PULLMAN, Wash. — Thomas B. Rauchfuss, a professor of chemistry and director of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will return to his alma mater to give the 2004 Carl M. Stevens lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday (March 1) in Room 16 of Webster Hall.

Rauchfuss, who earned his doctoral degree from Washington State University in 1975, will speak on “Small Molecules and Big Energy: An Organometallic Perspective.”

A primary focus of Rauchfuss’ research is clean fuels. He and his fellow researchers are examining nature’s methods for making hydrogen, which has great potential to provide a vital future energy source at a time of rising energy prices, declining fossil fuel reserves and global warming concerns.

Ralph Yount, professor of chemistry and chair of the chemistry department at WSU, said,   “Rauchfuss is one of our most distinguished Ph.D. graduates in chemistry. He is noted for his work on the catalytic generation of hydrogen gas from water as well as the development of new ways to remove sulfur from petroleum.” Rauchfuss will be presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from WSU before his evening lecture.

During his distinguished career, Rauchfuss has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and a Dreyfuss Teacher-Scholar Award. For more on Rauchfuss and his work, see http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/chem/rauch.htm.

The Carl M. Stevens Lecture is presented annually by the WSU Department of Chemistry. Stevens, who served as a faculty member at WSU in the chemistry department from 1946-80, was a leader in the area of biosynthesis of penicillin and essential amino acids. He was the university’s first biochemist and chairman of the department from 1960-71.