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2005 ACS National Award Winners

January 3, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 1

Following is the first set of vignettes of recipients of awards administered by the American Chemical Society for 2005. C&EN will publish the vignettes of the remaining recipients in successive January and February issues. An article on George A. Olah, 2005 Priestley Medalist, is scheduled to appear in the March 14 issue of C&EN along with his award address.

Most of the award recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday, March 15, in conjunction with the 229th ACS national meeting in San Diego. However, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar awardees will be honored at the 230th ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

ACS Award in Colloid & Surface Chemistry

Sponsored by Procter & Gamble


As a 17-year veteran professor of the University of California, Berkeley, editor of Nano Letters, and the scientific founder of both NanoSys and Quantum Dot Corp., you might expect at least a little bit of hubris from 45-year-old A. Paul Alivisatos. But with his softspoken manner, Alivisatos couldn't be more easygoing about his remarkable career.

Perhaps Alivisatos' humility comes from his midwestern and Greek roots. A Chicago native, Alivisatos moved to Greece with his family when he was 10. He returned to his hometown seven years later to pursue his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Chicago. Alivisatos comes from a family of doctors, and he admits that he originally intended to go into the family business until he fell under chemistry's spell.

"I liked chemistry much more than I liked medicine," he says. "I liked that level of explanation." Medicine's loss became chemistry's windfall, and Alivisatos continued his studies at UC Berkeley. There, he earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry under the guidance of Charles Harris.

"When I finished my Ph.D., I got very interested in electronic materials, and I wanted to go to Bell Labs," Alivisatos says. There, he undertook postdoctoral research with his mentor, Louis E. Brus. This research led him to the study of nanocrystals, an area that combined his interests in chemistry and electronic solids.

In 1988, Alivisatos returned to Berkeley as an assistant professor and today is the Chancellor's Professor of Chemistry & Materials Science at the university.

Interdisciplinary work in the synthesis, characterization, and application of colloidal nanocrystals has earned Alivisatos a reputation as a nanotechnology pioneer. He has devised methods to reproducibly synthesize nanocrystals with novel shapes, such as tetrapods and egg yolks. Alivisatos also demonstrated that it is possible to tune the properties of an inorganic solid in colloidal form by changing the solid's size. Several of his inventions are beginning to bear fruit in the marketplace: Paint on solar cell materials and quantum dot biological sensors born in the Alivisatos lab are currently being commercialized in the U.S. and Japan.

"Alivisatos is one of the founders of this field of chemistry," says colleague John T. Yates Jr., a chemistry professor at the University of Pittsburgh. "He has played a key role in the development of the science and technology of colloidal nanocrystals, with work on every aspect of these important materials, ranging from synthesis to spectroscopy to thermodynamics to assembly and finally to application."

"Attaching colloidal semiconductors to DNA or oligonucleotides has been a major advance in the field of biosensors that would not have been possible without the work of Alivisatos," adds UC Berkeley chemistry professor Gabor A. Somorjai.

Not all of Alivisatos' contributions are confined to the laboratory. He had a hand in crafting the original proposal for the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the past decade's single largest increase in government funding for the sciences outside of the health domain. And as the founding editor-in-chief of Nano Letters, he has nurtured a forum for scientific publication in the colloid chemistry community and beyond.

Naturally, Alivisatos speaks of his success with his characteristic modesty. "I'm lucky to have very good support," he says. "I have to give a lot of credit to my wife, Nicole."

The award address will be given before the Division of Colloid & Surface Chemistry.--BETHANY HALFORD


Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal

Sponsored by Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal Endowment


Widely known as having pioneered the field of directed enzyme evolution, Frances H. Arnold "has effected a fundamental change in the way that industrial and academic laboratories engineer biological systems," according to David A. Tirrell. Tirrell is the chairman of California Institute of Technology's division of chemistry and chemical engineering, where Arnold is the Dick & Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering & Biochemistry.

Arnold describes directed evolution in this way: "All the complexity of living things can be attributed to a simple design algorithm of mutation and natural selection. The exquisite products of evolution are apparent at all levels, from the amazing diversity of life all the way down to individual protein molecules. Scientists and engineers who wish to redesign these same molecules are now implementing their own versions of the algorithm. Directed evolution allows us to explore enzyme functions never required in the natural environment and for which the molecular basis is poorly understood. With directed evolution, we can now tailor individual proteins, whole metabolic pathways, genetic regulatory circuits, and even whole organisms for applications in biotechnology."

