Debenedetti earns award for research on liquids

Aug. 21, 2007, 7:09 p.m.

Chemical engineering professor Pablo Debenedetti has been named the 2008 recipient of the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids.

The American Chemical Society has given the award annually since 1981 to recognize "distinguished contributions to the understanding of the chemistry and physics of liquids."

Debenedetti, the Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science, has been a leader in understanding the properties of metastable liquids and glasses, particularly water. In addition to providing fundamental insights into the liquid state of matter, his research has applications ranging from improved pharmaceutical formulations to the design of self-cleaning surfaces. He was cited specifically for "seminal contributions to the understanding of metastable states of fluids and the nature of the glassy state, the phenomenon of polyamorphism, and the nucleation of stable phases, by statistical mechanical theory."

He will receive the award April 8 at a ceremony during the American Chemical Society national meeting in New Orleans. The meeting also will include an awards symposium in honor of the 2008 physical chemistry award winners.