PULLMAN, Wash.–Thomas B. Rauchfuss, professor of chemistry and director of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, received the Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award March 1. He returned to WSU to deliver the Carl M. Stevens Lecture, named for the late WSU chair of chemistry.
“Tom is one of our success stories,” said Ralph G. Yount, current chair of WSU’s chemistry department. “The University of Illinois has trained more Ph.D.s in chemistry than any university in the United States. The fact he is the director of chemical sciences [including chemistry and chemical engineering] there reflects his stature and contributions.”
Rauchfuss joined the UIUC faculty in 1978 and became director of the School of Chemical Sciences in 1999. The former research fellow at the Australian National University and visiting professorships in Germany, France and New Zealand, has trained 48 doctorates at the UICU.
His nine national awards include the American Chemical Society Award in inorganic chemistry, 2002. He has published more than 220 papers in synthetic chemistry, particularly on inorganic or organometallic compounds. He is noted for his fundamental research on the production of clean fuels, especially of hydrogen gas, both in nature by hydrogenases and in the laboratory by inorganic catalysts. In 2000, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in England.
The University of Puget Sound chemistry graduate (1971) spent five years at WSU before earning a doctorate in chemistry (1976).