Arnold, 48, received a B.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1979 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985. Asked about what sparked her interest in a science career and the transition from mechanical and aerospace engineering to chemical engineering, Arnold says: "I chose a career in science when I discovered how exciting it is to invent things and solve real problems. That realization came in graduate school, when I experienced the thrill of studying and engineering biological systems.

"In college, I majored in mechanical engineering because it had the fewest requirements for an engineering degree, which allowed me time to pursue the many other academic and nonacademic interests I had at the time. I did not dream I would have an academic career and was leaning more toward public policy or international affairs.

"After graduating from Princeton, I worked in Brazil on solar energy and at the Solar Energy Research Institute in Colorado (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory). This was during the Carter Administration, when as a nation we had an ambitious goal for developing renewable energy. I particularly enjoyed working on energy technology for the Third World."

At the start of the Reagan Administration, however, Arnold says she "realized that times would likely be tough for renewable energy and took the opportunity to get advanced training. The recombinant DNA revolution was just making itself felt in engineering, and I saw great opportunities there to do something creative and useful. Biology and chemistry were clearly the new frontiers. The research was fascinating, and I jumped at the chance to join the fun by going to UC Berkeley in 1981 for a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering."

In 1985–86, Arnold was a research fellow in the chemistry department at UC Berkeley, after which she began her career with Caltech, first as a visiting associate in chemistry and then progressing from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor and finally to her current position.

In addition to the teaching and research that nourish her, Arnold finds time to give invited lectures and to serve on science advisory and editorial boards. She is an author of more than 100 research papers; has edited or coedited three books; written numerous book chapters, reviews, commentaries, and editorials; and is listed on nearly 30 patents or pending patents. She has three sons, ages seven, eight, and 14, and recently completed a yearlong sabbatical that took her and her family to Australia, the U.K., and Africa.

In 2004, Arnold was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, topping off a long list of other honors and awards. Among these are her selection as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, her election to the National Academy of Engineering, the 2000 Professional Progress Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society division awards, a 1989 NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and a fellowship from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

Despite all of these achievements, however, Arnold says: "I am most proud of the brilliant students and postdocs with whom I have worked at Caltech. It has been an enormous pleasure to watch their scientific and personal development, and to be able to encourage their creativity and enjoyment of science. Science is remarkably fun, and it's a great career. I enjoy sharing that with my students."

The award will be presented before the Biotechnology Secretariat.--ARLENE GOLDBERG-GIST


ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Sponsored by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc.


When she was six years old, Jeannette E. Brown remembers being so impressed with her African American physician that she decided on the spot to become a doctor. She asked him how one did so, and he replied, "Study science." When she was a junior in high school, she says a teacher "turned me on to chemistry."

Brown graduated from high school in 1952 and entered New York City's Hunter College, where she majored in chemistry. She was one of two African Americans in Hunter's first class in a new chemistry major program. The college was then funded by New York City, and her tuition and books were free. In return for this free education, "we were taught to give back--mentoring others was part of our natural training," Brown says.

She has served as a mentor and role model ever since. And now at age 70, her efforts are being recognized by ACS.

After college graduation, Brown went to the University of Minnesota, where in 1958 she received an M.S. in organic chemistry. She believes that she was the first African American woman to receive a degree in chemistry.

Her research focus at Minnesota was in organic chemistry, and after graduation she sought a position in the pharmaceutical industry. The year was 1958, and, she says, the drug companies "were beginning to open their doors to African Americans." She became a research chemist at Ciba Pharmaceutical (now Novartis) and worked there for 11 years. In 1969, she moved to Merck & Co. For the next 26 years, until she took early retirement in 1995, she synthesized compounds for testing as potential new drugs.

Brown served on Merck's Black University Liaison Commission and was an adviser to faculty and students at Grambling State University, a historically black university in Louisiana. One of the students she mentored became the dean of science at Grambling. Another earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and an M.D. degree and is a cardiologist in Jackson, Miss. Brown received Merck's Management Award for this work.

Her outreach efforts extended beyond the university level. As part of the National Science Foundation Visiting Women in Science Program, Brown visited high schools in Philadelphia, acting as a role model for students and faculty. She also served for six years on NSF's Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science & Engineering and was able to influence policy on programs for minorities nationwide.

After retirement, she joined New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, and became director of the Regional Center for the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative. The center focuses entirely on precollege minority students and their science and math teachers. She recently retired from NJIT and is now the 2004 Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section) Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, studying the history of African American women chemists.

