Ellen Roche and Justin Solomon named Edgerton Award winners

MIT affiliate professors Ellen Roche of the Division of Mechanical Engineering (MechE) and Justin Solomon of the Division of Electrical Engineering and Pc Science (EECS) have been named the 2023 winners of MIT’s annual Harold E. Edgerton School Achievement Award.

Established in fall 1982, the award exists as a everlasting tribute to the late Institute Professor Emeritus Harold E. Edgerton for his nice and enduring assist for youthful school members through the years. The aim of the award is to acknowledge distinctive distinction in educating, in analysis, and in service.

Ellen Roche, the Latham Household Profession Improvement Professor in Mechanical Engineering (MechE) and the Institute for Medical Engineering Science (IMES), additionally directs the Therapeutic Know-how Design and Improvement Lab (TTDD) at MIT. Because the creation of the TTDD Lab, she has explored the intersection of mechanical and organic help units and remedy supply and made pioneering contributions in biomechanics, medical system design, smooth robotics and supplies, and bioengineering design and modeling.

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Roche’s contributions to the medical discipline have impacted its development in three vital areas; augmentation of failing organs to revive useful output, improvement of applied sciences to restore tissues and proper native defects, and high-fidelity ex vivo exams to judge new applied sciences.

As described in a current Nature Biomedical Engineering publication, Roche and her workforce developed a smooth robotic, and implantable ventilator designed to enhance the diaphragm’s pure contractions. Roche and her workforce additionally hope to assist docs tailor remedies to sufferers’ particular coronary heart kind and performance with a process they developed to 3D print a soft and flexible replica of a patient’s heart. Roche’s rigorous engineering design of implantable units and medical simulators is grounded in a deep understanding of physiological and pathological biomechanics, superior supplies and smooth robotics, and the built-in use of benchtop and computational fashions.

“IMES is completely delighted with this recognition of Prof. Roche, whose analysis is the way forward for drugs and therapeutics,” says Elazer Edelman, the Edward J. Poitras Professor in Medical Engineering and Science and the director of IMES. “She has uniquely built-in impressed engineering with physiologic perception in essentially the most marvelous approach, that might make Doc Edgerton excited and proud.”

“She is, above all, a paradigmatic instance of a scholar’s dedication to science and pedagogy, mentorship, and neighborhood, and has gracefully served and introduced collectively our two tutorial items. Her contributions to training and repair on the division, Institute, and trade ranges are wonderful,” acknowledged Roche’s nominators.

Roche’s extremely appraised educating type has related with college students throughout many disciplines. Her ardour for the scholars’ improvement shines by way of her dedication to the various hands-on, project-based programs she teaches. A number of of the coed led initiatives from her 2.75 (Medical System Design) course have led to publications and awards. In fall 2022, Roche additionally took on the problem of main course 2.009 (Product Engineering Processes), sometimes taught by Professor David Wallace. The MechE capstone class included 114 college students and concluded with a profitable seven-team, absolutely produced, product prototype launch in entrance of a reside viewers in Kresge Auditorium.

“Professor Roche has demonstrated herself to be an exemplary educator, garnering distinctive teacher rankings, and is an award-winning mentor … Given the twin nature of her school appointment, it’s noteworthy that she has achieved these rankings and recognition in every of her respective items,” one school member wrote in a nomination.

Roche obtained her bachelor’s diploma in biomedical engineering from NUI Galway in Eire and hung out working within the medical system trade earlier than receiving her MS in bioengineering from Trinity School Dublin. She later obtained her PhD from Harvard College. Current profession honors embody her NSF Profession award, choice as a grand prize winner within the MIT Future Founders Initiative Prize Competitors in 2022, choice as a finalist in scientific achievement for the Nature Analysis Inspiring Girls in Science Awards in 2021, and the Thomas McMahon Mentoring Award in 2020.

Justin Solomon is an affiliate professor of EECS and an affiliate of the MIT Pc Science and Synthetic Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He leads the CSAIL Geometric Information Processing group, which research issues on the intersection of geometry, large-scale optimization, laptop graphics, and machine studying. Solomon and his workforce have tackled a various array of challenges in utilized geometry, from developing machine learning for 3D data to identifying geometric structures in abstract datasets, assessing compliance of political redistricting plans with civil rights law, and assisting digital artists as they create sketches and 3D models

Solomon’s ardour for geometry processing led him to create the Summer Geometry Initiative, a six-week analysis program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate college students alike to the sector. This system, which takes place on-line and attracts college students from everywhere in the world, was designed with fairness in thoughts. “What we see within the graduate pupil pipeline is basically that the individuals who make it to the higher ranges in [geometry processing] come from comparatively few establishments and have comparatively homogenous backgrounds,” Solomon explained in a 2021 interview. “So, the aim for SGI was to spark new collaboration between totally different labs and individuals who don’t usually work on this matter, whereas introducing a brand new cohort of scholars to geometry processing analysis who wouldn’t usually get an opportunity to work on this self-discipline.” To realize his aim, Solomon structured SGI fastidiously, limiting the variety of hours college students had been anticipated to satisfy on-line to make this system extra usable to individuals throughout time zones; providing one-, two-, and three-week dedication durations for mentors to encourage extra tutorial and trade participation; and eventually, making SGI a paid expertise, to decrease the chance value of participation. Since its inception in 2021, SGI has quickly grown to develop into a massively profitable annual program with a extremely aggressive applicant listing.  

“The Division of EECS is delighted with this unbelievable recognition for Professor Solomon, whose outstanding work democratizes and opens his discipline, permitting college students from everywhere in the world to have interaction in collaborative analysis with among the finest school and analysis scientists within the self-discipline,” says Asu Ozdaglar, EECS division head. “Moreover, his analysis within the space of geometric knowledge processing, together with algorithms for processing geometric knowledge and knowledge processing utilizing geometric methods, continues to push boundaries, deal with complicated challenges, and uncover new alternatives to enhance our world. This honor is well-deserved.”

Solomon earned his BS, MS, and PhD from Stanford College earlier than taking a postdoctoral appointment at Princeton College for a 12 months after which becoming a member of MIT in 2016. Moreover, he has performed analysis at Pixar Animation Studios, the College of Southern California, and the British Library Sound Archives. His textbook, “Numerical Algorithms,” was printed in 2015. Solomon’s many awards and honors embody the ACM SIGGRAPH Important New Researcher Award (2022); the Seth J. Teller Award for Excellence, Inclusion, and Range (2022); the Google Analysis Scholar Award (2022); the Instructing With Digital Know-how Award (2021); the Junior Bose Award (2020); the NSF BIGDATA Award (with P. Rigollet, in 2018), and the Amazon Analysis Award (2018). 


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