This month, Professor Mildred Dresselhaus became the first woman to receive the IEEE Medal of Honor for her leadership and contributions across many fields of science and engineering. 

Professor Dresselhaus is a pioneer in carbon materials research in the 1960s and has dedicated more than 50 years to this work. She is particularly known for her work with buckminsterfullerenes (buckyballs), nanotubes and graphene as well as her dedicated work ethic and caring nature. According to the IEEE, “The era of carbon electronics can be traced back to her tireless research efforts.”

In the energy sector, carbon-based materials are frequently discussed in terms of their ability to increase energy storage capacities in battery technologies and supercapacitors. Furthermore, “many large-scale industries, like modern aviation and the space program, depend on carbon-based materials for everything from fuel to the production of light and durable materials,” according to Professor Dresselhaus.

Professor Dresselhaus is the recipient of numerous other awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2014) and the Enrico Fermi Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (2010).