Less than a year after being elected to the National Academy of Sciences, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member and University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Professor Anna Balazs, PhD, was named as one of the newest members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The Academy accepted Dr. Balazs’ membership “in recognition of distinguished contributions to engineering and for creative and imaginative work in predicting the behavior of soft materials that are composed of multiple cooperatively interacting components.”

Dr. Balazs is the first faculty member in the Swanson School of Engineering to hold membership in both the Engineering and Science academies. Dr. Balazs and the 111 new members and 22 international members announced by NAE President John L. Anderson will be inducted at the NAE Annual Meeting this fall, October 2-3 in Washington, DC.

Dr. Balazs’ research focuses on “biomimicry” and the theoretical and computational modeling of polymers. An internationally acclaimed expert in the field, her many accolades also include the first woman to receive the prestigious Polymer Physics Prize from the American Physical Society in 2016. She is also the John A. Swanson Chair of Engineering in the Swanson School’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

“This has been a tremendous year for Anna and long-due recognition of her outstanding career in engineering and chemistry,” noted McGowan Institute faculty member Steven Little, PhD, Department Chair and Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. “Her continued impact in this singular field represents the foundation for soft robotics, advanced materials, and a new interpretation of polymer chemistry. Most importantly, Anna is also a remarkable teacher, mentor, and colleague, especially to our young faculty. All of us share in her excitement today and share a sense of pride in her lifetime accomplishments.”

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Dr. Balazs is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Materials Research Society, and received some of the leading awards in her field, including the Royal Society of Chemistry S F Boys – A Rahman Award (2015), the American Chemical Society Langmuir Lecture Award (2014), and the Mines Medal from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (2013).

“Anna is truly an exceptional engineer whose passion for polymer chemistry excites and inspires,” said James R. Martin II, PhD, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. “With her election to two of our country’s most prestigious national academies, Anna has firmly established herself as an exemplar of innovation and a role model to so many in our Swanson School community. I look forward to soon celebrating her success.”

Congratulations, Dr. Balazs!

Illustration: University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

Read more…

National Academy of Engineering News Release

University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering News Release


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