Carnegie Mellon University
February 07, 2019

MCS Alumna and Emeritus Professor Receive Alumni Awards

Jocelyn Duffy

MCS alumna Patricia McBride (S 1977) and MCS Professor Emeritus Eric W. Grotzinger have been named recipients of Carnegie Mellon University’s 2019 Alumni Awards, which recognize their professional achievements and service to the university. They will be honored at a reception on May 17 during Commencement Weekend.

Patricia McBrideMcBride, a graduate of the physics department, is a distinguished scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and deputy spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration at the Large HadronCollider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. She will receive an Alumni Achievement Award, recognizing her impressive career achievements and leadership as a top particle physicist.

McBride has been a member of the CMS collaboration for more than a decade, serving as the head of Fermilab’s CMS efforts and managing the U.S. CMS Operations Program, which oversees U.S. contributions to CMS experiment operations. During CMS’s commissioning phase, she served as deputy computing coordinator, working with scientists and computing specialists from around the globe to establish the high-throughput computing resources needed for analysis of the large volume of CMS data.

She has served on many national and international committees, and was the chair of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society (APS), the U.S. Liaison Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the IUPAP C11 Commission for Particles and Fields. She is currently a member of the AURA NCOA Management Oversight Council, J-PARC International Advisory Committee and AUI Visiting Committee for NRAO. She was elected an APS and an AAAS Fellow in 2009. Previously, McBride served as head of Fermilab’s Particle Physics Division and its scientific computing programs.  

Eric GrotzingerGrotzinger, professor emeritus in biological sciences at the Mellon College of Science, will receive the Faculty and Staff Impact Award, which is bestowed on CMU community members who have consistently gone above and beyond their roles as administrators and educators to show extraordinary dedication and service to CMU alumni and students.

Between teaching, advisee meetings, committee work and serving as a mentor and friend to generations of MCS students, and maintaining friendships with these students well past their graduation, Grotzinger has made an impact on countless students’ and alumni’s lives and kept them connected to CMU.

He joined CMU’s faculty in 1979, first as assistant and then associate department head of biological sciences, overseeing graduate and undergraduate programs for 11 years. For 24 years, Grotzinger was associate dean of MCS, working to increase the number of women and underrepresented students, raise the retention rate of first-year students in science and develop the Science and Humanities Scholars and Bachelor of Science and Arts Programs. From 2010 to 2015, he chaired or co-chaired committees that created and implemented an outcome-based MCS Core Education. He currently serves as senior advisor of the University Student Success Collaborative in the Office of the Vice Provost of Education.

CMU has recognized Grotzinger with the Robert E. Doherty Award for Sustained Excellence in Education and the Undergraduate Advising Award and, as a member of the MCS First-Year Seminar Committee, the Innovation in Teaching Award.

First presented in 1950, the Alumni Awards pay tribute to individuals distinguished by their service to the university and outstanding accomplishments in the arts, humanities, sciences, technology and business. To date, nearly 900 alumni, faculty and students have been honored with these awards.

A full list of Alumni Award recipients and more information about the awards and awards ceremony can be found at