Francis O. Dudas

Presenter: Provost Chris A. Kaiser

This next recipient “ticks every box on the Unsung Hero list with an oversized marker,” wrote one colleague about Francis Dudas, Laboratory manager for the Bowring Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology Lab, in the Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. His nominator wrote, “Unsung Hero is a perfect description of Frank who quietly performs incredibly important functions that benefit not only everyone in my lab, but also the department, the MIT community, and a host of international visitors. He consistently goes way above and beyond his job description and does it so quietly and efficiently that many are not even aware of how much he does.”

In addition to managing the lab, Frank is also the safety officer, a skilled educator, and a gifted mineralogist famous for being able to identify obscure minerals. He’s in the lab 8-10 hours a day but continues to work at home, writing papers and running the mass spectrometer remotely. When students leave MIT to take post-doctoral or faculty positions, they stay in contact with Frank to find out where to order things, how to set up equipment, and what to do when lab procedures don’t work.

“Frank is what makes MIT a great place,” one colleague says. “He performs at an extremely high level, always finding new things to do. He is motivated by his love of science and an intrinsic dedication to making MIT a better place to work and educate students.”