Brown has been active in ACS as a councilor, focusing on diversity in elected governance. She also chaired Project SEED at the national level and remains active in this social action program in the North Jersey Section.

In 1990, the Metropolitan N.Y. Chapter of the Association of Women in Science named Brown an "Outstanding Woman in Science." A year later, she was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame. In 2002, she received the ACS Women Chemists Committee Regional Award for Contributions to Diversity.


Brown will receive her award at the ACS national meeting in San Diego. The award address will be presented before the Division of the History of Chemistry at the fall ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C.--LOIS EMBER


ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Business Development & Management


Edwin A. Chandross is "one of the world's premier industrial chemists," according to former colleague Valerie J. Kuck. During his tenure at Bell Laboratories--formerly part of AT&T and now part of its successor, Lucent Technologies--"Ed carried out an exceptional and diverse research and development program aimed at the design and implementation of organic materials and chemical structures for advanced telecommunication technologies," Kuck adds. Before she retired from Lucent in 2001, she was a member of technical staff.

Chandross, 70, earned a B.S. in chemistry in 1955 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.A. in 1957 and a Ph.D. in 1960, both in chemistry, at Harvard University.

Chandross says he joined Bell Labs in 1959 as a member of technical staff after the company "made me an offer I couldn't refuse." The lab, which was doing little fundamental chemical research at the time, invited him to come and set up his own research program. "Jobs like that hardly existed then, and they certainly don't exist today," Chandross says. He and five other newly minted organic chemistry Ph.D.s joined Ed Wasserman, who was already on staff (and who was to become ACS president in 1999). The group "was one of several that put Bell Labs on the map as a real chemistry powerhouse."

"It was a very collegial group," Chandross recalls. "We would comment on and review each others' work in a very friendly style." The collaborative style extended well beyond the circle of chemists. "Multidisciplinary work was a hallmark of Bell Labs, and I enjoyed collaborating with top-notch scientists in many fields," Chandross says.

Chandross flourished, conducting both fundamental and applied research and often bringing his own experience to bear on problems that stumped people in other departments. "It was fun to take something as prosaic as how to remove polymers thoroughly from glassware"--a technique he picked up as a graduate student--"and turn it into an industrial process used in splicing optical fibers," he says.

Holder of approximately 60 patents, Chandross has had a hand in the development of many products and technologies, including some familiar to the public. For example, the light stick products made by American Cyanamid were based on his discovery that hydrogen peroxide reacts with an oxalate to produce an intermediate that can cause many different compounds to fluoresce.

His other advances include the discovery of electron-transfer chemiluminescence; the study of excimer properties; the development of holographic storage materials; a simple photochemical technique to reduce precursor impurities, which yielded lower loss optical fibers; early development of deep ultraviolet photoresists; and new techniques for making thin-film optical waveguides, gratings, and solid-state dye lasers.

After almost 42 years with Bell Labs and Lucent, Chandross retired as director of Lucent's materials chemistry department, though he still does part-time work for the firm. In 2002, he started MaterialsChemistry LLC, a consulting firm in Murray Hill, N.J.

Chandross has served on advisory boards for MIT; the University of California, Los Angeles; and Northwestern University, as well as several editorial boards including Chemical Reviews and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Chandross is a principal editor of the Journal of Materials Research and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Business Development & Management.--SOPHIE ROVNER


Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Breslow Endowment

Peter B. Dervan "uses organic synthesis and physical chemistry to explore fundamental problems in chemistry inspired by the biological world," according to John D. Roberts, an emeritus chemistry professor at California Institute of Technology. Dervan, who is the Bren Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, explores the chemical principles that govern the molecular recognition of DNA by small molecules. Using his findings, he designs molecules capable of binding to particular DNA sequences with an affinity comparable to that of proteins. These cell-permeable synthetic molecules may have applications as regulators of gene expression.

In the lab, Dervan "combines elegant experimental design and rigorous scholarship to create a paradigm shift for biomimetic chemistry from modeling of biological systems to control of cellular complexity with the precision afforded by small-molecule design," says Roberts. "His pathfinding conceptual and experimental contributions have helped define modern bioorganic chemistry."

Dervan says that Breslow, a chemistry professor at Columbia University, "is one of my scientific heroes, and it is a special privilege to be included on the Breslow Award list. In some ways, he has been an influential teacher for me through his early papers and lectures."

