Newsmaker: Anna C. Balazs
Noteworthy: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has named Balazs the 2013 Mines Medalist for her research in predicting the behavior of complex polymeric materials through theoretical modeling. She's the fifth recipient of the prestigious award that honors exceptional scientific leadership and innovation.
Occupation: The Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Robert Von der Luft Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Family: Husband, Steven Levitan, 62, Pitt's John A. Jurenko Professor of Computer Engineering.
Education: Bachelor's degree in physics from Bryn Mawr College in 1975; master's of science and doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.
Background: Balazs joined Pitt in 1987. She has explored polymer plastics and tiny nanocomposites as they mix. She also studies how fluid cells move in channels no wider than a strand of hair — plus gels that can have a wide range of practical uses. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Quote: “It's just lovely. I'm truly humbled because, if you look at the other people who have won the awards, they're wonderful people. I'm honored just to be included in their company.”