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May 23, 1996

Yates named to National Academy of Sciences

Pitt faculty member John T. Yates Jr. has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer.

Yates holds a joint appointment in chemistry and Physics and Astronomy. He also is founder and director of Pitt's Surface Science Center.

"Membership in the National Academy is an honor reserved for the most distinguished scientists," said Interim Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. "John Yates's election is a well-deserved tribute to his significant contributions to the field of chemistry." Surface chemistry, Yates's specialty, strongly impacts a wide range of important technologies, such as environmental and control sciences, semiconductor processing, and corrosion inhibition.

Yates's research in physical chemistry has focused on the structure and spectroscopy of surface species, the dynamics of surface processes and the development of new methods for research in surface chemistry.

Yates earned a B.S. in chemistry from Juniata College in 1956, and then went on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1960.

After three years of teaching at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and 19 years with the National Bureau of Standards, Yates joined the Pitt faculty in 1982 as the first R. K. Mellon Professor of Chemistry and director of the University's Surface Science Center.

Yates has won gold and silver medals for research excellence from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Kendall Award of the American Chemical Society, the M. W. Welch Award of the American Vacuum Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize.

Identified by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 24th most cited chemist in the world from 1984 to 1991, Yates has co-authored one book, edited four others, authored 482 papers and is the owner of six patents.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scientists and engineers. Its 1,800 members and 300 foreign associates have won 124 Nobel Prizes.

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