Houston Honored as Carnegie Science Award Winner-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Houston Honored as Carnegie Science Award Winner

The Carnegie Science Center has selected Elaine Houston (PITT-RST) as a 2013 recipient of the Carnegie Science Award. Houston - a key contributor to the QoLTbots Testbed System - was chosen by a committee of peers for recognition in the category of University/Post-Secondary Student.

The Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The program has honored more than 350 individuals and organizations whose contributions in the fields of science, technology, and education have impacted Southwestern Pennsylvania's industrial, academic, and environmental vitality.

The University / Post-Secondary Student Award is presented this year by corporate sponsor, Ansaldo STS USA. It recognizes scientific advances through research; effectiveness in increasing the public awareness of the role of science or engineering to society; and inspiring youth in the promotion of career opportunities.

Houston is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Pittsburgh's Rehabilitation Science and Technology Program where she is an active member of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. She has dedicated countless hours toward research on the PerMMA project - a power wheelchair appliance featuring robotic arms.

Houston is also recognized as a strong supporter of STEM education. She is QoLT's current Student Leadership Council co-chair for Education and Outreach activities; but her leadership role with the Tech-Link program received special mention. Tech-Link seeks to link students with disabilities directly to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The program motivates and inspires middle and high school students by organizing a competitive FIRST LEGO League Robotics team and hosting other fun engineering activities. Tech-Link participants have dubbed Houston the "techno wizard" for teaching younger students how to program robots.

Houston shares the University/Post-Secondary Student Award category with Steven Little of the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering. Locally, Little is recognized as a first-rate educator and mentor by his colleagues and students. He was also recently named a "Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar" and chosen to speak to the nation's brightest science and engineering students at the Beckman Foundation's Scholars Symposium.

A complete list of Carnegie Sciece Award winners is available on the Carnegie Science Center website.

A welcome reception was held for award winners on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at Carnegie Science Center on Pittsburgh's North Shore; winners within each category were announced to the public at that time. The formal presentation of all Carnegie Science Awards will take place on Friday, May 3, 2013, at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.


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By: Kristen Sabol, ksabol@cs.cmu.edu, 412-268-3795