Roberts says that Dervan resembles Breslow in having "mentored the next generation of leading bioorganic chemists." Dervan takes this responsibility seriously. "The true legacy of any academic research program is the students who pass through one's laboratories," he says. "I am the beneficiary of an extraordinary group of former coworkers and am deeply inspired by their creativity and passion for research in chemistry and biology."

Born in 1945 in Boston, Dervan earned a B.S. in chemistry at Boston College in 1967 and a Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University in 1972. After spending a year at Stanford University as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow, he began his career at Caltech as an assistant professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1982.

Dervan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and has garnered several awards including the Arthur C. Cope Award (1993) and the Alfred Bader Award (1999). He is a scientific founder of Gilead Sciences and a member of the board of directors of Beckman Coulter Inc.

Dervan has served on numerous editorial advisory boards including those of Angewandte Chemie, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Tetrahedron.

Dervan and his wife, Caltech chemistry professor Jacqueline K. Barton, live in San Marino with their daughter, Elizabeth.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Organic Chemistry.--SOPHIE ROVNER


ACS Award for Creative Invention


Sponsored by Corporation Associates

"The technological implications of DeSimone's carbon dioxide-based methods are so immense that they are certain to be widely adopted by industry in the 21st century for manufacturing and service processes and for the synthesis of commodity chemicals," says Jeffrey S. Moore, William H. & Janet Lycan Professor of Chemistry & Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, about Joseph M. DeSimone, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

DeSimone is honored for environmentally sound synthesis of commodity chemicals and polymers in CO2, the invention of CO2-based surfactants, and the discovery of solvent-free manufacturing and service cleaning processes using CO2 and specially designed detergents.

"DeSimone's groundbreaking research has led to the development of chemical synthesis and processing methods in liquid and supercritical CO2--a plentiful, nontoxic, environmentally friendly replacement for water and organic solvents," Moore remarks.

One example of the impact of DeSimone's work is DuPont's "Process G" technology for manufacturing Teflon G fluoropolymers. The technology is based on a process patented by DeSimone that employs supercritical CO2 as the polymerization reaction medium to produce fluoropolymers with the highest levels of compositional uniformity. The process also allows easy product isolation.

"The fluoropolymer technology is only the beginning," Moore says. "The breadth of CO2-based processes was greatly expanded when DeSimone molecularly engineered surfactants to specifically perform in CO2 media." DeSimone is credited with inventing the concept of "CO2-philics" and "CO2-phobics."

DeSimone's work on CO2-based surfactants led to the discovery of detergents that could be used with liquid CO2 as a replacement for perchloroethylene for dry cleaning. On the basis of this discovery, he founded Micell Technologies in 1995. The company subsequently spawned the dry-cleaning franchise Hangers Cleaners. Micell Technologies now develops and delivers CO2-based processing systems that clean, treat, coat, or otherwise improve a wide range of surfaces and/or materials.

Born in Norristown, Pa., in 1964, DeSimone received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa., in 1986.


"My motivation for pursuing a career in chemistry, as opposed to medicine, was a direct result of a wonderful undergraduate experience at Ursinus College," he says. "I had several wonderfully talented professors there who were outstanding and strongly nurturing teachers. They presented chemistry in a manner that made me fall in love with doing it."

DeSimone obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 1990. He was then appointed assistant professor of chemistry at UNC where he is now a professor. Since 1995, he has also been a professor of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University and director of the National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents & Processes.

DeSimone has received numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 1997, the 2001 Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest, the 2002 Carothers Award, and the 2002 Engineering Excellence Award given by DuPont for successful commercialization of a supercritical CO2 polymerization plant at DuPont Fayetteville Works.

In 2001, DeSimone was chair of the National Network of National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center Directors. He has also been a member of the editorial boards of a number of polymer journals including the Journal of Polymer Science. He is the author or coauthor of more than 190 refereed publications and some 90 patents, many of which have been licensed to corporations.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Polymer Chemistry.--MICHAEL FREEMANTLE


James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching

Sponsored by Albemarle Corp.


Annis Hapkiewicz' classroom is alive with chemistry. Her enthusiasm for chemistry is evident from the moles hanging from the ceiling to the tombstones of famous scientists lining the windows. Hapkiewicz strives to make her classes fun and engaging while her students simultaneously acquire a solid foundation in chemistry.

