DuPont scientist named one of the world's top young innovators by MIT's 'Technology Review' Magazine


WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 21, 2004 DuPont scientist Dr. Maria Petrucci-Samija has been named to the 2004 list of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Magazine of Innovation.

Dr. Petrucci-Samija, 33, represents a growing core of young scientists working on emerging technologies at the DuPont Experimental Station global research and development headquarters here. She joined DuPont in 2002 and is currently leading the DuPont polymer photonics team. Her research focuses on the use of polymers to fabricate optical devices for telecommunications applications. She contributed to the development of the industry's early commercial samples of polymer-based switches and multiplexers, allowing ever-faster telecommunication. Dr. Petrucci-Samija produced and patented a polymer so transparent to light that it rivaled the performance of the state-of-the-art glass optical devices that are the norm in telecommunications circuits today. Her research objective is to integrate photonics devices onto a single chip, providing quicker and more cost effective ways to communicate.

The editors of Technology Review and an elite panel of judges chose 100 individuals (the "TR100") under age 35 whose innovative work in technology has a profound impact on today's world. This year's nominees are recognized for their contributions in transforming the nature of technology and business in industries such as biotechnology and medicine, computing and nanotechnology.

"In the five years since we began naming our annual selection of the world's top innovators under age 35, inclusion among the TR100 has become one of the most prestigious awards for young innovators around the world," said David Rotman, executive editor of Technology Review. "This year's winners all are pioneering fascinating innovations in the fields of biomedicine, computing and nanotechnology, and were chosen after a rigorous selection and judging process. The result is an elite group whose visions and inventions will shape the future of technology."

DuPont Vice President for Global Research and Development Dr. Uma Chowdhry said, "Maria has brought leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and insight into polymer research and development in support of our new venture in photonics. We are excited about the potential for the emerging technology under development by the Photonics Team led by Maria and its focus on helping bring to market new, integrated optical components that are best-in-class."

Dr. Petrucci-Samija says she is driven by the vision of bringing photonics to the same level that electronics reached some years ago -- the ability to monolithically integrate devices on a single chip. "Every year bandwidth increases, and it shot up tremendously with the advent of the Internet," she said. "It's caused us to take a 90-degree change in perspective in how we view traditional telecommunications applications. This work represents new applications and a whole new arena for photonics technologies. It's an exciting time to be involved in this research."

Dr. Petrucci-Samija will be honored Sept. 29-30 at Technology Review's Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT. The event features keynote talks, panels and discussions on the transformative technological innovations that have the potential to fuel new economic growth and dramatically change the future. In addition to the recognition for Dr. Petrucci-Samija, Dr. Chowdhry will participate in a panel discussion titled, "From Lab to Market: Where Technology is Headed - The Research Director's Point of View." The panel will highlight how computing, biotechnology and chemicals and materials are converging to create new technologies and business opportunities, examining what they mean for three companies, including DuPont, in different but intersecting fields. The 2004 TR100's panel of judges includes senior executives from the following organizations: Boston University, Caltech, Cambridge University, CombinatoRx, Concept2Company, Cornell University, General Electric, Geekcorps, Georgia Tech, Harvard Medical School, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft, MIT, Northwestern University, PureTech Ventures, Singapore Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, TIAX, Wharton, Xerox, and YankeeTek Ventures.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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