Raymond E. Schaak, professor of chemistry in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State, has been appointed as the DuPont Professor in Materials Chemistry in recognition of his distinguished contributions in research and education.
Throughout his career, Schaak has combined ideas and tools from solid-state chemistry, molecular chemistry, and nanoscience, with the goal of developing new chemical methods to make complex nanoscale solids that could impact such areas as energy, catalysis, optics, and medicine. A key focus of Schaak's research program is studying how nanoscale solids form, then using this knowledge to design new materials with important and unusual features. For example, his insights into how alloy and semiconductor nanoparticles are generated from chemical precursors have led to the discovery of new classes of magnetic and catalytic nanomaterials.
In 2012, Schaak received the Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Physical Sciences. In 2011, he was selected by the American Chemical Society to receive the National Fresenius Award sponsored by Phi Lambda Upsilon, the National Chemistry Honor Society. In 2010, Schaak received an inaugural Scialog Award, sponsored by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, for his project, "New Chemical Routes for Discovering and Improving Visible-Light Photocatalysts." In 2007, he was honored with a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award and a Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2006, he received a DuPont Young Professor Grant, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, and a National Science Foundation Career Award.
Schaak has authored more than 100 scientific papers published in international, peer-reviewed journals. He serves as an associate editor for ACS Nano and as an editorial advisory board member for the Journal of Solid State Chemistry. He has presented close to 100 invited talks, has served on several National Science Foundation workshop panels, and has organized symposia at regional and national scientific meetings. He also has served as a co-chair of the awards committee for the American Chemical Society's Division of Inorganic Chemistry, and currently serves as the chair of its nanoscience subdivision.
Before joining Penn State as a faculty member in 2007, Schaak was an assistant professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University from 2003 to 2007. He was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University from 2001 to 2003. Schaak earned a doctoral degree in chemistry in 2001 at Penn State and a bachelor's degree in chemistry at Lebanon Valley College in 1998.