Professor Roukes receives the Palmes Académiques

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Mr Axel Cruau, Consul general of France in Los Angeles, bestowed Professor Michael Roukes with the Palmes Académiques on Tuesday, June 11h, 2013. The award ceremony was held at the prestigious California Institute of Technology where Prof. Roukes has led key research work since 1992. The event was attended by notable guests, including Caltech’s president, Prof. Jean-Lou Chameau.

The Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) is an award medal, instituted at the start of the 19th Century, for key French and international figures who have played a crucial role in the fields of academia, culture and education. Prof. Michael Roukes was awarded the prestigious rank of Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques because of his crucial work in strengthening ties between France and the USA in the fields of physics and nanoscience.


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Mr Cruau, Prof. Roukes and Prof. Chameau at the end of the award ceremony during which Prof. Roukes was bestowed with the Palmes académiques (© Consulate general of France in Los Angeles 2013).


As stated by Mr Cruau, the Consul General of France, during his speech, Prof. Roukes is a distinguished scholar in the field of quantum measurement and applied biotechnology. Prof. Roukes was instrumental in the founding of multiple research centers at Caltech, namely Caltech’s Kavli Nanoscience Institute. Throughout his career, he has fostered strong connections with France. As a holder of a Chaire d’Exellence, he initiated a relationship between Caltech and theLETI (Laboratoire d’Electronique et des Technologies de l’Information), located in Grenoble and headed by the CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives). This collaboration led Prof. Roukes and Laurent Malier, the director of LETI, to found The Alliance for Nanosystems VLSI (very large scale integration), a partnership focused on creating nanosystems-based tools. Prof. Roukes’ Caltech research group currently specializes in collaborative nanoscience research, focusing on the creation and application of nanodevices to further develop the domains of fundamental measurement, engineering, and biological and medical sciences. Prof. Roukes was recently named one of the brilliant scientists to contribute to the Brain Activity Map project (also know as the BRAIN Initiative) launched by President Barak Obama in April 2013.


— Aurelie Perthuison