Physics alumnus Ray Baughman (S'64) receives Alumni award-Dept of Physics - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, October 15, 2007

Physics alumnus Ray Baughman (S'64) receives Alumni award

On Oct. 26, during this year’s Homecoming celebration, a Physics alumnus will be honored with an MCS Alumni Award. Ray Baughman (S ’64), the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry 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.  Baughman will deliver a lecture on “Nanotechnology for Fun & Profit” on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 4:30pm in the Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall.

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.