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Ames Lab Senior Chemist Wins 2010 Arthur W. Adamson Award

Pat Thiel, senior chemist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, has been named the winner of the 2010 Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry. The award, sponsored and presented annually by the American Chemical Society, recognizes distinguished service in the advancement of surface chemistry.

Thiel, who is also an Iowa State University Distinguished Professor in chemistry and materials science and engineering, will receive the award during the 239th ACS national meeting in San Francisco in March 2010. The award consists of $5,000 plus travel expenses, a medallion with a presentation box, and a certificate. The medallion will be presented during the award address.

Ames Laboratory Director Alex King said, “Pat is an outstanding scientist, and she has made important contributions across a wide spectrum of topics. She is also a great leader in her field, and this award recognizes both of those things. We're proud to have her as a member of the Ames Laboratory.”

According to Thiel, a symposium will be held in her honor at the ACS national meeting. The Adamson award was first presented in 1993, and past recipients have been distinguished researchers in the field, including David King, the 2009award winner, who was science advisor to former British Prime Minister

Tony Blair. Thiel holds the distinction of being the first woman selected for the award.

Thiel has been active in research, teaching and administration. In research, she is known for her work in three main areas: nanostructure evolution on surfaces; surface properties and structures of quasicrystals (a complex type of metallic alloy); and the chemistry of water adsorbed on metal surfaces. She is an enthusiastic teacher of physical chemistry. She has held several administrative posts at Ames Laboratory and ISU, including the Lab's division director for Science and Technology and chair of the chemistry department, and in each position she has been the first woman to hold that post.

She received a B.A. degree in chemistry at Macalester College, and a Ph.D. in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1981. After postdoctoral work at the University of Munich as a von Humboldt Fellow, she joined the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, then moved to Iowa State University in 1983. In her early academic career at ISU, Thiel was received awards from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and by a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. Later, she was elected a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics.

In 2008, she received the Iota Sigma Pi Honorary Member Award from the National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry. She has been an Invitation Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, has received an honorary degree from the Institut National Polytechnic de Lorraine in France, and has received a DOE Award for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Materials Chemistry. She has served on numerous boards and committees for major organizations, including the NSF, the DOE, the American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund, and National Institutes of Health, and has been a member of editorial advisory boards for 10 journals. She has organized conferences and symposia within the frameworks of the Materials Research Society, APS, ACS, AVS, and the Gordon Research Conferences organizations. She has authored or co-authored approximately 260 publications, and has co-edited four books.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global challenges.


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