United States
Source: NASA/Unsplash

Online news outlet U.S. News has released its 2018 STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, recognising some of the most outstanding scientists in the United States.

It inducted leaders who have “achieved measurable results in the science, technology, engineering and math fields; challenged established processes and conventional wisdom; inspired a shared vision; and motivated aspiring STEM professionals.”

Director of the National Science Foundation and acclaimed astrophysicist France Córdova was honoured by the Hall of Fame for her esteemed career and contributions to science in the United States. The NSF director has published more than 150 academic papers and was previously the chief scientist at NASA.

Dr France Córdova gives a speech as she assumed tensure of the National Science Foundation in 2014. Source: YouTube

Córdova’s impressive resume doesn’t end there: she was also President of Purdue University between 2007 and 2012, and has served as chancellor at the University of California – Riverside and the vice chancellor for research at the University of California – Santa Barbara.

She pursued her undergraduate degree at Stanford University where she focused on literature, however was inspired by the moon landing in 1969 to seek a job at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her passion “took a while to realise because there wasn’t much encouragement for young girls going into science,” Córdova told U.S. News. She later became a graduate physics student at the California Institute of Technology.

Dr James West, a professor of electrical, computer and mechanical engineering at John Hopkins University was also recognised on the U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame.

He holds almost 300 patents around the world from when he worked with Bell Laboratories, and is co-inventor of the foil electret microphone, the type used in the vast majority of microphones today.

Dr James West. Source: John Hopkins University

West graduated from Temple University back in 1957 and has since authored or contributed to more than 150 technical papers.

Other awardees were Dr Henry Samueli, professor in electrical engineering at the University of California – Los Angeles and co-founder of Broadcom Corporation; as well as Ira Flatow, host of the Science Friday show on Public Radio International.

The awardees were announced ahead of the U.S. News Stem Solutions Workplace of Tomorrow conference, which will be held in April in Washington.

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