Arnold, Frances - from United States
Country of meeting: Davos in the year 2013
Chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate. She is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2018, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the use of directed evolution to engineer enzymes.
Arnold graduated in 1979 with a B.S. degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, where she focused on solar energy research. In addition to the courses required for her major, she took classes in economics, Russian, and Italian, and envisioned herself as becoming a diplomat or CEO, even considering getting an advanced degree in international affairs.
She took a year off from Princeton after her second year to travel to Italy and work in a factory that made nuclear reactor parts, then returned to complete her studies. Back at Princeton, she began studying with Princeton's Center for Energy and Environmental Studies – a group of scientists and engineers, at the time led by Robert Socolow, working to develop sustainable energy sources, a topic that would become a key focus of Arnold's later work.
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