SSOE – SSOE Resources – Anna C. Balazs of the University of Pittsburgh elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Anna Balazs (Aimee Obidzinski)

PITTSBURGH (April 26, 2021)… Anna C. Balazs, University of Pittsburgh award-winning Emeritus Professor at the Swanson School of Engineering, has added one of the nation’s highest honors to her portfolio. the National Academy of Sciences today announced that Balazs is among its 120 newly elected members, recognizing distinguished and continued achievements in original research.

Balazs, who also holds the John A. Swanson Chair of Engineering in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the Swanson School, is internationally recognized for his theoretical and computational modeling of polymers. Over the past decade, his research has focused on mimicking biological processes in polymeric materials that could contribute to the advancement of soft robotics or “spongy robots”.

“Throughout her career, Anna has advanced the field of materials and computational modeling, and we are so proud that the National Academy of Sciences has bestowed this honor on her,” said James R. Martin II, Dean of US Steel Engineering. “His research laid the foundation for future materials and their use in a way that just ten years ago was science fiction. She realized the passion of every engineer – to create new knowledge that will one day benefit the human condition. I congratulate her on this exceptional achievement and look forward to celebrating one day with her in person.

Balazs, a member of the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Materials Research Company, has also received some of the leading awards in his field, including the Royal Society of Chemistry SF Boys – A Rahman Award (2015), the American Chemical Society Langmuir Conference Prize (2014) and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Mining Medal (2013). In 2106, she was named the first woman to receive the prestigious Polymer Physics Prize from the American Physical Society.

“The Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh could not be more proud of Anna’s selection to the National Academy of Science, which is one of the highest honors bestowed on an American scientist,” said said Steven R. Little, director of the department. of chemical and petroleum engineering. “There is no one more deserving than Anna. She envisioned (and continues to envision) the materials that future generations will use to create a better world, and she continues to lead scientists in making these materials a reality. She is a role model for our faculty and our students. His work in his field is truly unmatched in scope, quality and impact.

This year’s NAS member cohort includes 59 women, the most elected in a single year. “The historic number of women elected this year reflects the essential contributions they make in many fields of science, as well as the concerted efforts of our Academy to recognize these contributions and the essential value of growing diversity in our ranks,” said declared National President of the Academy of Sciences Marcia McNutt in the ad.

Anna C. Balazs (second from left) presents her inaugural lecture from the Provost on September 13, 2018, in recognition of her distinguished chair. To his left is Chancellor Patrick Gallagher; to her right, Provost Ann Cudd and Dean James R. Martin II. (Photo: Aimee Obidzinski)


About Dr Balazs
Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh in 1987, Anna C. Balazs held a postdoctoral position in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Balazs’ research focuses on the theoretical and computer modeling of the thermodynamic and kinetic behavior of polymer blends and composites. She also studies the properties of polymers at surfaces and interfaces.

His prizes and distinctions include the Polymer Physics Prize (2016); SF Boys-A. Rahman Prize from the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) (2015); ACS Langmuir Conference Prize (2014); Greater Pittsburgh Chemists’ Committee Award for Excellence in Chemical Sciences (2014); Member, Materials Research Society (2014); South Dakota School of Mines Mining Medal (2013); Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2010); Donaldson Lecturer, University of Minnesota (2007); Laureate, “Women in the Material World,” Southwestern Pennsylvania Women and Girls Foundation (2006); Maurice Huggins Prize from the Gordon Research Conference for Outstanding Contributions to Polymer Science (2003); Visiting scholar, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford (2000 – 2001; 2007-2008); Special Prize for Creativity, National Science Foundation, (1999-2001); Member, American Physical Society (1993); and Invited Participant at the 6th Annual National Academy of Sciences Frontiers in Science Symposium (3-5 November 1994).

About the national academies
the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, not-for-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is responsible for providing independent and objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for his outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to advancing science in America and its members actively contribute to the international scientific community. About 500 current and deceased NAS members have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the leading international journals to publish the results of original research.

the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly Institute of Medicine) – were founded under the NAS charter in 1964 and 1970, respectively. The three academies work together as National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine provide independent and objective analysis and advice to the nation and carry out other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. National academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and improve public understanding of science, engineering, and medicine. The National Academies’ service to government has become so essential that Congress and the White House have over the years passed laws and decrees that reaffirm its unique role.


Contact: Paul Kovach

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