HOUSTON -- Andrew Barron, Rice University's Charles W. Duncan, Jr. -- Welch Chair of Chemistry and professor of materials science, is the winner of the prestigious 2011 World Technology Award for Materials. The award was presented at the World Technology Summit and Awards gala at the United Nations Oct. 26.
Barron's research focuses on the application of nanotechnology to fundamental problems in energy and health research. His research group has projects involving down-hole sensors, carbon dioxide mitigation and cancer treatment. Barron joined Rice in 1995.
The World Technology Awards are presented annually by the World Technology Network in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, Science magazine and Technology Review. With members from more than 60 countries, the World Technology Network is an exclusive community of innovative individuals, companies and organizations in science, technology and related fields.
Barron is the author of more than 380 scientific publications, five books and 20 patents. His research group is the core of a number of Rice startup companies, including businesses that range from oil and gas production (Oxane Materials Inc.) to solar power systems (Natcore Technology Inc.) and water purification (Molecular Filtration Inc).
Barron is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the recipient of several national and international awards, including the Hümboldt Senior Scientist Research Award, the Corday Morgan Medal and Prize, the Meldola Medal and Prize and the first Welch Foundation Norman Hackerman Award. In 2009 Barron was appointed as the first Prince of Wales Visiting Innovator, and he won the Houston Technology Center's 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award in Nanotechnology.
The World Technology Awards are presented in 20 categories for "innovative work of the greatest likely long-term significance" to humanity. Award winners are nominated and selected by their peers and by a panel of advisors that includes: Ray Kurzweil, inventor and futurist; Jason Pontin, editor and publisher of Technology Review magazine; Lev Grossman, senior writer at TIME magazine and co-author of the "Techland" blog at TIME.com; Oliver Morton, energy and environment editor at The Economist; and Albert Teich, former director of science and policy programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.