NEW YORK, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's leading cosmetic company L'OREAL and UNESCO, the international organization dedicated to the collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication -- this year celebrates the fifth anniversary of its for Women in Science awards (FWIS) partnership, with a promise to continue to support the advancement of women in the field of science. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020306/NYW023LOGO ) "For L'Oreal, being in partnership in for Women in Science with UNESCO is a way of expressing our determination to promote women in scientific research and hence to participate in the creation of new vocations in the world," said Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, L'Oreal who, along with Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General UNESCO host the awards event each year in Paris, France. Since they were created, the L'OREAL-UNESCO FWIS awards have been dedicated to honoring women involved in the Life Sciences. This year, for the first time, they will be awarded to those extraordinary women working in the Physical Sciences. Dr. Johanna Levelt Sengers, a Scientist Emeritus at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been selected this year's North American FWIS award recipient, for her significant research contribution in the area of near and supercritical fluids, and the laws governing their peculiar but universal behavior known as scaling laws. Dr. Levelt-Sengers, a recognized authority in applying scaling theory to the thermodynamics and critical phenomena of fluids and their mixtures, is a native of the Netherlands, where she received her PhD in physics at the laboratory established in Amsterdam, by Nobel laureate Johannes van der Waals, (a founder of the field of molecular science). Dr. Levelt-Sengers, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and of the National Academy of Sciences is one of the five distinguished women scientists chosen to represent five regions of the world: North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa and Latin America. These Laureates whose candidacy were submitted by more than 800 internationally renown scientists and selected by an international jury of their peers, led by 1991 Nobel Prize winner and Chairman of the 2003 FWIS awards, Dr. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, will be honored in a special ceremony to be held on February 27th, at UNESCO headquarters. These other distinguished honorees are: Karimat El Sayed, Professor of Solid State Physics at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt has taken her study of the detection, structure and applications of low-concentration constituents of crystals, and applied it in the analysis of the formation of urinary stones and their composition to help patients suffering from this condition. Dr El Sayed has devoted a significant part of her time in helping to increase awareness of the desperate condition of women scientists in Egypt. Fang-Hua Li, Professor at the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, overcame the hardships of an interrupted career during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. These constraints however, served to spawn more creativity in her field of research, the electron microscopy of crystals. Her work in pushing back the limits of observation of crystalline structures has permitted the examination of images without preconceived notions. Ayse Erzan, Professor of Physics, at Istanbul Technical University, has made good use of mathematical concepts to advance our understanding of collective phenomena. The theoretical tools developed by Ayse Erzan has provided a way of explaining the propagation of chemical reactions on the surface of solids and the conformation of proteins. The work of Dr. Erzan also explains how, in the Theory of Evolution, a mutation spreads and becomes successful. Mariana Weissmann, Professor, Department of Physics, Argentine National Research Council has helped to move our understanding of the quantum solid from a qualitative view to quantitative predictions. Dr. Weissmann's rare talent has been to identify emerging fields of science, and to develop small groups of scientists to work in them. One example of her prophetic abilities is her interest in the properties of composite materials that has become known as nanomaterials. In addition to this year's L'OREAL-UNESCO FWIS Laureate awards, an international group of 15 young women (three for each of five UNESCO regions), will be awarded Fellowships valued at $20,000 each. This represents a significant expansion of the program, that in the past awarded 10 young women with $10,000 fellowships. The Laureates too, will see a significant increase in their monetary awards which this year are valued at $100,000 each. Note to the Editors * L'Oreal is the world's number one cosmetics company, present in 140 countries with a turnover in 2001 of euro 13.7 billion. The company recorded its 17th consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2001, increasing its profits by 19.6 %. Half Year Results for 2002 saw the group achieve a 29% increase in profits. * L'Oreal's brand portfolio includes: L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier, Soft Sheen Carson, Matrix, Redken, L'Oreal Professionnel, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Lancome, Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm, Kiehl's, Shu Uemura and Armani, Cacharel and Ralph Lauren fragrances. L'Oreal is the only cosmetics group that is present in every distribution channel: mass market, hair salons, department stores, pharmacy and mail order. * With 47 factories worldwide, 88 distribution centers and 14,500 employees in manufacturing sites and over 3.4 billion units produced, the industrial organization of L`Oreal is a major contributor to the group's growth. Ninety-four percent of products sold by L`Oreal are made in the group's factories by group employees.