Three faculty elected to NAE

Three faculty members from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The new members — Barbara Grosz, Frans Spaepen, and Zhigang Suo — are among 65 academics and professionals elected to the NAE in 2008.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Grosz, Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences and interim dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and human computer interaction. As a mentor, teacher, and administrator she has also remained vigilant in finding ways to increase the participation of women in all areas of the sciences and research.

The John C. and Helen F. Franklin Professor and director of the Rowland Institute at Harvard, Spaepen researches a wide range of experimental and theoretical topics in materials science. He is one of the most active scientific collaborators at Harvard, has led numerous academic societies such as the Materials Research Society, and is currently the co-editor of Solid State Physics and principal editor of the Journal of Materials Research.

Zhigang Suo is the Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials. He studies small materials structures and the mechanics of nanofabrication, self-assembly, and durability. A paper he co-authored — “Mixed-mode Cracking in Layered Materials” — is among the 10 most-cited papers in the field of engineering in the past decade. At SEAS, Suo has played an active role in curricular development and in building a stronger student community.

Linnean Society of London honors Wilson

Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson, together with two other world-renowned biologists, recently received the prestigious Linnean Tercentenary Medal from the Linnean Society of London. The medals were awarded at a December ceremony in London in recognition of the scientists’ contributions to the understanding of natural history and the environment.

The three medals were commissioned from the award-winning designer Felicity Powell, each one representing a century since Carl Linnaeus’ birth. The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active biological society. Founded in 1788, it takes its name from the Swedish naturalist who developed the system of binomial nomenclature.

Naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough and Steve Jones, a professor at University College London, also received the medals.

Arthur Kleinman serves as Cleveringa Professor

This past November and December, Arthur Kleinman, the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, was appointed to the prestigious Cleveringa Professorship at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. During the professorship, Kleinman — internationally renowned for his work on the culture and psychology of violence and moral life — taught separate master classes to students of medicine, anthropology, and Asian studies and delivered the Cleveringa Lecture.

The professorship and lecture honors R.P. Cleveringa, a former dean and professor who protested and denounced the forced firing of Jewish colleagues during the German occupation of Holland. Cleveringa was later imprisoned and killed by the Nazis.

Faculty earn Smith Breeden Prize

Harvard Business School (HBS) assistant professors Lauren H. Cohen and Christopher J. Malloy recently won the 2007 Smith Breeden Prize for their paper “Supply and Demand Shifts in the Shorting Market” (co-authored with Karl B. Diether of the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University). The award recognizes the top three papers published in The Journal of Finance in any area other than corporate finance.

To access the paper, visit http://

Pair wins prestigious NSF award

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences faculty members Ken Crozier, assistant professor of electrical engineering, and Vinothan N. Manoharan, assistant professor of physics and chemical engineering, were recently named recipients of Faculty Early Career Development awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The honor is considered one of the most prestigious ways to recognize rising stars in science and engineering.

Crozier’s current research focuses on experimental studies in nanophotonics. In particular, he is exploring near-field optical imaging techniques for spectroscopy with a spatial resolution significantly better than the classical diffraction limit. The grant will support research on near-field optical forces.

Meanwhile, Manoharan’s research explores light scattering, optical microscopy, spectroscopy, synthesis, and other experimental techniques to understand the physics of self-organization. For most of these experiments his lab uses colloids, suspensions of particles typically about a micrometer in size. His grant will support research on high-speed 3-D imaging of colloidal self-assembly with digital holographic microscopy.

‘Father of World Wide Web’ to receive Pathfinder Award

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, considered “the father of the World Wide Web,” received the Pathfinder Award from the Leadership for a Networked World (LNW) Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Feb. 13. The Pathfinder Award is given to public leaders who have dramatically improved government by strategically using the growing capacity of information technologies.

Berners-Lee is director of the World Wide Web Consortium; senior researcher at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and professor of computer science at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom). He invented the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He has been the recipient of several international awards including the Japan Prize and the Millennium Technology Prize. In 2004, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

— Compiled by Andrew Brooks