University of Rochester

Richard Eisenberg Recognized for His Research and Commitment to Education

January 17, 2013

Richard Eisenberg, the Tracy H. Harris Professor of Chemistry, is being honored for his work in the field of inorganic photochemistry. The New York Section of the American Chemical Society has named Eisenberg the winner of its 2013 William H. Nichols Medal Award.

"Dr. Eisenberg exemplifies the characteristics championed by Nichols when he created the award in 1903," said Barbara Hillery, chair of the Nichols Medal Jury for the New York Section of the ACS. "The awards committee not only was impressed with his outstanding research, but also his commitment to science education and his sustained service to the profession of chemistry."

Nichols, a charter member of the ACS, established the award in 1902 to encourage original research in chemistry.

Eisenberg's work has focused on inorganic and organometallic chemistry, photochemistry, and catalysis. He is a specialist in the chemistry of converting light into chemical energy. These interests have paved the way for his current work developing a system that could lead to more efficient and environmentally friendly production of hydrogen fuel from water.

Eisenberg earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University in 1963 and 1967. He taught at Brown University for the next six years, before joining the Rochester faculty, where he was promoted to full professor in 1976. He was chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1991 to 1994.

Eisenberg also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Inorganic Chemistry, the leading journal in its field. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Eisenberg has earned numerous awards throughout his career, including: the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry by the American Chemical Society (2011), with former student Pingwu Du; the University of Rochester's Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education (2010); the Morley Medal from the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society (2007); and the American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2003).

In 2010, Eisenberg received the University's Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education.

The Nichols Medal, the oldest award presented by a section of the ACS, will be presented to Eisenberg in March.