October 23, 2009
The Hertz Foundation's mission is to focus on supporting graduate students in the applied physical, biological, and engineering; sciences; for the purpose of solving difficult, real-world problems. The Thesis Prize is an annual competition for the Hertz Fellow PhD thesis showing overall excellence and pertinence to high-impact applications of the applied physical and engineering sciences. Our approach is to examine the work of the Hertz Doctoral Thesis Prize Winners in this context.
Due to the high quality of theses submitted this year, the Hertz Prize Committee has awarded two Hertz Thesis Prizes for 2009: Dr. Paul Podsiadlo, University of Michigan, for his thesis on Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Nanostructured Composites: Mechanics and Applications; and Dr. Mikhail Shapiro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for his thesis on Genetically Engineered Sensors for Non-Invasive Molecular Imaging using MRI.
This year, there were two Hertz Thesis Honorable Mention Awards: Dr. Keith Fife, Stanford University, Devices for Integrated Multi-Aperture Imaging; and Dr. Simon Sponberg, University of California, Berkeley, Neuromechanical Control of Stability and Maneuverability in Rapidly Running Cockroaches.
In addition, a Special Achievement by a Hertz Fellow Prize was awarded to Dr. Philip Eckhoff, Princeton University, for exceptional contributions toward the global eradication of human infectious diseases, and specifically his modeling work on pathogen-vector-human interactions underlying malaria.