UCI News

3 professors win ACS physical chemistry awards

UC Irvine chemists Ara Apkarian, Filipp Furche and Douglas Tobias have won three of the four American Chemical Society physical chemistry division awards for 2014.

February 7, 2014

UC Irvine chemists Ara Apkarian, Filipp Furche and Douglas Tobias won three of four prestigious American Chemical Society 2014 Physical Chemistry Division Awards. The awards are granted annually to recognize the most outstanding scientific achievements of members of the society’s physical chemistry division.

“UC Irvine physical chemistry has scored an amazing hat trick of ACS awards for 2014,” said chemist and department chair Reginald Penner. “We are delighted, excited, and very proud of our colleagues.”

Apkarian took the 2014 Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry for experiments that visualize the real-time making and breaking of bonds in solids, liquids and quantum liquids. “It is satisfying to be recognized for one’s passion,” he said. “We continue on the path to fully visualizing chemistry in the act through the center on Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL) of NSF.”

Furche’s 2014 Early-Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry honors the development of electronic structure methods and computer programs enabling predictive simulations of small-gap compounds and electronically excited states. “Developing electronic structure methods is fascinating and sometimes daunting,” Furche said. “This award is a great honor and fantastic recognition for my group and me. It shows that hard work and persistence eventually pay off.”

The 2014 Award in Theoretical Chemistry went to Tobias for theoretical studies that reveal new and unexpected aspects of ions at interfaces and membrane-bound proteins, and their impacts on atmospheric and biological systems. “I was pleasantly surprised to receive this honor, and delighted to hear that two of my colleagues were also honored,” Tobias said. “The award is a much-appreciated affirmation that we are making significant contributions to the solution of important problems in contemporary physical chemistry.”

The 2014 recipients will be honored in the fall during the ACS National Meeting.