"Students know that when they enroll in Annis' classes, they will be prepared for college," says Jetze J. Tepe, assistant professor of chemistry at Michigan State University, East Lansing. "She exposes her students to the basic chemical concepts and engages them in quality problem-solving laboratory activities."

Hapkiewicz has taught advanced placement (AP) chemistry and other science courses at Okemos High School, Okemos, Mich., since 1970. She took on additional responsibilities in 1990 when she became the half-time K–12 science coordinator for Okemos. She has also served as the Okemos High National Honor Society adviser as well as the Okemos High School Quiz Bowl coach and Science Olympiad coach. She has been an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University since 1990.

Teaching was not Hapkiewicz' original career goal. "I thought I might go to medical school," she said. "My husband was finishing up a Ph.D., and it didn't make sense for me to start medical school until we knew where he would get a job. In 1969, I could teach in New York state without any education courses, so I took a job teaching biology and chemistry. I discovered that I really liked teaching and loved teaching chemistry. I try to teach my students to be critical thinkers, to appreciate the history of science, and to enjoy learning."

Hapkiewicz credits the support she has received from Michigan State University in introducing chemical instrumentation to her students and showing them how chemists use instruments in their work. For the past two years, students in her AP chemistry class have been able to spend a morning working with graduate students on assigned methods, such as gas chromatography (GC), high-performance liquid chromatography, GC/mass spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and electrophoresis. Her students also have the opportunity to talk with the graduate students about majoring in chemistry, graduate programs, and job opportunities, which they consider to be a highlight of their experience.

As one of her greatest accomplishments, Hapkiewicz points to the success of her students, many of whom have gone on to earn advanced degrees. General enrollment in chemistry classes at her school has increased. Her students consistently post high scores on the AP chemistry exam. One student who graduated recently was named a Davidson Fellow and received a $50,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a Las Vegas nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young scholars.

Another former student, now enrolled in the Ph.D. chemical engineering program at the University of Michigan, says: "Mrs. Hapkiewicz' talent as an instructor, exceptional understanding of chemistry, and dedication to students prepared me well for the AP chemistry exam. I tested out of general chemistry when I entered Yale University as a chemistry major. She made chemistry interesting and fun for many students who did not seem to like science when they entered her classroom."

Hapkiewicz' contributions to chemistry education go far beyond the classroom. She worked on the state of Michigan Science Benchmarks and has served as a consultant to the state Department of Education in numerous capacities, including reviewing and even rewriting many of the hands-on activities used for the statewide testing program because a number of the original problems did not work. She was a member of the AP chemistry test development team for Educational Testing Services from 1999 to 2003.

Hapkiewicz is held in high esteem by her colleagues. "Annis particularly shines in her willingness to share with colleagues," according to a fellow teacher. "She has a knack for taking a vague idea and making it a practical 'classroom ready' experience for kids and then sharing it with other teachers."

Hapkiewicz' professional activities--ranging from her long association with the Michigan State Teachers Association in various capacities to publications to memberships in the American Chemical Society, the Michigan Education Association, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Michigan Science Leaders Association--have garnered an impressive list of honors and awards. These include the ACS Central Regional High School Chemistry Teaching Award (2001), the ACS Michigan State University Local Section Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award (2000), and the Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Science Teachers Association (1999).

Hapkiewicz has a B.A. degree in biology with a minor in chemistry (1969) and a master's degree in science education (1970) from State University of New York, Buffalo.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Chemical Education.--CORINNE A. MARASCO


ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science


Sponsored by Eastman Chemical Co.

Craig J. Hawker, director of the Materials Research Laboratory and professor of materials, chemistry, and biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is honored for his creative development of novel polymers with controlled structure and architecture that can be used as high-performance dielectrics, recording media, and memory chips in the microelectronics industry.

At the relatively young age of 40, Hawker has the distinction of being the coinventor of three families of polymers that have been or are being implemented into commercial products with the potential to change the face of the microelectronics industry, according to Jean M. J. Fréchet, chemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Hawker's work on hyberbranched polymers led to a new family of insulating materials that enabled a quantum leap in circuit density for microelectronic chips, Fréchet comments. Hawker has also developed novel cross-linked polymers that can be used as the recording layers for revolutionary compact data storage systems. In addition, he has developed living radical polymerization for the preparation of self-assembling block copolymer templates for flash memory chips.

"An additional measure of the impact of this extraordinarily gifted young industrial scientist is found in the latest ISI [Institute for Scientific Information] 10-year tabulation of the 100 most-cited scientists in the world for the period 1992–2003 for the entire field of chemistry," Fréchet observes. "Hawker is featured prominently in this very select group that includes only five polymer scientists."

