WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- UOP, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, announced today that one of its leading scientists was presented the National Medal of Technology and Innovation today by President Barack Obama.
Edith M. Flanigen, a chemist at UOP, was one of eight recipients of the award, which recognizes people and organizations that have made lasting contributions to America's competitiveness and quality of life and strengthened the nation's technological workforce. UOP, a leader in developing advanced technologies for the global oil and gas industry, also received the award in 2003.
"These scholars and innovators have expanded our understanding of the world, made invaluable contributions to their fields, and helped improve countless lives," President Obama said. "Our nation has been enriched by their achievements, and by all the scientists and technologists across America dedicated to discovery, inquiry, and invention."
Dr. Rajeev Gautam, president and CEO of UOP, said, "Edie's work has benefited humanity through cleaner and safer fuels, improved refining methods and environmentally sound biodegradable detergents, among dozens of other notable inventions. We could not be more proud of Edie for this recognition of her lifelong record of contributions to chemical science."
Flanigen began her career at Union Carbide in 1952 ‒ at a time when there were few women in chemistry ‒ working on the purification and extraction of silicone polymers. Four years later, she began her work on synthetically manufactured molecular sieves, more commonly known as zeolites. Zeolites are porous crystals capable of separating and purifying complex chemical mixtures and enhancing chemical reactions for oil refining and petrochemical manufacture.
Flanigen's work with zeolites led to advancements in water purification and environmental remediation. She also invented a process to synthetically manufacture gem-quality emeralds for use in early laser technology and which were subsequently sold in a line of jewelry.
In 1973, Flanigen became the first woman at Union Carbide to be named Corporate Research Fellow, and in 1982, Senior Corporate Research Fellow. She joined UOP in Des Plaines, Ill., following the merger of a Union Carbide division with UOP in 1988. During her 42-year career, she invented more than 200 different synthetic materials, authored more than three dozen publications, and earned 109 patents. She retired in 1994, and has remained active with UOP as a consultant since that time.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Edith Flanigen earned her bachelor's degree from D'Youville College and her Master's degree in inorganic-physical chemistry from Syracuse University in 1952. In 1991, she became the first woman to be awarded the Perkin Medal, America's top honor in applied chemistry. She received the American Chemical Society Garvan Medal in 1993, was named to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002 and earned the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. And in 2012, Honeywell named an annual lecture series in material science in her honor. Ms. Flanigen also is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America's competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation's technological workforce. A distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors submits recommendations to the President.
UOP LLC (www.uop.com) is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc. and is part of Honeywell's Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group, which also includes Honeywell Process Solutions, a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation and services for the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical and other industries.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.