Featured Badger Chemist: Bruce Bursten, Ph.D. 1978 (Fenske)

Prof. Bruce Bursten received his Ph.D. in chemistry from UW–Madison in 1978. He was recently honored with the 2020 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry.

Bursten’s journey toward the ACS award has been profoundly guided by his experiences. His story begins in high school, as a curious student in a math summer program.

Chemistry students win numerous awards

It was a busy year for awards, despite the constraints of a pandemic. In May, the Department of Chemistry celebrated students, faculty and staff with an online awards and graduation event called Celebrating Student Success. Because of generous donors, the department was able to give almost $500,000 in student support. See the winners of department and other awards below.

Remembering Phil Certain (Ph.D. 1969, Hirschfelder)

Phillip R. Certain, dean of the College of Letters & Science from 1993 until 2004, died Tuesday, August 11 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg at age 76 after a years-long struggle with progressive supranuclear palsy. He was the fifth-longest-serving dean of the largest college on the UW-Madison campus.

Remembering Hans Reich (Ph.D. 1968, Cram)

Everyone who knew Hans Reich knew of his love for the chemistry department. For 43 years of his life, Reich distinguished himself as an exceptional professor, a passionate scientist, and above all, an inspiring colleague. He died May 1, 2020, at age 76, from an injury sustained in a bicycle accident.

Remembering Steve Yamamoto (B.S. 1965, Ph.D. PSU)

At his 45th high school reunion, Steve Yamamoto said that he had “gone on to try just about everything,” and looking at his life, this was not an exaggeration.

Steve grew up in Madison. His father, Shinji Yamamoto, was a Wisconsin state architect who managed construction of many familiar and important state and university buildings. Robert J. McMahon, professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained that Madison was an important place for the family, especially for Steve.

Prof. Susanna Widicus Weaver brings a love of chemistry and expertise in astronomy

Vozza Professor of Chemistry Susanna Widicus Weaver arrived at UW–Madison in May to conduct research in prebiotic astrochemistry and on how life may form with the evolution of stars and planets. Weaver received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University (2000) and her Ph.D. in chemistry at California Institute of Technology (2005). She most recently was a professor of chemistry at Emory University.