Hawker puts his success down to his passion for practical work. "I have always liked to make things with my hands, and even during my undergraduate days, synthetic experiments, for which the products from the laboratory could be seen and touched, were the most enjoyable," he says. "Such challenges and rewards that come from the ability to manipulate matter at the molecular level certainly couldn't be experienced in mathematics or very easily in biology or physics. So I gravitated naturally to chemistry." Collaborations with other researchers have been and continue to be the biggest highlights in his career, he says.


"Working with students and colleagues is hugely motivating, lots of fun, and I have had the best of luck in working with many exciting and enthusiastic people," he explains. "Only a few things in life beat the combination of chemistry and a couple of drinks."

Born in Toowoomba, Australia, Hawker graduated with a first-class honors degree in chemistry from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1984. Four years later, he obtained a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry under the supervision of chemistry professor Sir Alan R. Battersby at the University of Cambridge, where the title of his thesis was "Biosynthesis of Vitamin B12--Model Studies on the Spiro Intermediate." Hawker next undertook a postdoctoral research fellowship with Fréchet, then at Cornell University, working on dendrimers and dendritic macromolecules. Hawker moved back to the University of Queensland as a research fellow in 1990, under support from a Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship. In 1993, he became a research staff member at IBM Almaden Research Center, where he remained until 2004 before his move to the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since 2001, he has also been adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Queensland.

Hawker has authored or coauthored 30 patents and more than 190 research publications. He has received numerous awards including the ACS Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering (PMSE) Division's Arthur K. Doolittle Award in 1997, the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry's Young Scientists Award in 2000, the ACS Polymer Chemistry Division's Carl S. Marvel Award in Creative Polymer Chemistry in 2001, and the Cooperative Research Award from PMSE in 2003.

Hawker is also editor of the Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, and a member of the editorial boards of several other journals.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering.--MICHAEL FREEMANTLE


E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy


Sponsored by Rohm and Haas

Eizi Hirota's scientific achievements in molecular spectroscopy are outstanding; he is considered a pioneer in the use of microwave techniques to search for pure rotational transitions of radicals. Hirota was a research fellow with E. Bright Wilson at Harvard University from 1960 to 1962. Robert F. Curl Jr. of Rice University, Houston, says: "It is especially appropriate for Hirota to win this award. He is probably Wilson's most successful former student who stayed in spectroscopy."

After Hirota returned to Tokyo from Harvard, he started a project of microwave spectroscopy of free radicals, and he chose the SO radical as the first target. After this challenging start, Hirota established an active research group at the Institute for Molecular Science in the late 1970s. Some of his most important contributions were made with this young, able, and hardworking research group. Hirota's group set the standard of free-radical spectroscopy, developing a wide variety of high-resolution techniques ranging from microwave to visible laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy.

According to Takayoshi Amano of the Institute for Astrophysics & Planetary Sciences at Ibaraki University, Mito, Japan, "It was Professor Hirota's determination and ingenuity, together with tremendous effort by his entire group, that led to detection of new species and new spectra at an astonishing rate."

In addition to using microwave spectroscopy, Hirota moved into the infrared region, which is almost universally applicable since all molecules possess "vibrational fingerprints." Hirota used newly available tunable infrared lasers to discover and characterize a huge number of new radicals and ions. In doing so, he not only tamed these challenging infrared diode lasers but also devised new ways to create radicals and ions under conditions suitable for infrared probing.

Robert McKellar, of the National Research Council of Canada's Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, explains that "his accomplishment was not just a matter of quantity--the work was also of the highest quality."

Hirota's free-radical and ion studies were of fundamental importance in various reaction systems from interstellar astrochemistry to plasma chemical vapor deposition processes. He has published several hundred journal articles and a book, "High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Transient Molecules," that is "of invaluable help to anyone working in the field," Curl says.

Hirota received his B.S. (1953) and Ph.D. (1959) degrees from the University of Tokyo. Hirota's prior accolades include the Japan Academy Award in 1992 and the Award of the Chemical Society of Japan in 1987. He served as the president of Japan's Graduate University for Advanced Studies from 1995 to 2001.

McKellar adds, "The medal is a fitting recognition for an outstanding scientific career characterized by perseverance, imagination, energy, and leadership."

The award address will be presented before the Division of Physical Chemistry.--NICK WAFLE



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