Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus Becomes the First Woman to Receive IEEE Medal of Honor

Boston, May 4, 2015, — Information letter from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to its member Dr. Xingcai Zhang (who got five degrees in STEM, and is also known as Dr. Tea, the Founder of says: “This June, when the IEEE confers its highest accolade, the IEEE Medal of Honor, upon Mildred Dresselhaus, that will break a nearly century-long streak during which the award was given only to men.
Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus, Prof. Jing Kong (MIT), Prof Yingying Zhang(Tsinghua University) and Dr.Xingcai Zhang(Dr. Tea , Founder of My Love Tea) were speakers and they posed at 2010 MSNT conference (provided to

“On one hand, it seems to be quite late for the first woman to receive the IEEE Medal of Honor,” says Gang Chen, head of the mechanical engineering department at MIT, where Dresselhaus holds joint appointments in electrical engineering and physics. “On the other hand,” Chen attests, “no one is more fitting than Millie, and she has set a truly high bar. Dresselhaus’s research laid the foundation for the discovery and exploitation of nanotech wonder materials such as buckminsterfullerenes (buckyballs), nanotubes, and graphene.”
Prof. Gang Chen (middle, at 2015 Lunar New Year Gala) is a colleague of Prof. Dresselhaus at MIT.

“The IEEE is a professional association with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers. Today it is the world’s largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members in chapters around the world. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines.” (Wikipedia,)

Professor Mildred Dresselhaus is the Queen of Carbon, one of the 13 Institute Professor (1985–present) in MIT, Professor in both Physics and Electrical Engineering. She was the President of American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998 and the President of American Physical Society in 1984 and a Member of National Academy of Sciences since 1985. She got the National Medal of Science in 1990 and IEEE Founders Medal in 2004. And these are just among a few of her awards and positions.

Professor Mildred Dresselhaus is a native of New York City. She began her higher education at Hunter College in New York City and received a Fulbright Fellowship to attend the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University (1951-52), followed by her master’s degree at Radcliffe College (1953) and her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago (1958).
Professor Dresselhaus began her MIT career at the Lincoln Laboratory, working on magneto-optics, and carried out a series of experiments which led to a fundamental understanding of the electronic structure of semi-metals, especially graphite.

A leader in promoting opportunities for women in science and engineering, Professor Dresselhaus received a Carnegie Foundation grant in 1973 to encourage women’s study of traditionally male dominated fields, such as physics. In 1973, she was appointed to The Abby Rockefeller Mauze chair, an Institute-wide chair, endowed in support of the scholarship of women in science and engineering. Prof. Jing Kong who also posed in the picture is another famous female Professor at MIT.

Professor Dresselhaus has greatly enjoyed her career in science. On her experience working with MIT students, she says, “I like to be challenged. I welcome the hard questions and having to come up with good explanations on the spot. That’s an experience I really enjoy.” Thus far, she has graduated over 60 Ph.D. students.

Dr.Xingcai Zhang got his PH.D. in Engineering (his extensive work including Nanomedicine and Nanosystem Engineering etc) published around ten papers in international high impact factor peer review journals such as Advanced Drug Delivery Review, Nanomedicine, Langmuir, PCCP, IEEE Sensors, RSC Advances, Journal of Cancer Research Updates etc and had been cited by Prof. Paula Hammond multiple times. Prof. Paula Hammond at MIT was elected into the 2013 Class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr.Xingcai Zhang`s recent paper on Tea and Cancer Prevention has also been accepted for publication. His effort in putting science and culture together and move them towards a new era has attracted attention from the science, social, cultural and even media side, with tens of influential media reports about his great job and effort.

(This text was adapted from Harvard Magazine’s January-February 1980 feature article on Professr Mildred S. Dresselhaus, her MIT homepage, wikipedia and Information letter from the IEEE to Dr. Xingcai Zhang, also known as Dr. Tea, Founder of My Love Tea who is also serving as a member of the IEEE society.)

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