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Oct. 16: Society for History of Technology Presents Leonardo da Vinci Medal to Carnegie Mellon Professor


Teresa Thomas                        

Society for History of Technology Presents
Leonardo da Vinci Medal to Carnegie Mellon Professor

Joel TarrPITTSBURGH—For the second consecutive year, the Society for the History of Technology has awarded its Leonardo da Vinci Medal to a Carnegie Mellon University faculty member. Joel A. Tarr, the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy in the Department of History, received the award at a celebration earlier this month in Lisbon, Portugal.
The 2007 Leonardo da Vinci Medal was bestowed on David Hounshell, the David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change and Tarr's colleague in the History Department.
The recognition, which is the society's highest honor, goes to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the history of technology through research, teaching, publication and other activities.
Tarr, a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon since 1967 and a university professor since 2003 — the highest honor a faculty member can achieve at Carnegie Mellon — also has appointments in the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management and in the Engineering and Public Policy Department. His research focuses on the environmental history of cities and the impact of urban technological systems. In 1992 the university awarded him the Robert Doherty Prize for "substantial and sustained contributions to excellence in education."
Tarr served as president of the Public Works Historical Society in 1982-83 and president of the Urban History Association in 1999. He has served on National Research Council committees dealing with issues of urban infrastructure, public transit, water pollution and the human dimensions of global change.
"The Society for the History of Technology's Leonardo da Vinci Medal is a tremendous honor, and I am humbled by the recognition," Tarr said. "Receiving the award just one year after my colleague David Hounshell makes the experience even more fulfilling."