Each year, Carnegie Science Center honors a select number of deserving educators, science/technology leaders, and organizations for their outstanding work in our region!
Presented by Eaton
The Chairman’s Award is presented to an individual or an organization that has made outstanding contributions in science, either through exemplary work in one field or through transcendent leadership, commitment, or achievement.
Presented by Kennametal Inc.
Dr. Albert To has established himself as one of the most recognized computer modelers in global additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing. Because of his groundbreaking research, Dr. To has helped increase regional and national industry interest in AM. His innovative ideas and ability to establish productive collaboration with industry have led to 10 external grants totaling more than $4 million for Pitt in the past four years.
Presented by Eaton
Innovation is broadly defined by Covestro, extending far beyond traditional R&D activities. Covestro constantly seeks new ways to improve and enhance all aspects of the company—from product offerings and end markets to business models, business processes, and community engagement. Employees are given the tools, resources, and opportunities to collaborate, push boundaries, and pursue new ideas. While innovation is a core element of Covestro’s strategy, it goes hand in hand with sustainability. By 2025, the company aims to allocate 80 percent of its R&D spending toward projects that address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Presented by Eaton
Dr. Kara Bernstein is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in DNA repair and understanding predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. She is uncovering new therapeutic strategies and circumventing technical challenges that have stymied the field since the 1990s. She rapidly established a highly productive laboratory at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, has secured National Institutes of Health and foundation funding for her work, and has published her results in high-impact journals. Dr. Bernstein also served as a panelist for an American Association for Cancer Research-sponsored congressional briefing.
Bryan Salesky is passionate about incorporating promising robotics technology into systems that will improve safety and productivity. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of Argo AI, a software engineering company based in Pittsburgh that is developing fully autonomous self-driving vehicles in partnership with Ford Motor Company. Previously, Bryan held positions at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center and Waymo, formerly known as the Google self-driving car project. He brings extensive knowledge of hardware and software engineering, and over a decade of experience in developing autonomous and robotic systems for commercial and military use.
Presented by Braskem
Robb Myer, Luke Panza, Richard Colvin, and James Beltco-founded Nowait, an app that allows diners to join waiting lists for tables at restaurants remotely from their mobile phones. Under their leadership, Nowait grew into a company that employed about 50 people and raised more than $15 million in venture capital before being acquired by Yelp. Nowait pioneered the concept of “getting in line” by phone to get seated at restaurants that don’t take reservations.
Presented by ALCOSAN
Dr. Terry Collins, a pioneer in the field of green chemistry, developed an innovative approach to water purification that outperforms conventional technologies at a lower cost. His TAML catalysis efficiently degrades a wide array of toxins in water without producing toxic byproducts. Dr. Collins created the world’s first university course in green chemistry. He has spent his career educating the chemistry community and the public about sustainability and green-chemistry solutions to chemical threats.
Presented by Pittsburgh Business Times
Dr. Tom Galluzzo, the CEO of IAM Robotics, and his team developed and launched the world’s first fully autonomous, mobile material-handling robot. His company is a leader in the field of robotic technology for the logistics industry. By combining perception, manipulation, and mobility technologies, IAM Robotics has created a game-changing solution for the logistics industry that addresses a growing labor problem by automating tasks that are difficult to staff. Forbesand Modern Materials Handlingmagazines have recognized IAM Robotics’ technology as one of today’s most exciting innovations in logistics.
Presented by Duquesne Light
Dr. Caine Finnerty, President, CEO and Founder of WATT Fuel Cell, established the strategy for developing WATT’s fuel cell products and has led the company since inception in 2010 through initial product design, beta testing, and into commercialization. Under Dr. Finnerty’s direction, WATT has secured 127 issued patents, with 167 patents pending. WATT’s proprietary, patented 3D Additive Manufacturing Process allows the final product to be optimized for performance and quality. Dr. Finnerty and his team have positioned WATT’s Imperium™ Hybrid Management System for deployment across a variety of small-scale applications in the leisure (RVs and marine), residential, and industrial markets.
Presented by Orionvega
Dr. Peter L. Strick is the scientific director of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute. Established in 2014 under Dr. Strick’s leadership, the Brain Institute’s mission is unlocking the mysteries of brain function and then translating basic science discoveries into new approaches for overcoming brain disorders. Dr. Strick has used virus tracing to provide new insights into a classic problem in neuroscience—the brain-body connection. His work is helping dissolve artificial boundaries between neurology and psychiatry by demonstrating a common neural substrate for disorders assigned to each discipline.
Presented by WTAE, Channel 4
Television producer and writer Gina Catanzarite has a rich portfolio of projects related to the sciences, including content for PBS affiliate WQED Multimedia. She is known for explaining complex issues in ways that are both educational and enjoyable. Frequent themes of her work are clinical and translational science, STEM education, and medical topics. Several of her projects have been distributed nationally by PBS and American Public Television. Her Emmy-winning documentary “The Race to Save Pennsylvania’s Bats” was selected for the Environmental Film Festival and the American Conservation Film Festival.
