News Release 

WPI professor Bruce Bursten honored by ACS for service in field of inorganic chemistry

American Chemical Society selects Bursten for annual award

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Mass. - January 15, 2020 - Bruce Bursten, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been named by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to receive the 2020 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry.

The annual award recognizes individuals who have advanced inorganic chemistry by significant service and outstanding research. The award cites Bursten "for distinguished contributions to inorganic chemistry as an outstanding researcher in inorganic electronic structure and bonding, inspirational teacher and author, and forward-thinking leader."

Bursten will receive the award in March at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. The event will include a symposium in his honor.

"I am deeply humbled to receive this award from the American Chemical Society," Bursten said. "To be selected to receive this award by peers within my discipline is a very special honor to me. I am grateful to my students and colleagues who have given me such a rich and satisfying career in chemistry."

Bursten's research centers on the correlation of theoretical and experimental electronic structural data with the bonding and reactivity patterns of metal-containing molecules. He is the author or co-author of more than 160 research papers, and he has presented more than 200 research seminars at universities other than WPI, national laboratories, and companies. He is also a co-author of one of the leading textbooks in college general chemistry, currently in its 14th edition.

Bursten is a former provost of WPI. He has served as chairman of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry, as president of ACS, and as chairman of the chemistry division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). His honors include a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Spiers Medal and Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom, and the Morley Medal of the Cleveland Section of the ACS. He has also received the Catalyst Award, a teaching honor, from the American Chemistry Council. He is a fellow of AAAS and ACS.

Bursten received a bachelor of science in chemistry, with honors, from the University of Chicago in 1974, and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978.

"We congratulate Dr. Bursten for his tremendous contribution to the field of inorganic chemistry," said Jean King, Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences at WPI. "We are very proud when our faculty are nationally recognized for their contributions, and grateful that the American Chemical Society saw fit to recognize our distinguished colleague."


About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI, the global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI's pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers more than 50 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs across 14 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more.


Alison Duffy
Director of Strategic Communications
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, Massachusetts
508-831-6656; 508-340-5040 (cell)

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