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American Chemical Society selects Pitt’s Dr. Anna Balazs to deliver renowned Langmuir Lecture in 2014

PITTSBURGH (March 26, 2014) … Anna C. Balazs, PhD , Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Robert v. d. Luft Professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, was named a 2014 Langmuir Lecturer by the American Chemical Society. Dr. Balazs, recognized for her research in the computational design of chemo- responsive gels and nanocomposites, will deliver a plenary lecture in a special session of the ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry at the annual conference in San Francisco, August 10-14, 2014.

Presented annually by the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry to two scientists, the Langmuir Award is named for Irving Langmuir, an American chemist and physicist who received the 1932 Nobel Prize for his research in surface chemistry. The first industrial chemist to receive a Nobel, Dr. Langmuir advanced several basic fields of physics and chemistry, invented the gas-filled incandescent lamp and the hydrogen welding technique, and is recognized for his 1919 article, "The Arrangement of Electrons in Atoms and Molecules" in which he outlined his "concentric theory of atomic structure." The Langmuir Lecture is one of the most respected honors in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering.

"This is another tremendous accomplishment for Anna, whose research in composites and gels continues to receive international attention," said Steven R. Little, PhD , associate professor, CNG Faculty Fellow and Chair of the Swanson School's Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering . "This is her third major recognition in only a year, including the South Dakota School of Mines award in October 2013, and being named a fellow of the Materials Research Society last month. I congratulate her continued success and look forward to the next exciting accolade."

About Dr. Balazs

Anna Balazs joined the Swanson School's then-Department of Chemical Engineering in 1997, from the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to Pitt, she held a postdoctoral position in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Balazs' research involves theoretical and computational modeling of the thermodynamic and kinetic behavior of polymer blends and composites. She is also investigating the properties of polymers at surfaces and interfaces.

Her awards and recognitions include the South Dakota School of Mines' Mines Medal (2013); Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2010); Donaldson Lecturer, University of Minnesota (2007); Honoree, "Women in the Material World," Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania (2006); Senior Visiting Fellow, Oxford Center for Advanced Materials and Composites (OCAMAC), and Theoretical Physics Department, Oxford University, UK (1/2004-2007); Maurice Huggins Award of the Gordon Research Conference for outstanding contributions to Polymer Science (2003); Visiting Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University (2000 - 2001; 2007- 2008); Special Creativity Award, National Science Foundation, (1999-2001); Fellow, American Physical Society (1993); and Invited Participant, National Academy of Sciences' 6th Annual Frontiers of Science Symposium (November 3-5, 1994).

About the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

The Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering serves undergraduate and graduate engineering students, the University and our industry, through education, research, and participation in professional organizations and regional/national initiatives. Our commitment to the future of the chemical process industry drives the development of educational and research programs. The Department has a tradition of excellence in education and research, evidenced by recent national awards including numerous NSF CAREER Awards, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, an NIH Director's New Innovator Award, and the DOE Hydrogen Program R&D Award, among others. Active areas of research in the Department include Biological and Biomedical Systems; Energy and Sustainability; and Materials Modeling and Design. The faculty has a record of success in obtaining research funding such that the Department ranks within the top 25 U.S. ChE departments for Federal R&D spending in recent years with annual research expenditures exceeding $7 million. The vibrant research culture within the Department includes active collaboration with the adjacent University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Center for Simulation and Modeling, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, the Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering and the U.S. DOE-affiliated Institute for Advanced Energy Solutions.