The Carnegie Science Center has named Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics, as the winner of the Catalyst Award in this year’s Carnegie Science Awards.
The Catalyst Award recognizes excellence in promoting public awareness of scientific issues, and advancing science in society to bring about measurable, beneficial change.
Nourbakhsh directs the CREATE Lab, which explores human-robot interaction through educational and social robotics and by using robotic technology to empower individuals and communities. It includes such innovative projects as GigaPan, ChargeCar, Robot250, TeRK, Message from Me, Hear Me and Robot Diaries.
Previous winners of the Catalyst Award include William “Red” Whittaker, professor of robotics; Lenore Blum, professor of computer science, and Benno Bernt, chairman of the SCS Advisory Board.
The Carnegie Science Awards includes a number of categories. Among those receiving honorable mentions this year are Seegrid Corp., a Robotics Institute spin-off, in the Corporate Innovation category. Others include Entertainment Technology Center alumnus and Evil Genius Designs CEO Tracy Brown in the Start-up Entrepreneur category; Greg Lowry, professor of civil and environmental engineering, in the Environmental category, and Shelly Anna, associate professor of chemical and mechanical engineering, in the Emerging Female Scientist category.
Awardees will be honored during a formal celebration at Carnegie Music Hall on May 11. Keynote speaker for the ceremony is Emmy and Peabody-Award winning journalist, Robert Bazell, NBC News Chief Science and Health Correspondent.