The Dresselhaus Lecture series is named in honor of Mildred "Millie" Dresselhaus, a beloved MIT professor whose research helped unlock the mysteries of carbon, the most fundamental of organic elements—earning her the nickname “queen of carbon science.” This annual event recognizes a significant figure in science and engineering from anywhere in the world whose leadership and impact echo Millie’s life, accomplishments, and values.
Submit a nomination for the 2020 Dresselhaus Lecture
MIT.nano is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Dresselhaus Lecture. To submit a recommendation, please send an email to MITnano@mit.edu with the following details:
- Nominee's name, title, and home institution/organization
- Link to the nominee's website
- Link to any articles or honors that help illuminate the nominee's career and impact
- In up to 200 words, a statement on why you are nominating the individual
2019 Mildred S. Dresselhaus Lecture:
Paul McEuen, Cornell University
Paul McEuen, the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science at Cornell University and director of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, delivererd the inaugural Mildred S. Dresselhaus Lecture at MIT on Nov. 13, 2019.
Cell-sized Sensors and Robots
"Fifty years ago, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman claimed that a revolution was underway where information, computers, and machines would be shrunk to incredibly small dimensions. History has proven him mostly right: integrated circuits and Moore’s law have given us cell phones, the internet, and artificial intelligence. But the third leg of Feynman’s dream, the miniaturization of machines, is only just getting underway. Can we create functional, intelligent machines at the scale that biology does? The size of, say, a single-celled organism like a Paramecium? And if so, how? In this talk, I’ll take a look at some of the approaches being explored, focusing on a Cornell effort to combine microelectronics, optics, paper arts, and 2D materials to create a new generation of cell-sized smart, active sensors and microbots that are powered and communicate by light."
About Paul McEuen
Paul McEuen is the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science at Cornell University and Director of the Kavli institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science. His research explores the electronic, optical, and mechanical properties of nanoscale materials; he is currently excited about using these materials to construct functional micron-scale machines. He is also a novelist, and his scientific thriller SPIRAL won the debut novel of the year from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
About Mildred S. Dresselhaus
Mildred "Millie" Dresselhaus was a beloved MIT professor whose research helped unlock the mysteries of carbon, the most fundamental of organic elements—earning her the nickname “queen of carbon science.” She is well-known for her work with graphene, fullerenes (also known as "buckyballs"), bismuth nanowires, and low dimensional thermoelectricity. She developed the concept of the "nanotube," a single-layer sheet of carbon atoms that is incredibly thin and yet incredibly strong.
With appointments in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Dresselhaus was a member of the MIT faculty for 50 years. In 1985 she was honored with the title of Institute Professor, an esteemed position held by no more than 12 MIT professors at one time. A winner of numerous awards, Dresselhaus was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, and the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. She was inducted into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
Dresselhaus led MIT and her field not only through her research and teaching, but with her longstanding commitment to promoting gender equity in science and engineering and a dedication to mentorship and teaching. She received a Carnegie Foundation grant in 1973 to support her efforts to encourage women to enter traditionally male dominated fields of science and engineering.
In honor of Millie, MIT.nano will host the Mildred S. Dresselhaus Lecture annually in November, the month of Millie's birthday. The event will recognize a significant figure in science and engineering from anywhere in the world whose leadership and impact echo Millie’s life, accomplishments, and values.