Caltech Announces the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Caltech has announced that Fred A. Blum (MS ’64, PhD ’68), Emily A. Carter (PhD ’87), William Dally (PhD ’86), Charles M. Rice III (PhD ’81), and Anneila I. Sargent (MS ’67, PhD ’77) are this year's recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the Institute bestows upon a graduate. Given in recognition of a particular achievement of significant value, a series of such distinctive achievements, or a career of noteworthy accomplishment, it celebrates the diverse impact of our alumni on science and society. Caltech will present the awards to this year's winners on Saturday, May 18, 2019, as part of the Caltech Alumni Association's Seminar Day.

The 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:

Fred A. Blum (MS ’64, PhD ’68, Physics)
CEO, Trilience Research

For his entrepreneurial leadership in the development and commercialization of high-performance GaAs and GaN semiconductor electronic and optical devices with revolutionary applications in communications and lighting.

Emily A. Carter (PhD ’87, Chemistry)
Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University

For her visionary leadership in sustainable energy and engagement with the broader scientific community and for her development of powerful theoretical methods based on quantum mechanics that have greatly influenced chemistry and engineering.

William Dally (PhD ’86, Computer Science)
Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research, NVIDIA

Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

For his significant contributions to the architecture of interconnection networks. He developed much of the technology found in modern interconnection networks including wormhole routing, virtual-channel flow control, global adaptive routing, modern network topology, deadlock analysis, performance analysis, fault-tolerance methods, and equalized high-speed signaling.

Charles M. Rice III (PhD ’81, Biochemistry)
Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor, The Rockefeller University

For developing a treatment for patients chronically infected with the Hepatitis C virus that is highly effective (99% cure rate) and which has no significant side effects. For this achievement, Charles Rice, along with Ralf Bartenschlager and Michael J. Sofia, received the highly prestigious Lasker Award in Clinical Medicine in 2016.

Anneila I. Sargent (MS ’67 Physics, PhD ’77, Astronomy)
Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, Caltech

For her contributions to our understanding of how stars and planetary systems form and evolve, her dedication to enhancing observatory capabilities for the scientific community, and her national and international leadership in her field.