AIChE Recognizes Nanotech Pioneers

Meyya Meyyappan, chief scientist for exploration technology at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., is being recognized for accomplishments over a distinguished career, while Ravi Kane, the Merck assistant professor of chemical and biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., is being honored for the prominence of his growing body of work. Both are being recognized by The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum (NSEF) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Meyyappan will receive the NSEF Forum Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in the advancement of nanoscale science and engineering through scholarship, education, or service. Bill Grieco, chair of NSEF, said that, "Dr. Meyyappan is receiving this award not only for his strong technical work at NASA and across government agencies, but also for his outstanding efforts to promote nanoscience and nanotechnology education at all levels."

Until June 2006, Meyyappan served as director of the Center for Nanotechnology at the Ames Research Center. He is also an adjunct professor at Arizona State University. A founding member of the federal government's Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology, established by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, he participated in the launch of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. He has received numerous awards including a Presidential Meritorius Award and NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal.

Kane will receive the Young Investigator Award, which recognizes outstanding interdisciplinary research in nanoscale science and engineering by an engineer or scientist who has not yet reached the age of 35. His application of nanotechnology to medical and biological problems through the design of new nanoscale materials was cited in his selection for the prize.

Kane focuses his research on polyvalent inhibitors that target the receptors on specific toxins, including efforts to develop an antidote to anthrax funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is also working to design new molecules that may one day fend off HIV infection.

Both winners will present award lectures on Nov. 18 at AIChE's Centennial Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.