RSC Spiers Memorial Award

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UCLA Alumnus and former faculty member, Professor Fred Wudl, is the recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2014 Spiers Memorial Award. (Julie Cohen): Professor Wudl received the 2014 Spiers Memorial Award for his many innovative developments in the field of organic electroactive materials and plastic electronics.

“I am very grateful to the RSC for this recognition of our research that could not have been done without the many dedicated, outstanding collaborators who worked in our laboratories for close to 40 years,” Wudl said. “This award is, of course, also an acknowledgment of our campus and the UC system as a whole. Indeed, organic electronics is revolutionizing the electronics industry, and the Faraday Discussions will further this evolution in semiconductor physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering.”

Fred Wudl (Credit: Sonia Fernandez)

The Spiers Memorial Award is presented in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of a Faraday Discussion. Produced by the Royal Society of Chemistry for more than 100 years, Faraday Discussions are unique international discussion meetings that focus on rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines. All attendees contribute to the discussion, including presenting their own relevant research.

Short Biography

Professor Wudl, currently a research professor in chemistry and materials engineering at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), received his Bachelor of Science (1964) and doctorate (1967) degrees from UCLA, where his dissertation work was overseen by Nobel laureate Donald J. Cram. After postdoctoral research at Harvard with Nobel laureate Robert Burns Woodward, he joined the faculty of the State University of New York at Buffalo. He then moved to AT&T Bell Laboratories and subsequently to UCSB. In 1997, he joined the faculty at UCLA, where was the Dean M. Willard Professor of Chemistry (formerly Courtaulds Professor of Chemistry) until 2006, when he returned to UCSB.

Professor Wudl is a strong supporter of the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and played a critical role in the creation of the Christopher S. Foote Term Chair, when he generously agreed to provide some of the Dean M. Willard Chair funds, with the permission of Mr. Willard, to establish the Foote Chair.  The Foote Chair provided greater flexibility to the Department in recruiting and retaining distinguished scholars. The current Foote Chair is Professor Juli Feigon.

In 2005, Wudl and his wife, Dr. Linda Wudl (B.S., 1967, UCLA), made a pledge to establish the Linda and Fred Wudl Term Chair, to support outstanding faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. By enabling the department to appoint either a junior or senior faculty member to the chair, the Wudls provided UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry with the maximum flexibility in attracting outstanding scholars at any stage of their careers. The current Wudl Chair is Professor Sriram Kosuri.