Icons of Spectroscopy Laureate Series: Eponym Spectroscopy Awards


Many notable spectroscopists have had their names and research memorialized in the naming of an award. From celebrating the accomplishments of young scientists to commemorating the achievements of academic and industry veterans, these awards recognize the leaders whose research has forever transformed the analytical sciences.

In our second article in our Icons of Spectroscopy laureate series, we are providing details of the individuals having their names associated with the major awards in spectroscopy (eponyms). The included Table I contains the eponym, the institutions the eponym worked, the official award name, the awarding organization, the lifetime of the eponym, the specialty subject of the award, the date the award was introduced, and the weblink for the award. We hope that this table will be a useful reference for readers and nominators for these awards. The next article in this series will begin to highlight the specific careers of the selected laureates.

A list of the major eponym awards covered in this table is as follows (in alphabetical order). The information from the various organizations sponsoring each award is given in the following text and the links to each award description are given in Table I.

Table I: A list of the major eponym spectroscopy awards (in award name alphabetical order)

Table I (Continued): A list of the major eponym spectroscopy awards (in award name alphabetical order)

Bomem-Michelson Award

This award was dedicated to the memory of Professor A. A. Michelson, developer of the Michelson interferometer. ABB sponsored the award for 31 years (1987–2017) and it was presented each year at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy. The award consisted of a crystal symbol of the Bomem–Michelson award and an honorarium. The ABB-sponsored Bomem-Michelson Award Symposium was held in honor of the awardee and immediately followed the presentation.

The award honored scientists who advanced the technique(s) of vibrational, molecular, Raman, or electronic spectroscopy. Contributions may have been theoretical, experimental, or both. The recipient must have been actively working and at least 37 years of age. To ensure that the award was based on an independent evaluation of the candidate’s achievements, the selection was made by a committee chosen by the Coblentz Society.

Charles Mann Award in Applied Raman Spectroscopy

The Charles Mann Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated advancement(s) in the field of applied Raman spectroscopy, presented at the FACSS SciX conference; and/or demonstrated dedication to the advancement of the Raman spectroscopy program at the FACSS SciX conference and/or the ASTM Raman subcommittee.

The Charles Mann award for Applied Raman Spectroscopy was instituted by FACSS in 2002 following the untimely death of Professor Charles (Charlie) Mann. Mann was a well-known and long-standing member of the faculty of Florida State University (FSU). Mann and his faculty colleague, Professor Tom Vickers, contributed significantly to the development of analytical Raman spectroscopy via publications, participation at numerous meetings including the annual FACSS meeting, and participation in the ASTM sub-committee on Raman spectroscopy E13.08. Mann’s research areas covered from the fundamentals, including data analysis (chemometrics and databases), quantitative Raman, and instrumental understanding to the applied, polymers, inorganics, etc.

Coblentz Student Awards

The Coblentz Society has for many years encouraged young scientists to pursue studies in spectroscopy by seeking nominations of outstanding students for the Coblentz Student Awards. The awardees receive a copy of the society’s Desk Book, a certificate, and a year’s membership in the society.

E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy

To recognize outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied spectroscopy in chemistry.

The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Up to $1,500 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed. The recipient will deliver an award address at the spring awards symposium of the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry.

Earle K. Plyler Prize

This prize recognizes notable contributions to the field of molecular spectroscopy and dynamics. The prize consists of $10,000, an allowance for travel expenses, up to $1000, to attend the meeting at which the prize is to be presented and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The recipient is invited to contribute a perspective article to The Journal of Chemical Physics. It is presented annually. This prize was established in 1976 and is now sponsored by The Journal of Chemical Physics, an AIP Publishing journal.

Lester W. Strock Award

The Lester W. Strock Award is given by the New England Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in recognition of a selected publication of substantive research in/or application of analytical atomic spectrochemistry in the fields of earth science, life sciences, or stellar and cosmic sciences.

The Coblentz Award

The Coblentz Award is presented annually to an outstanding young molecular spectroscopist under the age of 40. This award is the society’s original award (first awarded in 1964), and is the complement of the Craver Award that recognizes young spectroscopists for efforts in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. The award is presented annually at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy (ISMS). Due to delays arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 award was presented at ISMS in June of 2023. The 2023 award was presented at SciX.

