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Awards and honors

Professor Henrik Schmidt of mechanical engineering has received the Acoustical Society of America's 2005 Pioneer's Silver Medal for Underwater Acoustics. The award is presented to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of underwater acoustics. Schmidt was honored for his "pioneering contributions in numerical modeling and at-sea experiments in underwater acoustics."

BusinessWeek Online recently presented an Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) to MIT graduate students Kimiko Ryokai and Stefan Marti of the tangible media group at the Media Lab. They won gold in the student design category for their I/O Brush, a technology-based graphics tool that works like a digital eyedropper to allow people to take the color, texture and movement of any physical object and immediately draw with that attribute.

Associate Professor Pablo A. Parilo of electrical engineering and computer science has won the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' (SIAM) Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory Prize. The prize, established in 1997, is awarded at the SIAM Conference on Control to a young researcher for outstanding contributions to mathematical control or systems theory. Parilo was honored for creatively combining concepts and techniques from algebra and convex optimization.

The nanoengineering group directed by Gang Chen, professor of mechanical engineering, was honored twice at international conferences this summer. A research paper written by Chen, Ronggui Yang, Ming-Shan Jeng and David Song won the Best Research Paper award at The Pacific Rim/American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Electronic Packaging Technical Conference and Exhibition (InterPACK) in San Francisco in July. Their paper, "Monte Carlo Simulation of the Thermal Conductivity and Phonon Transport in Nanocomposites," was one of more than 300 presented by top packaging and thermal management researchers from all over the world. Yang was also honored with the Goldsmith Award during the International Conference on Thermoelectrics, held in Clemson, S.C., in June. The Goldsmith Award is given to exceptional Ph.D. candidates who have made unusually notable contributions to thermoelectrics.

Mechanical engineering graduate student Chulmin Joo is the first recipient of the Hatsopoulos $50,000 Innovation and Thesis Award. The prize, named for Thermo Electron Corp. founder and MIT alumnus George Hatsopoulos, is intended to recognize original research by an MIT student that leads to a patentable invention or innovation. Joo won the award for his work on spectral domain optical coherence reflectometry for highly sensitive and selective detection of biological and chemical species.

Assistant Professor Marin Soljacic of physics has won the Adolph Lomb Medal, awarded by the Optical Society of America. The Lomb Medal, which recognizes noteworthy contributions to optics by those under the age of 35, went to Soljacic for the discovery of novel soliton phenoma, and for innovative work in nonlinear and time-dependent photonic crystals.

Edward Crawley, executive director of MIT's Climate Modeling Initiative, has been elected as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (U.K.).

Three recent MIT graduates have won Hertz fellowships to pursue Ph.D. degrees in applications of the physical sciences--Brett Bethke (S.B. 2005, aeronautics/astronautics and physics), Stephen Samouhos (S.B. 2004, mechanical engineering) and David Van Valen (S.B. 2003, mathematics and physics). The Hertz Foundation's Graduate Fellowship award, which is based on merit (not need) consists of a cost-of-education allowance and a personal-support stipend.

Assistant Professor Alice Y. Ting of chemistry has received a Technological Innovation in Neuroscience Award from the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. Each year, the foundation awards funding for research projects that advance the field of neuroscience by developing new tools and techniques that enable deeper understanding of the brain. Ting will receive support for two years for her work on improved technology to visualize and quantify membrane protein trafficking.

Two members of MIT's Engineering Systems Division faculty were honored at the 2005 symposium of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). Senior lecturer Donna Rhodes received the INCOSE Founders Award for 15 years of distinguished contributions to the council. Assistant Professor Daniel Frey and Don Clausing, adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the best paper award in the Systems Engineering Practice and Improvement category for their paper "Four Strategies for Reliability: Improving Robustness to One-sided Failure Modes."

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