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Schweikert Earns Career Mass Spectrometry Achievement Award

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Established in 1952, the award is one of seven EAS achievement awards bestowed each year to analytical chemists who have advanced their fields through superior work in developing theory, techniques or instrumentation in conjunction with the annual Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition, held each November in New Jersey. Schweikert will be recognized for his seminal work in the field of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) using massive projectiles and for advances in ion imaging. 

Achievement award recipients are selected by independent juries of experts in these respective fields from nominations received by the awards committee from the scientific community at large or by the jury members. Schweikert, along with his fellow honorees, will receive an honorarium, travel expenses to EAS, a plaque and the opportunity to present his work at EAS at an award symposium in his honor.

A member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1967, Schweikert has served since 1972 as director of the Center for Chemical Characterization and Analysis (CCCA) and is a former head of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry (1994-2006). His 47-year career has focused on exploring the extreme limits of analytical chemistry in order to chemically image surfaces with extremely precise spatial resolution. Nearly five decades of experimentation later, his results feature advances that span the gamut of surface mass spectroscopy, ion microscopy and surface mapping, extreme trace analysis, chemical analysis instrumentation and nuclear science. Collectively, he has authored more than 250 publications and holds three patents.

Schweikert's lifelong pursuit of methodologies to characterize atoms and molecules comprising a variety of solid surfaces has been recognized with several national and international awards, most notably the 1986 George Hevesy Medal honoring international nuclear science achievement. He also received a 2007 Excellence in Innovation Award from the Texas A&M University System for his efforts to interface the university's research resources with the outside world through the Industry-University Cooperative Chemistry Program, which he founded in 1991. A member since 1976 of the editorial board for the Journal of Radioanalytical Nuclear Chemistry, Schweikert has served since 2009 as the chairman of Texas A&M's Nuclear Reactor Safety Board. 

Fellow Texas A&M chemist and international mass spectrometry expert Dr. David H. Russell describes Schweikert as an ideal EAS award candidate, from his early work demonstrating the advantages of cluster-SIMS to his innovative present-day methodology for molecular co-localization at the nanoscale level -- a concept uniquely suited for characterizing nanoparticles and impacting countless industry sectors, from energy to healthcare.

"As both a scientist and a valued contemporary, Emile Schweikert has made key contributions to many important areas of mass spectrometry," said Russell, who succeeded Schweikert as head of Texas A&M Chemistry in 2006 and also served as his award nominator. "His body of work is replete with examples that defined important steps in the development of secondary ion mass spectrometry -- incremental steps that collectively serve as the basis for major advances that have occurred in SIMS during the past 20 years."

The Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition (EAS) is held each year to provide professional scientists and students continuing education in the analytical and allied sciences through the presentation of symposia of papers, workshops and short courses. An exposition of apparatus and supplies allied to these sciences is held concurrently with the symposia.