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David Bricker
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chemist Gary Hieftje wins top UK honor

May 26, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- IU Bloomington analytical chemist Gary Hieftje has been awarded the 2010 Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science by the Royal Society of Chemistry in London. According to the society, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Hieftje was chosen "for his contribution in the conception, design, development and innovation of analytical instrumentation." The honor is a top chemistry prize in Britain and, arguably, the world.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometer

Chris Eller, IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences

IU Bloomington Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Gary Hieftje (left) and Assistant Scientist George Chan (right) examine an instrument called an Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometer (lower left). Under certain circumstances, the instrument can measure most chemical elements in the periodic table at concentrations below one part per billion.

Print-Quality Photo

Hieftje will travel to England in November to accept the prize, which also entails a 5,000 British pound award (about $7,200) and a medal. In accepting the honor, Hieftje agrees to deliver special lectures at four British universities.

Hieftje has been a member of the IU Bloomington Department of Chemistry since 1969. He has authored or coauthored 10 books and more than 500 scientific papers, and holds 15 patents. More than 60 students have received doctorates under his direction.

Analytical chemists use their knowledge of chemistry and physics to develop the technological and methodological tools that enable them -- and other scientists -- to do research faster, more efficiently, and with improved accuracy. Many analytical chemists refer to themselves as both scientists and inventors.

Among his many research interests, Hieftje has investigated the basic mechanisms of atomic emission, absorption, and fluorescence; mass spectrometric analysis; and the development of instrumentation and techniques for atomic methods of analysis. He has also helped develop sophisticated methods that use computers to control chemical instrumentation and experiments, the use of time-resolved luminescence processes for analysis, the application of information theory to analytical chemistry, analytical mass spectrometry, near-infrared reflectance analysis, and the use of stochastic processes to extract basic and kinetic chemical information.

"I am delighted but not surprised that Gary Hieftje has received this accolade," said David Zaret, interim dean of the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. "He has long been recognized by colleagues around the world for his work. The respect for which he is held by his scientific colleagues internationally brings great distinction to the Department of Chemistry and to the College of Arts and Sciences."

To speak with Hieftje, please contact David Bricker, University Communications, at 812-856-9035 or