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Patrick G. Hatcher, a professor of chemistry at Ohio State University and director of the OSU Environmental Molecular Science Institute, has been appointed Batten Endowed Chair in physical sciences at Old Dominion University, Provost Thomas Isenhour announced June 2.

Hatcher, who will join the faculty of the chemistry and biochemistry department in ODU's College of Sciences, is scheduled to begin his duties at the start of the spring 2006 semester. He will also serve as director of the new Major Instrumentation Core Facility, to be housed in the university's Physical Sciences Building. Construction on the building is scheduled to begin this fall.

"Pat Hatcher is a great addition to Old Dominion University. We look forward to his leadership in the College of Sciences and university," Isenhour said.
The endowed chair is the first at Old Dominion funded by Frank Batten's $32 million gift to the university, whose primary goal is to increase ODU's capacity to attract and retain top researchers and faculty, and to support research endeavors.

Hatcher's current research interests include organic geochemistry of coal, kerogen (solid bituminous material in some shales, which yields petroleum when heated) and humic substances (from the organic part of the soil).

He was the principal investigator for a $5.8 million National Science Foundation grant that established the EMS Institute at Ohio State. The award created a center involving 18 faculty across four OSU divisions, four other universities, Argonne National Lab and three industrial partners, including Exxon-Mobil. The research utilizes state-of-the-art analytical equipment and focuses on chemical processes that include atmosphere/aerosol, atmosphere/dust, water/geomedia and geomedia/biological interfaces.

Before coming to OSU, Hatcher established the Center for Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry at Penn State. Prior to that, he was credited as being one of the first organic/environmental geochemists to use solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) as principal analytical research instrumentation while working at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va.

Recently, Hatcher received the 2005 American Chemical Society Geochemistry Division Medal in recognition of his accomplishments in and contributions to organic and environmental geochemistry.

"The ACS is one of the world's largest professional organizations and its awards are highly competitive and most prestigious," said Richard V. Gregory, dean of the ODU College of Sciences.

According to an April 11 article in Chemical and Engineering News, "The results stemming from [his] body of work have significantly advanced our understanding of natural materials like coal, kerogen, humic materials, dissolved organic matter, and resistant biopolymers (both lignin and microbial products). His work, now spanning several decades, has both refined and redefined our understanding of complex geopolymeric materials."

Hatcher, who joined Ohio State in 1998, has received significant research funding during his career, and has authored or co-authored more than 200 papers in refereed journals. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from North Carolina State University, a master's in marine chemistry from the University of Miami and a doctorate in geochemistry from the University of Maryland.

This article was posted on: June 2, 2005

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