes achievements in the development and implementation of interactive technologies and applications. Entries were judged by more than 100 industry professionals including creative directors, designers, technologists, media representatives, industry analysts, investors and business professionals.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 5, 2003.

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