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Six PNNL scientists elected AAAS fellows

Scientific association honors researchers for advancements in chemistry, engineering, physics and atmospheric science.

December 19, 2008 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – Six scientists from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a fellow recognizes the researchers’ exceptional efforts to advance science or its applications.

The PNNL honorees and the AAAS sections that elected them are Don Baer, physics; Michel Dupuis and Chuck Peden, chemistry; Cindy Bruckner-Lea and Yong Wang, engineering; and L. Ruby Leung, atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences. They join 28 PNNL researchers previously chosen as AAAS fellows.

Don Baer
Baer specializes in the use of spectroscopy and other advanced techniques to reveal the behavior of atoms and molecules at or near the surfaces of materials. AAAS honored him “for research and capability development that significantly advance molecular-level understanding of environmentally important interfacial processes relevant to nanoparticle reactivity, mineral dissolution and stress corrosion cracking.”

Baer is a laboratory fellow and lead scientist for interfacial chemistry at EMSL, a DOE national scientific user facility located at PNNL. He also is an adjunct professor of physics at Washington State University, Tri-Cities, and an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Washington. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and received his doctorate from Cornell University.

Cindy Bruckner-Lea
Bruckner-Lea was recognized “for groundbreaking contributions to the field of bioengineering, particularly for development of biosensors and bioanalytical systems at the interfaces between chemistry, biology and engineering.”

Bruckner-Lea manages PNNL’s chemical and biological sciences group. Her research focuses on the development of biodetection systems for national security, environmental and medical applications. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Davis, and her doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Utah.

Michel Dupuis
Dupuis pioneered the use of information technology to address fundamental problems in chemical theory and research. The AAAS fellowship recognizes his “distinguished contributions to the fields of computational and theoretical chemistry, particularly for the development of electronic structure methods and computer codes for the simulation of molecular properties and reactivity.”

Dupuis is a laboratory fellow and associate director in PNNL’s Chemical and Materials Sciences Division. He completed his undergraduate work in engineering at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and earned his doctorate in theoretical chemistry at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Ruby Leung
Discovering unexpected impacts of climate change, such as changes in water resources in the United States and East Asia, has brought international recognition to Leung. AAAS honored her “for outstanding contributions to the development and application of regional climate models.”

Leung is a laboratory fellow in the PNNL Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and statistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a master’s and doctorate in atmospheric science from Texas A&M University.

Chuck Peden
Peden is at the forefront of research to control emissions from diesel and other fuel-efficient engines. He was selected “for distinguished contributions to the fundamental understanding of catalyst materials and processes for vehicle emission control that have enabled the implementation of new technologies.”

Peden is interim director of the laboratory’s Institute for Interfacial Catalysis. Author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and presentations, Peden received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from California State University, Chico, and his master’s degree and doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Yong Wang
Wang was honored “for groundbreaking contributions to the fields of reaction engineering and catalysis innovations that enable novel approaches to process intensification in important energy areas.” Holder of more than 100 issued and pending U.S. patents, Wang is an authority on the development of chemical processes to produce hydrogen for fuel cells and on the conversion of biomass into fuels and chemicals.

Wang is a laboratory fellow and associate director of the laboratory’s Institute for Interfacial Catalysis. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Chengdu University of Science and Technology, China, plus a master’s degree and a doctorate from Washington State University. Wang is an adjunct professor of chemical engineering at WSU and recipient of the university’s 2008 Alumni Achievement Award.

High resolution photos of PNNL's new AAAS fellows are available on PictureThis, the laboratory's online image library.

Don Baer
Cindy Bruckner-Lea
Michael Dupuis
Ruby Leung
Chuck Peden
Yong Wang


AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. The association will honor the new fellows at its annual meeting in Chicago in February 2009.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, National Security, EMSL, Biomass, Emissions, Fuel Cells, Climate Science, Atmospheric Science, Chemistry, Biology, Catalysis

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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