Professor Earns Prestigious Chemistry Award
Dr. Kenneth Balkus Honored For Achievement In Research, Teaching and Service
May 15, 2008
Dr. Kenneth J. Balkus, professor of chemistry at UT Dallas, has been named this year’s winner of the W. T. Doherty Award by the Dallas Fort Worth Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The award will be formally presented at a fall D-FW ACS meeting, at which Balkus will present an award address.
Dr. John Ferraris, a prior recipient of the Doherty Award and head of the Department of Chemistry, said, “I’m pleased, but hardly surprised, that Ken Balkus has received this award recognizing his outstanding contributions to the field, the section and the ACS. He is an imaginative researcher, a highly dedicated educator, and a superb colleague.”
The award, which includes an honorarium of $1,500, recognizes significant achievement, teaching and service.
Balkus, a materials chemist, has spent much of his 20-year research career at UT Dallas working with zeolite materials—porous crystalline metal oxides that act as ion-exchangers, absorbents and catalysts. Balkus created strategies for synthesizing zeolites, and that is how his lab created UTD-1, one of the largest known pore zeolites.
The Balkus group has developed numerous applications for molecular sieves that range from membranes to drug delivery. This work has resulted in more than 190 papers published or in press. Additionally, Professor Balkus is a co-inventor on 24 patents.
“I am quite honored to receive this award but most of the credit belongs to all my students and post docs who over the past 20 years generated the science being recognized,” Balkus said.
The local section of the ACS established the award to honor the memory of Wilfred Thomas Doherty, one of the founding trustees and later president of the Robert A. Welch Foundation, a Texas-based philanthropic organization that supports chemical research.