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University Of Delaware professor to lead molecular science lab

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October 02, 1998 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Dr. Jean H. Futrell, a renowned physical chemist, has been tapped to lead the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. EMSL, a Department of Energy scientific user facility, is dedicated to science and technology development aimed at solving environmental problems. Among his many scientific appointments, Futrell has served as a member of the EMSL scientific advisory board and as chair of its mass spectrometry facilities advisory committee.

Futrell comes to his new post from the University of Delaware where he is the Willis F. Harrington Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering. He is expected to begin work full time at EMSL in February 1999.

Dr. Futrell's research focuses on the physics and chemistry of ion-neutral interactions and their applications in analytical mass spectrometry. He has played a pioneering role in kinetics and dynamics of ion-molecule reactions and has made significant contributions to photochemistry and radiation chemistry.

He is internationally recognized for his contributions to the theory and practice of mass spectroscopy, with special interest in development of new instrumentation. He and his students were responsible for many of the major developments in tandem mass spectrometry, a key analytical technique in environmental chemistry and biotechnology. This background is excellent preparation for working with EMSL scientists who are responsible for several state-of-the-art and one-of-a-kind research instruments at the facility.

Futrell has authored more than 300 publications including 229 refereed journal articles. He has taught graduate-level science courses and lectured internationally, but also has taught introductory physics and chemistry to non-science majors.

Futrell is replacing Dr. Teresa Fryberger, who led the EMSL during its first year of operation as interim director. EMSL opened for full operation on Oct. 1, 1997. Dr. Thom Dunning directed EMSL during construction and startup of the scientific facility and since has returned to active research as a Battelle Fellow at PNNL.

The 200,000-square-foot EMSL houses up to 270 permanent staff, postdoctoral associates, visiting scientists and students. The research facility and its complement of advanced research equipment cost $230 million to build. The annual operating budget for the facility is $30 million. Its molecular science capabilities also are focused on energy and health issues and developing new materials.

Tags: Energy, Fundamental Science, EMSL, Operations, Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry and Separations, Facilities

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