Sandia’s Craig Taatjes (in Sandia’s Combustion Chemistry Dept.), whose groundbreaking work on Criegee intermediates has provided scientific insight into hydrocarbon combustion and atmospheric chemistry, has been selected to receive the prestigious Polanyi Medal by the International Symposium on Gas Kinetics.
“The list of previous recipients of this award includes some of my greatest scientific mentors and role models,” said Taatjes. “So it is a surprise and a tremendous honor to now be listed among them.” Taatjes said he has been “exceptionally fortunate to work with generous and brilliant co-workers at Sandia” and external collaborators. He cited his Sandia colleague David Osborn (also in Sandia’s Combustion Chemistry Dept.), who led the development of the machine that enabled Criegee intermediates to be probed, and Argonne National Laboratory’s Stephen Klippenstein. “Without colleagues like them and my excellent postdoctoral associates, I would not have been able to carry out the work that this award recognizes,” he said.
During his distinguished career at Sandia, Taatjes has carried out research aimed at understanding the fundamental chemistry of combustion and hydrocarbon oxidation, including flame measurements and the reactions that govern low-temperature autoignition. Recently, he led a project that made the first direct measurements of the reactions of Criegee intermediates, formed in ozone-initiated oxidation of hydrocarbons, showing that their impact on tropospheric chemistry and climate may be substantially greater than previously assumed.
The Polanyi Medal is awarded every two years. The recipient is chosen by the Committee of the Gas Kinetics Group of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is someone who has made outstanding contributions to the field of gas kinetics. The Polanyi medal is named after professor Michael Polanyi, 1891–1976, whose research helped to define the modern subject of gas kinetics and reaction dynamics. Taatjes will receive the award/present the Polanyi Lecture at the 23rd International Symposium on Gas Kinetics and Related Phenomena from July 20–24, 2014, in Szeged, Hungary.
Read the Sandia news release.