RLE News Articles

RLE Welcomes Principal Investigator Mildred Dresselhaus

Institute Professor has led studies gaining a fundamental understanding of the electronic structure of novel materials systems and is a leader in promoting opportunities for women in science and engineering

RLE extends a warm welcome to Mildred Dresselhaus who, as a new RLE member, will receive the full support of the RLE community to help her advance her research mission. Prof. Dresselhaus began her MIT career at the Lincoln Laboratory and her work has encompassed a wide range of topics in condensed matter and materials physics. She is perhaps best known for her work on carbon science and carbon nanostructures, as well as in nanoscience and nanotechnology generally. She is one of the researchers responsible for the resurgence of the thermoelectric research field through her early work in the 1990s on low dimensional thermoelectricity. One of her notable efforts has been development of the Raman Spectroscopy as a sensitive tool for the characterization of single-wall carbon nanotubes, one atomic layer in wall thickness. A member of many professional societies, a director of the Office of Science in the Clinton Administration and a recipient of the United States Medal of Science in 1990, she co-chaired a DOE study in 2003 on “Basic Research Needs for the Hydrogen Economy.” “Professional Dresselhaus has been an inspiration to generations of students and faculty members at MIT and beyond. On behalf of our entire community, I am delighted to welcome her as a member of the Research Lab of Electronics and look forward to supporting her mission in the years ahead,” said RLE director Yoel Fink.

Prof. Dresselhaus completed her PhD in physics at the University of Chicago and prior to this received a Fulbright Fellowship to attend the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University. A leader in promoting opportunities for women in science and engineering, she received a Carnegie Foundation grant in 1973 to encourage women’s study in traditionally male dominated fields such as physics. In 1968, she became an MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and, in 1983, of Physics. She was permanently appointed to the Abby Rockefeller Mauze chair in 1973, an Institute-wide chair, which was endowed to support the scholarship of women. Among her many awards and recognitions, in 2009 she was the recipient of the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board.

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