Dybowski wins magnetic resonance award
Cecil Dybowski


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11:14 a.m., Dec. 1, 2009----Cecil Dybowski, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has been selected to receive the 2010 Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS) Award for Outstanding Achievements in Magnetic Resonance.

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The award will be conferred at the EAS event next November, with the program including a session honoring Dybowski. Anita Brandolini, who earned her Ph.D. under Dybowski's advisement and is now an assistant professor in the School of Theoretical and Applied Science at Ramapo College in New Jersey, will organize the award symposium.

EAS is the second-largest meeting of its kind in the United States. Former recipients of the EAS magnetic resonance award include two Nobel Prize winners, as well as other notable scientists from around the world. “Winning this award is a great international honor for me personally, as well as recognition of the work of my students over the years,” Dybowski says.

“Prof. Dybowski is a distinguished magnetic resonance spectroscopist and an accomplished scientist and academic teacher,” says Klaus Theopold, professor and department chairperson.

Dybowski's lab at UD was one of the first to study the surface chemistry of catalysts using nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR. He and his students have also characterized the physical properties of polymers using the technique and, most recently, have applied NMR spectroscopy to the study of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and thallium.

Dybowski views his research as an integral part of his job as an educator. “My job as a professor is to educate students through a variety of means, including lectures, individual meetings, and work in the laboratory.”

Dybowki's students have gone on to careers in research, laboratory management, and administration. Perhaps his most well-known former advisee on the UD campus is Provost Tom Apple, who was the first student to complete a Ph.D. under Dybowski.

“Prof. Dybowski pioneered the use of time-dependent quantum mechanical perturbation methods to gain chemical and structural information from nuclear spins in solid materials,” says Apple. “His contributions have had an enormous impact on many areas in catalysis, polymers, and other materials where these techniques have been applied. However, his contributions to our fundamental understanding of nuclear spins, and particularly heavy metal nuclides, are even more dramatic.”

“I was privileged to be Prof. Dybowski's first Ph.D. student,” Apple adds. “Fortunately, he was able to overcome that drawback. He is the epitome of a scholar/teacher/mentor. He has reached the pinnacle of his field as recognized by this EAS award.”

Dybowski earned his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1973 and joined the UD faculty in 1976. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemists, and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Dybowski also won the 2007 Delaware section award of the American Chemistry Society. His wife, Mary Kaiser, won the award in 2008, making the pair the only married couple to be so honored. Kaiser is a senior research fellow in DuPont's Corporate Center for Analytical Sciences.

Article by Diane Kukich