Geek Of The Week: Mildred Dresselhaus

Geek Of The Week:  Mildred Dresselhaus

Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus known as the “queen of carbon science” was the first female Institute Professor and professor emerita of physics and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dresselhaus won numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, the Enrico Fermi Award and the Vannevar Bush Award. Dresselhaus was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1990 in recognition of her work on electronic properties of materials as well as expanding the opportunities of women in science and engineering and in 2005 she was awarded the 11th Annual Heinz Award in the category of Technology, the Economy and Employment. In 2008 she was awarded the Oersted Medal, and in 2015 the IEEE Medal of Honor.

Dresselhaus was particularly noted for her work on graphite, graphite intercalation compounds, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and low-dimensional thermoelectrics. Her group made frequent use of electronic band structure, Raman scattering and the photophysics of carbon nanostructures. Her research helped develop technology based on thin graphite which allow electronics to be “everywhere,” including clothing and smartphones. You may also recognize her from the General Electric commercial currently running on television, asks what if she was treated like a celebrity. She passed away earlier this year at the age a 86.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.