APS News

July 2015 (Volume 24, Number 7)

IEEE Awards Medal of Honor to APS Past President Mildred Dresselhaus

By David Voss

Mildred Dresselhaus photo
Photo: MIT

Mildred Dresselhaus

Mildred Dresselhaus, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and past president of the American Physical Society, has become the first woman to receive the IEEE Medal of Honor, in recognition of her “leadership and contributions across many fields of science and engineering.”

The medal is the most prestigious award of the IEEE (formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and was created in 1917 to honor individuals who have made “a particular contribution that forms a clearly exceptional addition to the science and technology of concern to IEEE.” Previous recipients have included physicists such as Nobel laureates Charles Townes, John Bardeen, and Norman Ramsey.

Dresselhaus, Emerita Institute Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at MIT, has focused her research on the properties and applications of carbon, including fullerenes, nanotubes, and graphene. She was president of APS in 1984 and currently serves on the editorial board of Physical Review Applied, published by the APS.

During her career, Dresselhaus has also served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and director of the Department of Energy Office of Science. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and has served on many advisory committees and councils.

In 2012 she received the U.S. Department of Energy Enrico Fermi Award, followed quickly by the 2012 Kavli Prize. In 2014, Dresselhaus was awarded the National Medal of Honor, the United States' highest civilian honor, at a White House ceremony. Dresselhaus has also won the APS Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach and the APS Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize.

IEEE will presented the award to Dresselhaus on June 20, 2015 at its annual honors ceremony in New York City.

For more information, see the IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients page.

Related Information

Gray Arrow Richter and Dresselhaus Win Presidential Enrico Fermi Award - Capitol Hill Quarterly, February/March 2012
Gray Arrow Dresselhaus Wins Kavli Nanoscience Prize - APS News, July 2012
Gray Arrow Former APS President Honored with Medal of Freedom - APS News Update
Gray Arrow IEEE Medal of Honor external
Gray Arrow Mildred Dresselhaus selected for the IEEE's highest honor - MIT Press Release external

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Emily Conover
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

July 2015 (Volume 24, Number 7)

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Articles in this Issue
Newly-Elected IUPAP Officers Meet in Trieste, Italy
Senate Bill Provides 5-year Roadmap for Energy Research Funding
United States Traveling Team Selected
The University of Michigan Honors APS Vice President Homer Neal
APS Bridge Program Expects to Increase Minority Ph.D. Numbers
IEEE Awards Medal of Honor to APS Past President Mildred Dresselhaus
Is Double-Blind Review Better?
Cultivate Your Career
“The Big Bang Theory” Team Supports STEM Students
Letters to the Editor
The Back Page
Inside the Beltway
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Diversity Corner
Profiles In Versatility (Part 1)
Profiles in Versatility (Part 2)