The Craver Award

In 2006, The Coblentz Society created an award to recognize the efforts of young professional spectroscopists (under the age of 45) that have made significant contributions in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. The first Craver Award was presented in 2007 at the FACSS meeting in Memphis, TN.

The society named this award for Clara D. Craver in recognition of her pioneering efforts in promoting the practice of infrared vibrational spectroscopy and her many years of service to the Coblentz Society.

Clara Craver was the editor of the Coblentz Desk reference and other subsequent libraries that later became databases of infrared spectra. These libraries are the foundation for the application of modern vibrational spectroscopy. Her efforts resulted in the creation of the investment fund that supports the Coblentz Society and many of its annual awards. The 2023 Craver Award was presented at SciX in Sparks, Nevada.

The Karl Norris Award

The International Council of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (ICNIRS) presents the ICNIRS Karl Norris Award (KNA) honoring the unique contribution of Karl Norris as the internationally recognized founder of modern near infrared spectroscopy. The ICNIRS Karl Norris Award is made in recognition of a major contribution to the science of near infrared spectroscopy, including research and development of new technology. The award is open to senior academic or industrial researchers from any country, and there is no restriction on the employment background of the nominee. The ICNIRS Karl Norris award is presented at the International Conference on Near Infrared Spectroscopy.

The Lippincott Award

The Ellis R. Lippincott Award is presented annually to an outstanding vibrational spectroscopist. It is co-sponsored by the Coblentz Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and Optica (formerly OSA). The award is presented in memory of Professor Ellis R. Lippincott to scientists who have made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy as judged by their influence on other scientists.

The Tomas Hirschfeld Award

The International Council of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (ICNIRS) presents the Tomas Hirschfeld Award. This award, co-funded by Si-Ware and ICNIRS, is made in recognition of a significant innovative and/or scientific contribution to near infrared spectroscopy. It awarded on the basis of excellence in research conducted by a scientist of international standing.

According to the ICNIRS website, “The winner of the Hirschfeld Award needs to have made a significant contribution to the growth of NIR technology. Eligibility is not restricted to senior scientists: graduate or post-graduate students who have done unique work in the field are also eligible. The award is open to academic or industrial researchers from any country, with the only restriction that the candidate must not be a direct employee of an instrument company.” The award is presented at the International Conference on Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

William F. Meggers Award

This award is given to the author(s) of the outstanding paper appearing in the journal Applied Spectroscopy. It is awarded at the Society for Applied Spectroscopy award ceremony held at the fall meeting following the calendar year of publication and shall consist of a scroll and an honorarium of $3500.00. The honorarium shall be shared equally in the case where the paper has more than one author. Nominations for this award are made exclusively by the Meggers Award Committee. This award is selected by a committee and no outside nominations are accepted.

William G. Fateley Student Award

In 2010, the family and former group members of William G. Fateley, in conjunction with The Coblentz Society and The Society for Applied Spectroscopy, announced the formation of a Student Award to honor the career and life of William G. Fateley. The award consists of a cash prize to the selected student and a plaque. Winners are recognized at the annual SciX conference.

The William G. Fateley Student Award is administered by the Coblentz Society. Awardees are selected from the recipients of the Coblentz Student Award by mutual agreement of the Student Affairs Committee and the Fateley donor group. William G. Fateley Student Awardees most closely embody the spirit of Fateley’s desire to promote the science and society of spectroscopy.

All members are invited to nominate a student worthy of recognition for a Coblentz Student Award by virtue of their interests in vibrational spectroscopy during the open window for nominations. This nomination makes the student a candidate for the William G. Fateley Student Award at the same time.

Williams-Wright Award

This award is presented annually at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy to an industrial spectroscopist who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry. The work may include infrared and/or Raman spectroscopy, instrumental development as well as theory, and applications of vibrational spectroscopy. Government labs are not considered industry in this definition. The Awardee must still be working at the time the award is presented.

We award emerging leaders in Spectroscopy—Click here to read more about Spectroscopy’s Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy Award and Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award.

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