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Missouri S&T professor awarded President’s Award for Early Career Excellence

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

Apr 09, 2014

Award recognizes faculty who exhibit exceptional promise as demonstrated through scholarship, research or creativity

ROLLA, Mo. – University of Missouri System Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Hank Foley today awarded one of the UM System President’s Awards to Richard Dawes, assistant professor of chemistry at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  

Foley — in front of faculty gathered for a departmental meeting — surprised Dawes with the President’s Award for Early Career Excellence, which includes a $5,000 award. The award recognizes faculty who exhibit exceptional promise within their first seven years with the university as demonstrated through scholarship, research or creativity. The award marks the seventh of 11 to be presented in 2014.

The UM System President’s Awards are presented annually to faculty members across the four campuses of the University of Missouri System who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the university. 

President’s Award for Early Career Excellence

Richard Dawes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Dr. Richard Dawes, an assistant professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T, has the scholastic reputation of a seasoned researcher in his field. An internationally-known scholar, Dawes works in a theoretical field of chemistry that is concerned with molecular structures and reactivity, which affects factors like the efficiency of combustion engines and air pollution.

Dawes has received an impressive amount of external grant funding, especially for a theoretical chemist. He has secured more than $1.1 million for research from federally-funded programs, including the National Science Foundation. He was also the recipient of the very competitive and highly selective 2013 Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy; the first scientist in Missouri to do so. Dawes’ achievements in these areas are helping establish Missouri S&T in the field of computational chemistry.

Dawes’ research has been exceptionally well received by the academic community. Since joining Missouri S&T three years ago, he has published 26 peer-reviewed papers, one of which was the second most cited paper in the Journal of Chemical Physics in 2012. Dawes also speaks regularly at scientific workshops on the atmospheric dynamics of ozone.

As a teacher, mentor and faculty member, Dawes contributes significantly to the Missouri S&T campus. He teaches four different courses, has earned a perfect 4.0 teaching evaluation twice, and was named the recipient of the Wilbur Tappmeyer Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2013. Additionally, Dawes oversees undergraduate, graduate and doctoral student research and serves on several faculty committees for the university.

“I consider Dr. Dawes a most remarkable academic citizen, an outstanding teacher, and a top internationally renowned researcher,” wrote one nominator. “While these attributes are most often only used for older, well-situated researchers, I believe that Richard Dawes has already reached this prominent status within the short time of his university career.”