William Evans, professor of chemistry at UC Irvine, has been awarded the 2008 Spedding Award, the top honor for researchers in the field of rare-earth science. This field involves lanthanide metals, which were called rare earths because they were among the last to be discovered. Lanthanides now are common in automobile catalytic converters, high-efficiency light bulbs and magnets, TV screens and MRI analyses. Evans was chosen for his excellence and achievement in the field. The award will be presented to him in June at the 25th Rare Earth Research Conference in Alabama, where he will give a lecture on highlights of his research. Evans studies the fundamental chemistry of lanthanide metals as well as actinide metals such as uranium and thorium.