University of Delaware

European laureate

Former UD faculty member wins L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award


8:50 a.m., Nov. 2, 2012--Pratibha L. Gai, a former adjunct professor of materials science at the University of Delaware, has been selected to receive the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award for excellence in the physical sciences.

Gai was one of only five female scientists selected worldwide for this honor. Gai, who taught electron microscopy courses at UD while working as a DuPont Research Fellow, is the 2013 Laureate for Europe.

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She was chosen “for ingeniously modifying her electron microscope so that she was able to observe chemical reactions occurring at surface atoms of catalysts which will help scientists in their development of new medicines or new energy sources,” according to a L’Oreal-UNESCO press release. 

“It is wonderful to see a former UD faculty member honored for her innovative and creative thinking. It is particularly gratifying that Prof. Gai had her start at UD and at DuPont, which has had such a significant role in shaping our region and our University,” said Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, interim dean of engineering.

Gai earned her doctoral degree in physics from University of Cambridge. She is currently the Founding JEOL Professor of Electron Microscopy at the University of York in England, with chairs in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics. The fellow of several scientific societies, she was awarded the Gabor Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics, UK, in 2010.

She will receive the award at a ceremony held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, next March. She will receive $100,000 in recognition of her accomplishments.

About the award 

The L’Oreal-UNESCO partnership was established in 1998 to recognize women in science and supporting scientific vocations. The Women in Science is a global program that includes international, regional and national fellowships and an international network of more than 1300 women in 106 countries. Since its inception, the Women in Science award has recognized more than 75 women working across the spectrum of research, from curing diseases to protecting the environment. 

Article by Karen B. Roberts

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