MCS Alumni Ray Baughman and Mia Markey Receive University Alumni Awards-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MCS Alumni Ray Baughman and Mia Markey Receive University Alumni Awards

On Oct. 26, during this year’s Homecoming celebration, two MCS alumni will be honored with Alumni Awards. Ray Baughman (S ’64), the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and Director of the NanoTech Institute of the University of Texas at Dallas, will receive a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association. The award is the university’s highest level of recognition, given for notable achievement and leadership that serves as an inspiration to the next generation. Mia K. Markey (S ’98), assistant professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Biomedical Informatics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, will receive a Recent Alumni Award, which recognizes exceptional achievements throughout the first 10 years as a Carnegie Mellon graduate.

Baughman will deliver a lecture on “Nanotechnology for Fun & Profit” on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 4:30pm in the Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall.

Ray Baughman

From time-temperature indicators that warn when perishable food and drugs have degraded to yarns made of carbon nanotubes that are stronger than steel wire, Ray Baughman (S’64) is designing some of the most innovative devices in the field of nanotechnology. Director of the NanoTech Institute of the University of Texas at Dallas and the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry, Baughman has 57 US patents and over 250 publications with over 10,500 citations. He began his career with Allied Chemical, which later became AlliedSignal and Honeywell, where he received Technical Achievement Awards for developing new products including time-temperature indicators, electronically conducting polymers and sonar hydrophones (underwater microphones).

More recently at the NanoTech Institute, Baughman has been working with carbon nanotubes — nano-sized cylinders of carbon molecules that conduct electricity and heat. In 2004, Baughman and colleagues in Dallas and Australia discovered that trillions of carbon nanotubes could be woven into yarns. It also turned out that carbon nanotubes could be pulled into transparent sheets that are strong yet lightweight and that conduct electricity. Baughman has demonstrated that these nanotube yarns and nanotube sheets have great potential for use in a range of applications, including protective clothing, artificial muscles that are a hundred times stronger than an actual muscle, organic light-emitting displays and solar cells. In 2005, Discover magazine ranked Baughman’s development of carbon nanotube sheets number eight in their list of the top science stories of 2005. And, in 2006, Baughman and two of his colleagues were named to the Scientific American Top 50 for their development of nanotube yarns and sheets.

Baughman is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and the World Innovation Foundation, an Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, an Honorary Professor of three universities in China, and is on editorial and advisory boards of Science, Synthetic Metals, the International Journal of Nanoscience, and the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He has received numerous awards, including the New Materials Innovation Prize of the Avantex International Forum for Innovative Textiles (2005), a Nano 50 Award from Nanotech Briefs Magazine (2006), the NanoVic Prize from Australia (2006), and the Kapitza Medal by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (2007).

Baughman received a B.S. in Physics from Carnegie Mellon’s Mellon College of Science in 1964 and a Ph.D. (1971) and M.S. (1966) in the Materials Science area from Harvard University.

Mia K. Markey

Markey designs cost-effective, computational medical decision aids to help physicians better diagnose, treat and manage cancer. As director of the Biomedical Informatics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, she is developing computer software to help radiologists better detect the signs of breast cancer, to help women realistically visualize the aesthetic outcome of breast reconstruction surgery, and to aid researchers in identifying cancer biomarkers from genomic and proteomic analyses. One of Markey’s current projects involves computer-aided detection of breast cancer, the most common cancer among American women. Early detection through mammograms increases the survival rate, but some cancers are difficult to detect. Markey is designing computer software to help radiologists detect the signs of breast cancer most commonly missed in mammograms. She is also researching methods for quantifying the changes to a woman’s appearance that result from breast cancer treatments. Surgery remains the primary component of multidisciplinary treatment plans for breast cancer. However, surgical treatments result in permanent alterations to the appearance of the breast, which is critical to breast cancer survivors’ quality of life. Markey is working with reconstructive surgeons and behavioral scientists to understand which factors most affect survivors’ appearance and quality of life.

Markey, as assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, recently received the 2006 Outstanding Teaching Award from the Gulf-Southwest Section of the American Society of Engineering Education and the 2006 New Investigator Award from the American Medical Informatics Association.

Markey graduated from the Mellon College of Science in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, with a focus on computational biology. She then went on to earn her doctor’s degree in biomedical engineering, with a certificate in bioinformatics and genome technology, from Duke University.

(parts of Mia Markey's profile reprinted with permission from UT Cockrell School of Engineering public affairs)

By: Amy Pavlak