AIChE announced the creation of a new fellowship program that will assist researchers in pursuing innovative technical work with the potential of making valuable contributions to society.
The Langer Prizes for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence will award unrestricted grants of up to $100,000 to assist researchers particularly those working in chemical and biological engineering in pursuing “blue-sky” ideas that may lead to important technical and commercial innovations. The annual fellowships are being endowed by the AIChE Foundation in the name of Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a pioneer in drug delivery and biomaterials for medical applications.
The inaugural prize will be awarded at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 10–15, in Orlando, Florida. Recipients will become part of a network of Langer Prize Fellows, skilled in tackling high-risk, high-impact challenges across a range of industries and commercial pursuits, and will have opportunities to collaborate with other innovators and entrepreneurs.
Kristi Anseth, a director of AIChE and a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder, helped to establish the new Langer Prizes, motivated by her past experience working as a research fellow under Langer’s supervision. Anseth said that she and the other supporters of the fellowship endowment wished to demonstrate their gratitude to Langer, adding, “I feel personally fortunate to count Bob as a mentor and friend. He embodies an amazing spirit of creativity that inspires people to think beyond what is probable and to dream bigger.”
In a video statement (shown below), Langer thanked AIChE and his colleagues for their generosity in endowing the prizes in his name. Speaking to future applicants for the prize, Langer said “These prizes represent an investment in your potential — as innovator, inventor, and entrepreneur.” He added that the fellowships would assist young researchers in exploring original ideas that may open doors to new frontiers in areas including biotechnology and new materials. “It is my wish that these fellowships will help future innovators to achieve the big dreams — dreams that can make the world a better place,” Langer concluded.
Details about the Langer Prizes for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence — including application instructions and information on how to contribute to the endowment — are available at www.aiche.org/LangerPrizes, or by email at LangerPrizes@aiche.org.
Applications are due August 1, 2019, and the first recipient will be announced in September.