Women in Nanoscience


Women in Nano Blog

Obama awards three women the 2014 National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 5:20 PM

This year, President Obama awarded the 2014 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to eight pioneers of science and technology. Among these eight were three women technologists:


Edith Flanigen is a Buffalo NY native best known for her work on zeolites ("molecular sieves"). In her 42-year career at Union Carbide, she was the first woman named as a corporate research fellow and, later, senior research fellow. She was also a Senior Research Fellow at UOP (a joint Union Carbide-Allied Signal venture). She invented over 200 different synthetic compounds and, rare among women scientists, she has authored more than 109 patents. She was the first woman to win the prestigious Perkin Medal.


Cherry Murray is currently the Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. She is best known for her work on light scattering, which provides information on surface physics, and has made significant contributions to a broad range of matter from semiconductors to soft matter. Born in Kansas and the daughter of a diplomat, Murray lived in Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan and South Korea as a child. This background may have influenced her to become active in public policy, for which she received the AAAS Carey Lectureship which recognizes contributions to articulating public policy. She is a member of the National Academies of Science and of Engineering. She spent much of her career at Bell Laboratories, becoming Senior Vice President for Physical Sciences.


Mary Shaw has spent 43 years on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University's computer science department. She is an expert on software engineering. Indeed, she helped to create the discipline that is now known as software architecture. Shaw is a Fellow of the IEEE Computer Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Warnier Prize for contributions to software engineering in 1993.


"These scholars and innovators have expanded our understanding of the world, made invaluable contributions to their fields, and helped improve countless lives," President Obama said. "Our nation has been enriched by their achievements, and by all the scientists and technologists across America dedicated to discovery, inquiry, and invention."

(Photo credits: Provided by and used with permission from, Murray: Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Shaw: Carnegie Mellon University).

Categories: WINnews

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