FEBRUARY 3, 2023 — Rena Bizios, Lutcher Brown Endowed Distinguished University Chair in Biomedical Engineering at UTSA, was honored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), a leading, global organization for chemical engineering professionals, with the Margaret H. Rousseau Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer. The award recognizes female members of AIChE who have made significant contributions to chemical engineering research or practice—in academic, industrial or government settings—over the course of their careers.
This AIChE award honors the memory of Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau, the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from MIT, the first woman member and first fellow of AIChE and the first woman to receive AIChE’s prestigious Founders Award. Beyond her other accomplishments, Rousseau contributed to the Pfizer Inc. efforts to scale-up and design the first deep-tank penicillin fermentation commercial plant—enabling mass production of penicillin, the first real defense against bacterial infection, and thus saving many lives during World War II.
Bizios was recognized with the Margaret H. Rousseau Award for being a mentor to students and to junior faculty and a leader who has dedicated her career to biomedical engineering education and research, has succeeded in raising the visibility of women engineers and has paved the way for other women to succeed in chemical/biomedical engineering.
A chemical and biomedical engineer by training, Bizios joined the UTSA faculty in 2006. Her research focuses on cellular and tissue engineering, tissue regeneration, biomaterials (including nanostructured biomaterials) and biocompatibility. She has made pioneering contributions to biomedical engineering education and to the understanding of cell-material interactions at the tissue/implant interface and to the effects of select biophysical stimuli on cell functions pertinent to new tissue formation with applications in implant biomaterials, tissue engineering and tissue regeneration.
“Dr. Bizios and her achievements help to define the spirit of the award she is receiving—a lifetime contribution to trailblazing new fields and conducting groundbreaking research. She was part of the founding contributors to the biomedical engineering movement nationally, which was a courageous move from the heart of a chemical engineering discipline into a new undefined field. Her arrival at UTSA helped install the highest research and educational principles that you will find in our programs today. Dr. Bizios’ research and mentorship prepares the next generation of biomedical engineers who will carry out the Klesse College promise to find solutions to society’s grand challenges, and will advance UTSA’s reputation as a Tier One Research University,” said JoAnn Browning, the David and Jennifer Spencer Distinguished Chair and Dean of the Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design.
“Our students and faculty are fortunate to learn from, and work with her,” Browning added. “She is an exemplary researcher and educator.”
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