By Patrick Kurp
Special to the Rice News
Alvarez, the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, were recognized for distinguished contributions to their respective fields. Both are already members of the National Academy of Engineering in the United States.
A native of Nicaragua, Alvarez received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering in 1992 from the University of Michigan. He joined the Rice faculty in 2004 and served as department chair from 2005 to 2015. He is director of the National Science Foundation-backed Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT).
Alvarez has pioneered research in environmental nanotechnology, including the risks posed to microbial ecosystem services by released nanomaterials and nano-enabled disinfection and microbial control. According to Google Scholar, his publications have been cited 44,142 times and his h-index is 97.
Alvarez is a fellow and former president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and an associate editor of the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology. He is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences, International Water Association and the Water Environment Federation.
Mikos, a native of Greece, earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 1988. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Medical School before joining the Rice faculty in 1992. He is director of the Center for Engineering Complex Tissues, the Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering and the J.W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering at Rice.
Mikos’ research focuses on the synthesis, processing and evaluation of biomaterials for use as scaffolds in tissue engineering, carriers for controlled drug delivery, nonviral vectors for gene therapy and as platforms for disease modeling. His work has led to the development of orthopedic, dental, cardiovascular, neurologic and ophthalmologic biomaterials. According to Google Scholar, Mikos’ publications have been cited 87,267 times and his h-index is 151.
Mikos is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors,the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering; the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas and the Academy of Athens. Mikos was awarded the 2019 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal.
Mikos’ impact has also been recognized with honorary professorships at Sichuan University, Chengdu and Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing. He has served as a distinguished visiting professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and has collaborated with the National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials of Sichuan University, the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.
The Chinese Academy of Engineering has 920 members from China and 93 members from other countries. The date of the formal induction of Alvarez and Mikos into the Academy will be announced.