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Materials Research Society recognizes Pitt’s Anna Balazs as newest Fellow

PITTSBURGH (February 27, 2014) … The Materials Research Society , an international, interdisciplinary organization of materials researchers from academia, industry and government, recently named Anna C. Balazs, PhD among its 2014 class of 22 new Fellows. Dr. Balazs is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Robert v. d. Luft Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, and a renowned researcher in the computational design of chemo-mechanically responsive gels and composites.

Dr. Balazs was recognized "For pioneering contributions to the prediction of materials behavior, ranging from nanocomposites to self-healing materials to oscillating gels, through the development of novel computational models."

"This is another tremendous accomplishment for Anna and I congratulate her for this honor," noted Steven R. Little, PhD , associate professor, CNG Faculty Fellow and Chair of the Swanson School's Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. "Anna's research into composite gels represents a game-changer in materials research, and has the potential for future development of self-regenerating polymers and computational fabrics, to name just two."

According to MRS, the society seeks to recognize as MRS Fellows outstanding members whose sustained and distinguished contributions to the advancement of materials research are internationally recognized. It is intended that by representing excellence in science and engineering and dedication to the advancement of materials research, the MRS Fellows will exemplify the highest ideals of accomplishment and service embodied in the MRS Mission.

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 Materials Science 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). Dr. Balazs earned her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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.