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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
A Clemson University chemistry professor has received one of the highest honors in the neighboring field of physics.
The American Physical Society (www.aps.org) named Dvora Perahia a Fellow of the society for her "contributions to the understanding of complex fluids formed by assemblies of strongly interacting polymers."
Perahia's research focuses on the physics that guide the behavior of polymers and complex fluids. She leads a Clemson polymer physics team that uses X-ray and neutron scattering together with large-scale computational tools to understand how the structure and motion of large molecules affect their properties.
Such understanding is important in the search for new materials for clean energy, such as fuel cells, as well as development of organic nano-electro-optical devices. Her research, supported by both the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, combines experiment and theory.
"Dr. Perahia is highly regarded for her work in an area where chemistry and physics meet," said Steve Creager, chairman of Clemson's chemistry department. "This is a tremendous honor for her and one that is richly deserved."
A frequent advocate for science and technology before Congress, Perahia is the current chairwoman of the Clemsons Faculty Senate research committee and serves on national and international scientific boards, including a material advisory committee at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. She chaired the users executive committee of the Center of Integrated Nano Technology at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and has served on instrumentation advisory committees in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Perahia earned her bachelor's degree at the Hebrew University in Israel and her master's and doctorate in physical chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She then spent a year working in the Weizmann Institute's polymer department as part of a team that developed a very accurate way to measure the forces involved in polymer interfaces. She joined the physics group at Exxon Research and Engineering laboratory in New Jersey in 1991 and the Princeton University physics department in 1995 as a research fellow. She joined Clemson's chemistry department in 1997.
American Physical Society Fellows are elected by their peers. Nominations are evaluated under strict criteria that include a scientist's accomplishments in research, service and education.
Founded in 1899, the 46,000-member American Physical Society was created "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics." It publishes a number of academic journals, including the venerable Physical Review, founded in 1893 at Cornell University.
For more information about Clemson University's graduate programs in chemistry, please visit http://www.grad.clemson.edu/programs/Chemistry/.