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05-30-2006

Clarkson Professor Gives Lectures, Displays Art and Receives Honorary Degree at Alabama A&M

[Photographs of Liya L. Regel's paintings for media use are available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/golden-iris.jpg http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/blue-blues.jpg http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/opals.jpg and http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/nocturn.jpg]

Clarkson University Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Director of the International Center for Gravity Materials Science Liya Regel recently returned from a triumphant week in Huntsville, Ala. Clarkson Professor Gives Lectures, Displays Art and Receives Honorary Degree at Alabama A&M

During the week of May 8, Dr. Regel exhibited her colorful paintings at three locales; presented a lecture on her scientific research, art, music and poetry; and received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Alabama A&M University. Dr. Regel is the first member of the international scientific community, and the first female scientist to receive an honorary degree from the eminent historically black university since it was founded in 1875. In yet another first, her diploma was signed by Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

On Thursday May 11 at A&M's 131st Commencement, Dr. Regel was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science. Then she addressed the crowd of 18,000 that included the graduates, their families and friends, and members of the university community. And on Friday, May 12, she again displayed her art at Decatur's historic Carnegie Visual Arts Center.

When asked about that very intense week, Dr. Regel acknowledged the warm southern hospitality of the Huntsville community. "I can't believe I really did all that. Without spiritual inspiration and friends, it would not have been possible," she said.

While Dr. Regel is internationally recognized for her pioneering research on materials processing at high gravity and in space, and on diamond synthesis, she is also an accomplished musician, composer, writer and artist.

In 1993, Dr. Regel constructed the first centrifuge facility in the world dedicated to materials processing at high gravity at Clarkson University. In 2000, Dr. Regel's research led to her being honored with the prestigious Basic Sciences Award by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). The award was presented at the International Astronautical Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of international cooperation and leadership in the advancement of materials research in space. She is the only materials scientist to have received this honor. IAA also honored Dr. Regel with its Best Book Award in 1998.

Dr. Regel has played a major role in developing international scientific collaborations at Clarkson by leading the organization of international conferences, organizing symposia, lecturing by invitation, serving on editorial boards of scientific journals, and directing 21 Ph.D. dissertations and 32 master's degree theses. Clarkson recognized Dr. Regel's contributions by awarding her an honorary doctor of science degree in 2002.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members have achieved international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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