The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is pleased to announce Yildiz Bayazitoglu, Ph.D., from Rice University as the recipient of the 2012 Achievement Award. She is being honored for charting new territory for women in mechanical engineering and for creating novel solutions to both theoretical and practical problems in thermal science.

Dr. Bayazitoglu is a leading researcher in radiation, convective heat and phase-change heat transfer, electromagnetic levitation and melting, nanophotonics, bioheat transfer and thermal design, and analytical and numerical modeling in thermal management. Her current research interests include containerless processing of materials and micro/nano-channel fluid flow and heat transfer.

“Dr. Bayazitoglu participates in many national and international conferences including NATO teaching institutes. She focuses a tremendous amount of energy on the advancement of women and underrepresented minorities, and appropriately, in 1980, one of her advisees became the first African-American woman in the U.S. to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering,” explains Alyse Stofer, SWE president. “Throughout the storied career she has maintained a firm commitment to teaching and direct mentoring of students and junior faculty and because of her personal history and extraordinary professional achievements is an exemplary role model.”

Dr. Bayazitoglu has transferred her fundamental thermal science and manufacturing research to engineering applications such as the photothermal cancer therapy process and liquid oxygen tank thermal stratification problems on the space shuttle. She holds five patents, and is widely published, with more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, three books, and many conference proceedings to her credit. She served as editor of the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer and is currently editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Thermal Sciences.

Her professional leadership is also wide-ranging and international in scope. Active in SWE, ASME, and the International Centre for Heat and Mass Transfer (ICHMT), she has served as chair of the ASME Heat Transfer Division (HTD) and was HTD’s liaison to the Energy Sources Technology Conference and Exhibition from 1993 to 1996. She was named SWE’s national chair of Women in Academia in 1999. She is a member of the scientific committee representing the United States for ICHMT and is in demand as a keynote speaker at scientific gatherings all over the world. Dr. Bayazitoglu has received countless honors and awards; notably, the Heat Transfer Memorial Award and, in 1997, SWE’s Distinguished Engineering Educator Award.

She joined Rice University in 1977, holding the position of H.S. Cameron Endowed Chair Professor in the department of mechanical engineering and materials science since 1996.

Dr. Bayazitoglu has advised the SWE section at Rice University for 30 years. Among her teaching awards are Rice’s George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, the Julia Mile Chance Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and the Faculty Teaching/Mentoring Award from the Graduate Student Association.

Dr. Bayazitoglu received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey and both her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. When she earned her Ph.D. in 1974, Dr. Bayazitoglu was the first woman in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan to do so, and one of only 34 women in the United States to earn the degree that year. She is married and has three grown sons and five grandchildren.

The Achievement Award is the highest award given by SWE. Criteria are based on the significance of the nominee’s lifetime achievements and on her sustained contributions to the field of engineering. This year’s was presented Friday, November 9, 2012, at WE12, the Society’s Annual Conference. WE12 was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. More than 6,000 attendees included collegians and professionals from the industry, government and academia.