Institute Professor Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus dies at 86

    “Queen of carbon science” and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Science, Dresselhaus led U.S. scientific community, promoted women in STEM.


    MIT Mildred Dresselhaus Web

    Mildred S. Dresselhaus. Photo, Dominick Reuter

    Mildred S. Dresselhaus, a celebrated and beloved MIT professor whose research helped unlock the mysteries of carbon, the most fundamental of organic elements — earning her the nickname “queen of carbon science” — died Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, at age 86.

    Dresselhaus, a solid-state physicist who was Institute Professor Emerita of Physics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was also nationally known for her work to develop wider opportunities for women in science and engineering. She died at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, following a brief period of poor health.

    “Yesterday, we lost a giant — an exceptionally creative scientist and engineer who was also a delightful human being,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif wrote in an email today sharing the news of Dresselhaus’s death with the MIT community. “Among her many ‘firsts,’ in 1968, Millie became the first woman at MIT to attain the rank of full, tenured professor. She was the first solo recipient of a Kavli Prize and the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering.”

    Read more at the MIT News Office.

    MIT News Office
    February 21, 2017