Although my career has focused on advancing science and engineering in its more basic aspects, I have had several opportunities to also advance energy sustainability, which is a central goal of Energy Frontier Centers. In my talk I will give some examples of how this has happened in my case and ideas for how my personal experience can be generalized by others.
Professor Mildred Dresselhaus is a native of the Bronx, New York City, where she attended the New York City public schools through junior high school, completing her high school education at Hunter College High School in 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). Professor Dresselhaus received 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. During that time she switched from research on superconductivity to 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 in traditionally male dominated fields, such as physics. In 1973, she was appointed to The Abby Rockefeller Mauzé chair, an Institute-wide chair, endowed in support of the scholarship of women in science and engineering.