Young Connecticut Scientists to be Awarded the H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence 2009

Hartford, CT — Three outstanding young Connecticut scientists will be awarded the H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence at the 34th Annual Meeting and Dinner of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering on May 20, 2009, at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT.

The award, created by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and presented in partnership with Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, is in recognition of H. Joseph Gerber’s (1924-1996) technical leadership in inventing, developing and commercializing manufacturing automation systems for a wide variety of industries, making those industries more efficient and cost effective in a worldwide competitive environment.

As an inventor and as founder, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board and President for South Windsorbased Gerber Scientific, Inc., Mr. Gerber was a leader for nearly half a century in inventing and producing factory automation equipment designed to solve global manufacturing problems. An elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Mr. Gerber received the National Medal of Technology in 1994 followed by the Connecticut Medal of Technology in 1995.

The recipients of this year’s H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence are 2009 Connecticut Science Fair winners Eliza H. McNitt (1st Place, Life Sciences – Senior Division) and Michael D. Tom (1st Place, Physical Sciences – Senior Division), both of Greenwich High School; and 2009 Connecticut Science Challenge winner Aditya Rajagopalan of Choate Rosemary Hall (1st Place).

McNitt’s winning Science Fair entry was entitled, “Shedding Light on Imidacloprid’s Role in Colony Collapse Disorder” and Tom’s award was for his project, “A Novel Tensiometer Utilizing Carbon Nanotube Elastic Conductors.” Rajagopalan, the winner of the Connecticut Science Challenge, won for his project, “Modeling Synergistic CellulolyticHemicellulolytic Enzyme Complexes for Lignocellulosic Hydrolysis.

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) is sponsoring the award as part of its goal to strengthen the quality of high school STEM education.

“CCAT believes strongly that recognizing educational achievements in the sciences by Connecticut’s students is an important aspect of improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the state,” said Elliot Ginsberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCAT. “We are delighted to join with CASE to present these awards.”

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The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering was chartered by the General Assembly in 1976 to provide expert guidance on science and technology to the people and to the state of Connecticut, and to promote the application of science and technology to human welfare and economic well being. For more information about the Academy, please see www.ctcase.org.

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