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USF’s chemistry professor ranked 20th in the world

TAMPA, Fla. -- Along with 2011 being designated the Year of Chemistry by the United Nations, Mike Zaworotko, professor of chemistry at University of South Florida, found out that it was his year as well. On Feb. 10, 2011, Thomas Reuters released the Top 100 Chemists for 2000-2010, and it was on this list that Zaworotko found himself ranked as the 20th top chemist in the world.

Zaworotko said he is very pleased with the outcome, but believes luck and timing has a lot to do with it. In the fall of 1999, Zaworotko started his career at USF in a new field called porosity. This was a developing study involving unique properties that gave hope of doing new things in terms of improving industrial processes.

Zaworotko said his research in porosity has the possibility of solving some major problems that the world faces, especially in terms of energy. Porosity offers “something to filter carbon dioxide as it is released in power plants,” he said.

It also can help with “problems in transporting hydrogen gases and improve energy uses in industrial processes,” Zaworotko said.

He attributes his ranking success to the work he has been doing at USF during the past 10 years. He said everything represented in the Reuter’s report is 100 percent of the work he did at USF.

“It was fortuitous that I had happened to be working in this field when it was evolving,” Zaworotko said.

Randy Larsen, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry said the ranking is based upon research published since 2000.

“Mike has 7,403 citations for 83 publications since 2000 for an astounding average of 89 citations per publication,” Larsen said.

Currently, Zaworotko works with an interdisciplinary research group, SMMARTT, studying metal organic materials which, according to the group’s website, are an emerging class of materials comprised of combinations of molecular building blocks. These materials are uniquely suited to provide solutions to problems that impact the sustainability of our society. These can range from energy, to human health and to the environment.

Thomas Reuters is the leader in scientometrics, which is process of ranking how often someone’s research is cited.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Chemistry School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Research  
Author: Melissa Russell