Utah State University professor Alexander Boldyrev received the Utah Award in Chemistry in a recent ceremony conducted by the Salt Lake and Central Utah sections of the American Chemical Society.
According to the award program’s Web site, the honor is granted annually to a Utah resident for outstanding achievement in any field of chemistry. It recognizes individuals in academia and industry who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and creativity and have made a significant scientific or educational impact in the chemical sciences.
“Alex was recognized for his successful attempts to extend what chemists know about the most fundamental aspects of molecules: the chemical bonding that holds them together,” said Steve Scheiner, professor and head of USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
He noted that Boldyrev’s research has gained international acclaim, garnering more than 500 citations each year and longstanding support from the National Science Foundation – even in these very competitive times.
Boldyrev, who joined Utah State in 1999, received USU’s 2009 D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award, the university’s top research honor.
“Alex’s students are active participants in his work and three of them — Boris Averkiev, Dmitry Zubarev and Anastassia Alexandrova — have been named Robins Award Graduate Research Assistants of the Year in recent years,” Scheiner said.
Jack Simons, professor of chemistry at the University of Utah and a member of the award selection committee, said Boldyrev’s research excellence was the primary reason for his selection.
“As a young scientist in his native Russia, Professor Boldyrev carried out theoretical studies that resulted in the prediction of a new class of molecular anions termed ‘superhalogens,’” he said.
Simons noted that Boldyrev has continued to expand his research into important breakthroughs in building a theoretical framework for understanding the bonding properties of inorganic compounds and enabling chemists to predict several entirely new classes of species.
“This, of course, is much of what chemistry is about – creating new molecules and ions with novel properties,” he said. “Professor Boldyrev is unique among theoretical chemists in his ability to bring this creative and predictive component to this research.”