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Outstanding Scientist, Inspiring Collaborator, Great Person

Elena Rogacheva and Olga Nashchekina recount their memories of their ongoing collaboration with Millie (1997-2017).

Published onMar 21, 2018
Outstanding Scientist, Inspiring Collaborator, Great Person

Elena Rogacheva, professor
Olga Nashchekina, associate professor
NTU “Kharkov Polytechnic Institute”, UKRAINE

Brilliant mind, deep insight, perfect scientific intuition — these are just few of her characteristics as a scientist. We always admired her ability to concentrate on things. Millie did not waste a single moment, knowing that time is the most precious resource. Having a most tight schedule, she never kept us waiting for her reply. Millie’s work was related to energy problems, but she had an inexhaustible source of energy inside.

At a conference in Baltimore (1999)

In the course of our collaboration, we published 60 joint papers in Applied Physics Letters, Thin Solid Films, Physica Status Solidi, J. of Electronic Materials, Nanotechnology, Physica E and other publications. We also made over 70 presentations at more than 40 international conferences.

This incredibly fruitful, long-standing collaboration began in 1997, after the MRS Spring Meeting in San-Francisco, where Millie and myself (Elena) first met. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the aforementioned meeting was a landmark event for us (Elena and Olga), because it opened totally new opportunities for our research activities. We are immensely grateful to Millie for that.

Our joint efforts yielded a lot of interesting results, and joint grants helped us support and retain quite a few highly qualified specialists in science during some difficult times for us — not to mention the help attracting young researchers. This was no ordinary collaboration. It made all the difference to us.

Millie and Elena in Millie’s office at MIT

Our collaboration took place within the framework of a number of projects: “Physical Principles for Optimization of Thermoelectric Properties of IV-VI Based Superlattices”, “Quantum Size Effects in Semiconducting V2VI3 and IV-VI-based Thin Film and Bulk Structures and Control of their Thermoelectric Properties”, “Low-Dimensional and Bulk Nanocomposite Materials for Thermoelectric Energy Conversion”, to name a few, which were supported by the US National Research Council’s Twinning Program, three CRDF grants, and two joint grants from the US National Science Foundation and the Ukrainian Fundamental Science Foundation.

After a seminar

Our collaboration has proved to be not only fruitful and intellectually rewarding, but also personally enjoyable. Whoever wrote the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” — they clearly did not write it about Millie! She had time for everything — both work and fun! During one of our stays at MIT, Millie and Gene took us to Walden Pond — we had a great time there, walking around the lake. Another time, Millie and Gene invited us to their friend’s house, where we enjoyed listening to chamber music — Millie playing the violin, her son, Carl, playing the cello, and their friend playing the piano. It was fascinating and done professionally, all of which proves the saying true — talented people are talented in everything.

We are having lunch with Millie and Gene in their house

We visited MIT several times and each our stay was both productive and pleasant .

At one of MGM group seminars
Millie is preparing to play
After the classical music performance


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