Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Women in STEM honors three PSD scientists

September 6, 2023

Congratulations to Prof. Marcela Carena, Prof. Wendy Freedman, and Dean of the Physical Sciences Division Angela Olinto! The three PSD scientists have been named Notable Women in STEM by Crain's Chicago Business.  

The 2023 Crain's Chicago Business Notable Women in STEM honors 100 Chicago-area professionals in senior STEM roles who demonstrate leadership through mentoring, involvement in professional organizations, and participation in community and civic initiatives who, through guidance and by example, are proving to young women that “there is plenty of room for them in the wide-ranging, creative and lucrative world that is STEM.”

Marcela Carena

Marcela Carena

Professor in Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics; Theory division head at Fermilab

“Last October, [Carena] received the U.S. Department of Energy’s Distinguished Scientist Fellow award for her work on the Higgs boson, dark matter and early-universe phase transitions. She’s also been lauded for efforts to connect students from Latin America to Chicago-based STEM research. Carena founded the national Quantum Theory Consortium, a consortium of universities and labs (including the University of Illinois and Purdue) that, coordinating with the Chicago Quantum Exchange, is collectively making Chicago the world leader for quantum science and technology.”

Wendy Freedman

Wendy Freedman

John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics; senior member, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

“Wendy Freedman led the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project, which measured the current expansion rate of the universe to determine its age with unprecedented precision. Her current research focuses on increasing the accuracy of measurements using the James Webb Space Telescope to test whether fundamental early-universe physics might be missing from the standard model of cosmology. With mounting evidence that the universe is expanding more rapidly than anticipated, Freedman is using different types of stars — the “tip of the red giant branch” — which she considers cleaner probes of expansion. Her methodology, outlined in two Astrophysics Journal papers, has the potential to overthrow the standard model. Freedman is the founding board chair for the Giant Magellan Telescope.”

Angela V. Olinto

Angela Olinto

Dean of the Physical Sciences Division and Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics

“Under Angela V. Olinto’s leadership, the physical sciences division has received more than $125 million in gifts and research grant awards. She helped launch the Institute for Mathematical & Statistical Innovation, the Data Science Institute and several new academic programs in data science. Under her direction, the division has experienced a substantial increase in undergraduate enrollment and applications to Ph.D. programs. As a scientist, Olinto has contributed to the study of the structure of neutron stars, primordial inflationary theory, cosmic magnetic fields and the nature of dark matter. Olinto helped create the first annual South Side Science Festival, an event that attracted more than 2,500 community members to UChicago’s campus.”

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