PULLMAN – Aurora E. Clark, professor at Washington State University and an expert in physical chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the nation’s leading association of physicists.
The prestigious award recognizes Clark’s work in developing innovative methods to advance the study of complex chemical solutions and their interfaces through molecular simulation and the integration of methods from graph theory, topology (shape) and geometry.
Her work helps to expand the understanding of chemical phenomena that exhibit sophisticated correlations across length and time scales.
âThis knowledge underpins the basic research needed to solve a variety of important industrial problems that affect human health, environmental management and technological innovation,â said Clark.
Your research supports the development of new methods for the separation and purification of complex mixtures into pure components. These separation processes form the basis for treatment strategies for cleaning up nuclear waste at the Hanford, Washington site and other contaminated sites. They are also an integral part of recycling high quality critical elements found in cell phones and other devices.
In 2012, Clark began using network analytics, used by internet giants like Google, to study how molecules interact with each other. Her work on the elucidation of the networks of molecular interactions in liquids has led to new data mining methods that uncover molecular shapes as well as movements and paths for previously unknown chemical reactions.
In addition to basic research, Clark teaches basic and advanced courses in chemistry and supervises doctoral, bachelor and post-doctoral students. In addition, it works with professional associations to create educational and professional opportunities for young academics and to prepare planning documents for federal funding agencies for areas of science with national needs.
She has been a faculty member at WSU since 2005 and heads the University’s Center for Institutional Research Computing. She is a Laboratory Fellow of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and is also a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The APS Scholarship Program recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions in the field of physics, such as outstanding research or applications of physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Each year no more than half of one percent of the members of the Society are recognized by their peers for election to Fellow status.