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Richard P. Feynman
(1918-1988)
   

2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize

Foresight Institute Awards Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology to Markus J. Buehler, Michelle Y. Simmons

Presentation of Feynman Prize, Theory to Markus Buehler
Markus J. Buehler (left) receiving the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Theory from Foresight President Julia Bossmann (center) and Foresight Senior Fellow–Standards David R. Forrest, US Dept. of Energy (right).
Michelle Y. Simmons, winner of the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Experiment, was unable to attend on short notice, so her selection was announced by Prof. James K. Gimzewski, FRS, UCLA (left) and Foresight President Julia Bossmann (right).

Palo Alto, CA – May 23, 2016 – Foresight Institute, a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes.

These prestigious prizes, named in honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. Prof. Markus J. Buehler, Department Head and McAfee Professor of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the Theory Prize. The Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for experimental work was awarded to Prof. Michelle Y. Simmons FAA, Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow & Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Computation and Communications Technology.

Established in 1993, these prizes honor researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of productive nanosystems.

“The Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in nanotechnology are awards that recognize progress toward the most visionary objectives in nanotechnology,” said Julia Bossmann, President of Foresight Institute. “Our laureates realize that big innovation is possible on the nanoscale. The prize acknowledges these pioneering scientists and inspires others to follow their lead.”

Foresight Institute Feynman Prize – Theory
Research enabling new multiscale paradigms in hierarchical systems

Markus J. BuehlerProf. Markus J. Buehler, Department Head and McAfee Professor of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the Theory Prize. Prof. Buehler has made important contributions to making nanotechnology scalable for large-scale materials applications, enabled by bottom-up multiscale computational methods, and linking new manufacturing and characterization methods. Focusing on mechanical properties (especially deformation and failure) and translation from biological materials and structures to bio-inspired synthetic materials, his work led to the development and application of new modeling, design and manufacturing approaches for advanced materials that offer greater resilience and a wide range of controllable properties from the nano- to the macroscale. Buehler's signature achievement is the application of molecular and chemical principles in the analysis of mechanical systems, with the aim to design devices and materials that provide a defined set of functions.
http://cee.mit.edu/buehler

Foresight Institute Feynman Prize – Experimental
Fabricating electronic devices with atomic-precision accuracy

Michelle Y. SimmonsThe Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for experimental work was awarded to Prof. Michelle Y. Simmons FAA, Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow & Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Computation and Communications Technology, The University of New South Wales. In the new field of atomic-electronics, which Prof. Simmons has created, she has demonstrated the fabrication of atomic-scale devices in silicon and germanium using the atomic precision of a scanning tunneling microscope. Her group developed the world's first single atom transistor and the thinnest conducting doped wires in silicon. She leads the Atomic-Electronics group and the Precision Qubit Program in the Centre of Excellence dedicated to realizing single atom devices for both classical and quantum computation. In particular her group aims to position, control and read out the electron spins on individual phosphorous atoms to act as the quantum bit for a scalable quantum computer in silicon.
http://www.cqc2t.org/biography/98

About Foresight Institute

Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies. Founded in 1986, its mission is to discover and promote the upsides, and help avoid the drawbacks, of nanotechnology, artificial Intelligence, biotechnology, and similar life-changing developments.

2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes for Theoretical and Experimental Molecular Nanotechnology

Two prizes in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman's goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. Synonyms include "atomically precise manufacturing" (APM) and "productive nanosystems". Separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work.

The winners of this year's prizes will be announced spring of 2016 and invited to accept the prize at the next Foresight event.

This prize is given in honor of Richard P. Feynman who, in 1959, gave a visionary talk at Caltech in which he said "The problems of chemistry and biology can be greatly helped if our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on an atomic level, is ultimately developed — a development which I think cannot be avoided."

Relevant Research Areas

Research areas considered relevant to APM (e.g., atomically precise manufacturing, molecular manufacturing, productive nanosystems and molecular machine systems) include but are not limited to:

  • artificial molecular machines
  • atomically-precise construction
  • biomolecular machinery
  • computational chemistry and molecular modeling
  • mechanosynthesis
  • nanomechanical engineering
  • nanomanipulation
  • natural molecular machines
  • scanning probes and nanometrology
  • self-assembly
  • self-replicating machines
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • ultra-precision machining

Special consideration will be given to submissions clearly leading toward the construction of productive nanosystems. Applicants wishing further information on the field of the prize are referred to the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems and the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (Wiley Interscience, 1992).

Selection Committee for the 2015 Prizes

A committee chaired by a previous Feynman Prize recipient will be asked to select this year's honorees.

Nominations and Submissions

Either submit your own work or nominate a colleague who deserves this prize.

Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes Submission or Nomination Instructions.

Previously awarded Feynman Prizes

 

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