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UW Professor Receives Humboldt Research Award

April 20, 2015
man presenting award to another man
Humboldt Foundation President Helmut Schwarz, left, presents a research award to UW Professor Bruce Parkinson. (Humboldt Foundation Photo)

University of Wyoming Professor Bruce Parkinson, recognized internationally as a leading researcher in harnessing solar energy, has been selected to receive an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award.

The award, which promotes international cultural dialogue and academic exchange, recognizes academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own disciplines, and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. The Humboldt Award recognizes Parkinson’s entire achievements to date.

Parkinson, the J.E. Warren Professor of Energy and Environment and a professor in both the School of Energy Resources and in the Department of Chemistry, is on sabbatical this semester at the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany, where he is studying solar energy conversion and storage. Humboldt Award winners are invited and provided funding to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on long-term research projects with specialist colleagues at research institutions in Germany.

Parkinson leads a research group that investigates novel methods to harness solar energy. He is an expert in developing and evaluating novel materials with photovoltaic properties to convert solar energy into useable energy forms.

He also is an expert in surface chemistry and recently has been investigating the influence of photochemistry on the surface of Mars. Parkinson has published more than 200 papers in professional journals and holds four U.S. patents. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and, last fall, was named a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society.

Parkinson taught at Colorado State University for 18 years before joining the UW faculty in 2008.

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