Crabb Named 2016 Emma Locke Award Winner

Issue Date: 
May 2, 2016

Graduating senior Emily J. Crabb is the 2016 recipient of Pitt’s Emma Locke Award. 

Emily J. CrabbThe award is one of Pitt’s oldest student honors, established in 1946 by Charles A. Locke in memory of his mother. The distinction is given annually to a graduating senior in recognition of high scholarship, character, and devotion to the ideals of the University.

Crabb graduates today with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the Swanson School of Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in physics from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. This fall, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in physics, focusing on computational and theoretical condensed matter physics, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Crabb aims to eventually work for a government agency such as the Department of State or the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

“I am grateful for the guidance that I’ve received from my professors at Pitt and the freedom I’ve had to explore my intellectual interests. It has helped me to solidify my desire to pursue a career in scientific research,” Crabb said, adding that she is “humbled” by the award.

Crabb has received numerous undergraduate accolades. Earlier this semester, she was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy’s Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, which will provide four years of support for her graduate-level study. She also received the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium’s Undergraduate Scholarship, the U.S. Congress’ Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Thomas Lain Scholarship, and a Russell Vohr and Hazel Ley Beckett Scholarship in Computer Engineering. Crabb is a member of the Society of Physics Students and has been inducted into the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma as well as Tau Beta Pi. 

As a Pitt undergraduate, Crabb studied computer engineering at the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Électronique et de ses Applications in Cergy, France. She coauthored a chapter within the biological sciences textbook Self-Assembly: From Surfactants to Nanoparticles (Wiley, 2015), and the findings of her work have been published in the journals ACS Nano and Langmuir. Crabb also presented her research findings at the 2013 American Physical Society Conference.

Since her freshman year at Pitt, Crabb has conducted research within the laboratory of Anna C. Balazs, a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Robert Von der Luft Professor in the Swanson School. 

“Emily is a truly exceptional student, consistently displaying extraordinary computational abilities for an undergraduate researcher,” said Balazs. “She has tremendous intellectual curiosity and an amazing work ethic. Due to her distinct talents, I believe she will succeed brilliantly in her chosen career and is richly deserving of the Emma Locke Award.”