University of South Carolina

Chemist named SURA distinguished scientist

The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) announced Friday (Feb. 18) that Richard D. Adams, Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina, will receive its 2011 Distinguished Scientist Award.

The award honors a research scientist whose extraordinary work fulfills the SURA mission of “fostering excellence in scientific research.” The award and its $20,000 honorarium will be presented to Adams on March 15 at the SURA Board of Trustees meeting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. He will make a presentation to the board the next day.

“SURA wants to highlight the exemplary work of this renowned researcher, whose reputation extends well beyond his own campus and our region,” said Charles W. Steger, President of Virginia Tech and chair of the SURA Council of Presidents and Executive Committee. “Dr. Adams’ research at the interface of chemistry and nanotechnology shows great societal promise for the hydrogen economy and renewable fuels of the future.”

In a series of studies of some of his 500 original research publications, Adams has unveiled the nature of hydrocarbon ligand transformations at polynuclear metal sites. New catalysts for hydrocarbon and hydrogen utilization are required for meeting the challenge of energy efficiency and utilization.

Adams has been on the USC faculty for 26 years. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, he earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served in assistant professorships at SUNY at Buffalo and Yale University before joining USC in 1984. His extramural research support for single-investigator awards has included the Petroleum Research Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Some of Adams’ many other awards include the National Award of the American Chemical Society for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2010), the National Award of the American Chemical Society for Inorganic Chemistry (1999), the Henry J. Albert Award of the International Precious Metals Institute (2005), the South Carolina Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science (2003), the Southern Chemist Award of the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society (2001), and a U.S. Senior Scientist Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany (2000).

He has also been a visiting professor of the Institut Universitaire de France (2000) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (1994). Adams was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2003.

“SURA is pleased to honor Prof. Adams for such notable accomplishments, which highlight his strong academic credentials and the quality research in which he’s engaged,” said Jerry P. Draayer, President and CEO of SURA.

The SURA Distinguished Scientist Award was established in 2006 to commemorate the organization’s 25th anniversary. SURA’s development and relations committees manage the solicitation, screening and selection of the recipient for this award from a SURA member institution. Dr. John Noftsinger, vice provost for research and public service at James Madison University, is the chair of the selection committee for SURA. Each of SURA’s 62 member institutions was eligible to make one nomination for the Distinguished Scientist Award.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 02/18/11 @ 5:15 PM | Updated: 02/23/11 @ 3:54 PM | Permalink