One of the top chemists in the nation, MSU Professor Emeritus James Dye has been awarded the prestigious Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Senior Scientist Mentor Initiative for 2001.
The Dreyfus Foundation Initiative was awarded on the basis of commitment to close advising and mentoring of undergraduate research participants, according to the foundations award letter.
The foundation will grant Dye $20,000 to work with and mentor undergraduate students throughout the next two years.
What I aim to do is continue some research that has not yet been published, Dye said. We started it a little over a year ago, and thats the incorporation of alkaline metals.
The project will combine some of Dyes previous work on alkaline metals with zeolites, a compound most commonly found in household water softeners.
Dye said this opportunity will be a positive one for both himself and the undergraduate students he plans to work with. He said he is looking forward to selecting students and beginning work on the project.
Since I have no teaching or committee responsibilities, I have lots of time and thats something normal faculty dont have, he said.
Katharine Hunt, chairperson of the Department of Chemistry, said when Dye was teaching he was one of the most dedicated and inspiring professors around.
I think its a great opportunity for undergraduate students to work with a distinguished professor, she said.
Hunt said despite his retirement, Dye is at the forefront in his field.
He came up with a category of compound that added a new word to the dictionary, she said.
The word was electride, simply described as a trapped electron.
Since Dye retired he has been doing research with postgraduate students.
Andrew Ichimura, a research associate, has worked with Dye on past projects, and said their work together has been very interesting.
Ichimura said Dye is very dedicated to science, and his experience will prove valuable to the undergraduate students he will work with.
The Dreyfus Initiative for 2001 was awarded to senior researchers in chemistry and chemistry-related fields at 13 institutions across the country.
The initiative was started last year, and is designed specifically for retired scientists to be mentors and directors of undergraduates.
Dye taught at MSU from 1953 to 1994, and served as chairperson of the Department of Chemistry from 1986 to 1994. He has been researching at MSU during the six years of his retirement.
He has held several fellowships, including the NSF Science Faculty Fellowship at the Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry in Gsttingen, Germany, and the Guggenheim Fellowship and Fulbright Research Scientist at the University of Strasbourg in France.