A professor of chemistry at Colorado State University has been named the Colorado State University Research Foundation’s Researcher of the Year.
Steven H. Strauss recently received the award at the Foundation’s 16th Researchers’ Recognition Dinner. The award is presented annually to a Colorado State researcher who displays exemplary dedication to research and a determination to strive for excellence. The honor further recognizes individuals who have been successful in commercializing technology developed at Colorado State.
"Dr. Strauss’ research and expertise are known to be on the cutting edge, yet very practical," said Michael Elliott, chairman of the Department of Chemistry. "His innovative research combined with his ability to develop beneficial collaborations with industry have led to a uniquely interdisciplinary and effective approach to education, as well as to several licenses for commercial use of his work."
Strauss’ research focuses on transition-metal and main-group inorganic and analytical chemistry and its application to problems in chemical synthesis, catalysis, materials science and environmental remediation. For example, he develops highly-fluorinated compounds used to improve catalysts or create safe and more effective rechargeable lithium batteries for electrical devices such as laptops and electric cars.
Strauss’ work also encompasses developing new methods that can be used to detect pollutants in water at very low concentrations and remove them from the environment.
The Colorado State University Research Foundation holds five patents on Strauss’ work and has licensed his technology to several companies including Air Products and Chemicals, Albemarle, Electrox and Central Glass Company of Japan.
Strauss joined the chemistry faculty at Colorado State in 1981, having previously served as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford and Harvard. Additionally, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Associated Western Universities have each awarded Strauss research fellowships.
Strauss has published more than 90 scientific papers, wrote the textbook supplement "Guide to Solutions for Inorganic Chemistry" and co-edited the book "Inorganic Fluorine Chemistry." He serves as managing editor of the journal Chemtracts-Inorganic Chemistry and is a member of the advisory boards of Inorganic Chemistry and the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry.
In recent years Strauss has been invited to lecture at international conferences in Germany, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom. In 2001 he served as chairman for the American Chemical Society Division of Fluorine Chemistry and also as chairman of the Gordon Research Conference on Inorganic Chemistry.
In 1984, Strauss received the College of Natural Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was selected as the 1993-94 Colorado State University Honors Professor by the Honors Student Council. He also was awarded the 1997 Eddy Teacher Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching and advising by the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences as well as the 1997-98 College of Natural Sciences Faculty Undergraduate Education Award.
Strauss earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania and his master’s and doctoral degrees in inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University.