Chemistry professor elected 2015 AAAS Fellow

Congratulations to chemistry professor Walter D. Loveland was elected a 2015 Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, this weekend during their annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. The distinction recognizes notable work to advance science or its applications in areas such as research, teaching, technology, industry, government in addition to communicating and interpreting science to the public.

Loveland was recognized for his pioneering contributions to nuclear chemistry, radioactive beams and heavy residues as well as for service to the profession and for mentoring future leaders in science. He joins more than 38 colleagues in the College of Science and 23 across Oregon State, who have also held this honor since 1965. Nationwide, the 2015 cohort includes 347 new Fellows, honored for their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership.

Walter Loveland, chemistry professor

Walter Loveland, chemistry professor

Since joining OSU’s College of Science in 1968, Loveland has spent his career studying large-scale nuclear collective motion, through observations of heavy ion fusion, other ways of preparing hot heavy nuclei and studies of the fission process.  Through his work as a chemist at a reactor lab, Loveland used activation analysis to study meteorites, particulate air pollution and stable activable tracers. His systematic study of the nuclear reactions that create super heavy elements has provided powerful tools for scientists.

“I am thrilled to see our faculty being recognized nationally for their excellence in research, teaching and service to the profession and the public,” said College of Science Dean Sastry G. Pantula. “This is another feather in Walt’s cap, to add to the wonderful Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry.”

Loveland received the 2014 Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry, the American Chemistry Society’s top honor. He was honored for his pioneering work on the use of radioactive beams for producing neutron-rich nuclei and his investigations of heavy residues in nuclear reactions. Prior to the 1980s, scientists had mostly collided stable isotopes together in their quest to create new elements. Loveland devised ways to use radioactive isotopes as projectiles, thus greatly expanding the range of nuclear reactions possible.

Loveland has received national recognition for his achievements and research. He was elected into the ASE Mentor Hall of Fame and has been recognized by the Sigma Xi, the American Physical Society and others. He has also made a significant impact on nuclear chemistry education through The Living Textbook of Nuclear Chemistry, The Elements Beyond Uranium and as coauthor of Modern Nuclear Chemistry.

Loveland earned his bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he discovered his passion for nuclear and radiochemistry and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington where he studied nuclear fission. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory, the first science and engineering research national laboratory in the United States.

Click here to read the full list of 2015 AAAS Fellows.

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