Newswise — Chemist Stephen Klippenstein of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has received the 2018 Ya. B. Zeldovich Gold Medal from The Combustion Institute, one of the highest awards given to combustion researchers.

The award recognizes Klippenstein’s work on theoretical gas phase chemical kinetics, and particularly its applications in combustion chemistry. Klippenstein’s research has contributed to our understanding of radical oxidation and of the formation of pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

“I have spent my career trying to improve our understanding of combustion chemistry through the development and application of theoretical kinetics to key problems in combustion. It is very exciting to have my peers validate this effort by awarding me this medal,” KIippenstein said.

The Ya. B. Zeldovich Gold Medal is named for Yakov Borisovich Zeldovich, a leading 20th century Russian chemist. Zeldovich worked on the theory of ignition, combustion and detonation. His scientific accomplishments were far-reaching — he helped advance the theory of nuclear chain reactions, discovered a mechanism for nitrogen oxidation and even made contributions to astrophysics and cosmology. His research is funded by the DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences Program.

“This award is only presented once every two years, and goes to a combustion researcher who has made a tremendous impact on the field,” said Argonne chemist Stephen Pratt.

Klippenstein joined Argonne’s Gas Phase and Chemical Dynamics Group in 2005 after serving on the faculty in the Chemistry department at Case Western Reserve University from 1989 to 2000 and at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories from 2000 to 2005. He received the O.W. Adams Award for Outstanding Achievement in Combustion Science at Sandia.

The award was presented during the 37th International Symposium on Combustion in Dublin, Ireland. Earlier this year, Klippenstein was also inducted as a fellow of The Combustion Institute.

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