Presented by Chevron
For 27 years, the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences provided a free five-week residential summer program with high-level instruction in the sciences to high schoolers until it was eliminated in 2009 by state budget cuts. Impassioned alumni created the PGSS Campaign to raise money to bring back the life-changing program, which was restored in 2013 with donations from alumni, corporations, and foundations. Since then, 60 students a year have participated every summer on the Carnegie Mellon University campus, and a new class is scheduled for 2018.
Presented by Chevron
Trial, experiment, redesign, evaluate, collaborate, and improve are familiar words to Rebecca Colangelo’s second-graders. Incorporating STEAM—science, technology, engineering, the arts and math—and using the engineering design process are hallmarks of her classroom. She has created a maker space within her classroom and challenges her students to be thinkers and designers every day. Ms. Colangelo and her students attend various STEAM showcases in the region to share what they are doing, and her classroom is open to other educators as a model.
Presented by Allegheny Health Network
Seventh-grade math teacher Mary Collins inspires students and staff at her school to appreciate and apply STEM concepts. She transformed an old computer lab into the Hub of Imagination, where students can experiment with 3D printing, computer and video equipment, a vinyl cutter, NAO robots, and virtual-reality headsets. Students have participated in workshops involving the Hockey Scholar program, Hour of Code, and vinyl-cutter instruction with T-shirt design. She also works with other teachers to help them infuse technology into their instruction, such as using virtual reality to take foreign language students on a tour of France and Spanish-speaking countries.
Presented by FedEx
Daniel Wagner is known for integrating STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—into the culinary arts curriculum and keeping his students focused on preparing for their futures. His students have created personalized nutrition programs for individuals in the school community and created packaging that makes it easier to prepare and cook freeze-dried foods on the go. They also have researched the effects of improper disposal of medications in our water system and the relationship to the ecosystem. The students created a program to educate residents about how to properly dispose of unneeded medications.
Presented by Carnegie Science Center
Dr. James McGee is best known for his pioneering work in the development of virtual-patient simulation for medical education. His cloud-based simulation platform, vpSim, is used by health-science schools and other providers of health-care education. He licensed vpSim from Pitt, founded the company Kynectiv to distribute it, and grew the business into a $3 millon-a-year company. Throughout, he has maintained an academic clinical practice, conducted teaching rounds, and mentored young physicians and computer scientists.
Presented by PPG
Precision-machining teacher Rob Barclay, welding teacher Shawn Golden, and electrical-occupations teacher Bob Mitchell have broadened their students’ STEM education and career horizons by getting them involved in robotics. Since 2013, Greene County CTC students have participated in the BotsIQ robotics competition, which gives them the opportunity to design, build, and test robots that battle in gladiator-style competition. Along the way, students enhance their design, problem-solving, fabricating, communication, and teamwork skills, which today’s employers need.
Presented by Koppers
Dr. Shinjini Kundu became one of the youngest MD-PhD scientists in the world when she obtained her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in December. She also has a PhD in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University as part of the two universities’ Medical Scientist Training Program. Combining her study of medicine with her previous background in electrical engineering, Dr. Kundu’s internationally recognized research focuses on diagnosing diseases from medical images that elude the human eye by using artificial intelligence.
Presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Beatrice Milnes, a senior at Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, investigated the immune response during lizard tail regeneration for her project for the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair. Her project, “Macrophages are Required for Adult Mourning Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) Tail Regeneration,” won the first-place Category Award in Senior Division Biology. Beatrice’s project indicated that the progression of normal tail regrowth depends on macrophage infiltration. A macrophage is a type of white blood cell that is a key part of the immune response to damaged or dead cells.
Presented by Nova Chemicals
Molly Hayes, an eighth-grader at Cambria Heights Middle School in Cambria County, tested her hypothesis that under the right conditions, people’s brains can be tricked into feeling pain. Her project, “Phantom Limb Syndrome,” won the first-place Category Award for Intermediate Division Behavioral/Social Science at the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair. Molly’s experiment involved 15 test subjects seeing a fake right hand being brushed with a paintbrush while feeling their real right hand, hidden from view, being brushed. Then, they saw Molly hit the fake hand with a mallet. Molly found that 13 subjects had “pain” reactions when she hit the fake hand.
Presented by Carnegie Science Center
Olina Mukherjee, a sixth-grader at Kentucky Avenue School in Pittsburgh, tested her hypothesis that Madagascar hissing cockroaches living in a colony would be more successful at finding food than cockroaches living alone for her Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair project. The project, “Complex Social Behavior in Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches,” won the first-place Category Award in Junior Division Biology. Olina discovered that cockroaches kept in isolation found food faster when they were placed with a group of cockroaches used to finding food under a light than they did if left to find the food by themselves.
Antonio D’Amore, Ph.D., McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Hahna Alexander, SolePower
Jason Wolfe, Giftcards.com and GiftCardGranny LLC
Paul Scerri, Ph.D., Platypus
Gregory Reed, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering
Hahna Alexander, SolePower
Jason Bittel, freelance writer
Jeffrey Patrick, M.Ed., Propel Schools Homestead
Debbie Reynolds, Baldwin-Whitehall School District
James Hausman, South Fayette School District
Jonathan Lewis, Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of Geoscience
Investing Now, a program of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering