Frederica Darema (M.S. PHYS ’72) to be honored by IIT for professional achievement

The annual Alumni Awards are an IIT tradition to recognize those who made notable contributions to their communities, professions, and the university. This year, the luncheon ceremony will be held Friday, April 19, 2013 and will recognize 11 winners in eight categories.

Frederica Darema (M.S. PHYS ’72) is among the four winners of this year’s Professional Achievement Award, which honors outstanding achievement in any professional field. This award honors alumni whose achievements in their fields have brought distinction to themselves as well as credit to the university.

Recipients have achieved great success as recognized by any or all of the following qualities:

  • Membership in peer-elected professional organizations marking the highest level of achievement in a given industry
  • Industry awards and special recognition received
  • Leadership positions held

Read on for more about Darema and look for new winner profiles in IIT Today each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the event.

B.S. Physics and Mathematics (’69), University of Athens, Greece; M.S. Physics (’72), Illinois Institute of Technology; Ph.D. Physics (’76), University of California at Davis

Frederica Darema started her career at University of Pittsburgh as a research associate in the physics department. Her work on theoretical modeling led her to jobs at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Schumberger-Doll Research Center, IBM, the National Science Foundation, and more recently as director of mathematics, information and life sciences at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Virginia. In her career Darema has made many scientific contributions. As part of her innovative work at IBM, in 1984 she introduced the Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) model, which has become the predominant way to organize parallel computer programs for scientific and other applications executing on multiprocessors.

Thanks to IIT
During Darema’s senior year at the University of Athens, she was selected for the Fulbright Program to pursue graduate studies in the United States. She had heard about IIT, the IIT Research Center, and its highly regarded reputation in physics. “I benefited greatly from the mentorship and collegiality of IIT faculty. It is important to make the connection between my studies at IIT and progression of my career. I believe I received these opportunities because of my graduate studies.”

“Many people had a positive influence on me during my time at IIT. However, there was one person who really sticks out. Professor Esther Siegel was not only a successful female professor in a field then dominated by males, but she also was a mentor, sponsor, and wonderful mother and wife. She was a role model that a female physicist can have both professional and personal success.”

Proudest Moment
“I believe science and technology lead to betterment of this world, and I’m proud to be highly regarded by my colleagues, peers, and the broader professional community, in academia, industry, and federal sectors for my professionalism and high standards.”

Advice to IIT Students
“Take every opportunity presented to you and learn from it. You’ll find out that at some later time you can use that knowledge in different and unexpected ways. No acquired knowledge goes wasted.”