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Bernath Receives Award from His Alma Mater

Peter Bernath

Peter Bernath, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Old Dominion University, has received the Faculty of Science Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Waterloo's science faculty established the award to honor and recognize significant service, contribution and achievement of alumni. It is bestowed upon alumni who have demonstrated significant contributions in the areas of professional or academic achievement and contributions to community and public service. Bernath received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Waterloo in 1976.

"Dr. Bernath is an internationally recognized leader and scholar for many seminal discoveries in molecular spectroscopy and atmospheric chemistry," said Chris Platsoucas, dean of the College of Sciences. "He is very much respected and highly regarded by his peers for his accomplishments, which are at the highest level in his field. We are very pleased that he has been recognized by the University of Waterloo."

Bernath joined ODU last summer as professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry.

His research has helped us know more about greenhouse gases and molecules of astrophysical importance. He came to ODU from the University of York in England, where he was chair of physical chemistry and director of the York Center of Laser Spectroscopy.

A Fellow of the Optical Society of America, Bernath was the lead scientist for the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE), a Canadian satellite mission that began in 2003 and has turned up important information about climate change and air quality. He took on that project while he was professor of chemistry (with a cross appointment in physics) at Waterloo.

Bernath received the 2009 Alouette Award of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and the 2004 Excellence in Research Award from the University of Waterloo.

He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and served as assistant professor and associate professor at the University of Arizona before taking faculty positions at Waterloo in 1991 and York in 2006.

This article was posted on: June 28, 2012

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