The Williams-Wright Award

2015 Award Recipient

The Coblentz Society is pleased to introduce the recipient of the 2015 Williams-Wright Award, Dr. Jagdeesh Bandekar.

Jagdeesh Bandekar obtained his bachelor’s degree from the Karnatak University in India with physics (major) and mathematics (minor). After obtaining his Ph.D. from the physics department of Kansas State University, he went to work at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. He carried out research work related to the non-planar nature of the peptide group in polypeptides and proteins by using far-infrared spectroscopy and on the statistical mechanics of polymer chains using the Ising model. He then joined to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he carried out research (on the spectroscopy of polypeptides and proteins) and teaching. He was recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship during which he carried out research on the spectroscopy of biomolecules at the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Physics in Stuttgart, Germany. During this time he worked with two great professors, Georg Zundel (Munich) and Ludwig Genzel (Stuttgart) and published several papers. Professor Zundel had a very profound influence on Jagdeesh, as a scientist, as a responsible human being, and as a pacifist. Jagdeesh feels so fortunate to have developed a lasting relationship with the Zundel family.  In 1989 he joined the Technical Center of the BOC Group in Murray Hill, New Jersey.  In BOC he carried out research on developing a gas cell capable of detecting trace level (≤ 50 ppb) moisture in corrosive gases in support of Airco’s projects in the microchip industry. This collaborative work with Bob Messerschmidt led to a successful cell called the Pathfinder. Then he developed techniques for measuring sulfur oxide species in white liquor in support of attempts at developing environmentally friendly processes. In support of BOC’s Healthcare Group, Jagdeesh carried out basic research on soft and hard segments in polyurethanes and used information available on different types of hydrogen bonding formed to better understand the nature of extrusion. He has presented results from this work at Pittcon. In 1994 he moved to work in the Technical Center of Union Carbide’s Specialty Polymers & Products Division in Bound Brook, New Jersey. This was to be a most fruitful part of his professional career. He set up Near-IR capability in support of research on at- and on- line analysis, QA/QC, and manufacturing. He set up excellent relationships with Foss NIRSystems and UOP Guided Wave companies. He developed micro-FT-IR mapping capabilities –both in transmission and in ATR modes, and used newly developed techniques in particle size distribution to problem-solving in R&D, TS&D, and manufacturing. He worked with local high school teachers in summer times to introduce them to industrial research. After Dow Chemical Company purchased Union Carbide, Jagdeesh moved to Dow Automotive Systems in Auburn Hills where he is employed at present. Several co-op students from local universities have worked in Jagdeesh’s laboratory and written their graduation Theses with him.

Jagdeesh has published more than 50 papers and written two review articles. In his spare time, Jagdeesh volunteers for Detroit Public Broadcasting System.  

The formal presentation of the Williams-Wright award will take place at a special symposium at Pittcon 2015.

Congratulations Jagdeesh! 

History and Nomination Process

The Coblentz Society's Williams-Wright Award is presented annually to an industrial spectroscopist who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry. The work may include infrared and/or Raman spectroscopy, instrumental development as well as theory, and applications of vibrational spectroscopy. Government labs are not considered industry in this definition. No restrictions are placed on the selection of the Awardee because of age, sex, or nationality, but the Awardee must still be working at the time the award is presented. The award consists of a frame certificate and an honorarium. In order to ensure that the award is based on an independent evaluation of the candidate’s achievements, the selection is made by a committee chosen by the Coblentz Society.

The Award is presented each year at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy. The Williams-Wright Award Symposium is held in honor of the awardee and immediately follows the presentation. In the picture to the right, John Coates was presented the 2013 Award with Shawn Mehrens (committee chair 2012-2013) and Jim Rydzak (Coblentz Society President 2013-2014). 

The nomination should clearly state the significance of the contribution made by the nominee, e.g., the introduction of novel methods, techniques or theories; innovative work in the field of vibrational spectroscopy; significant improvement on existing methods, theory or techniques; or important impact on the field of vibrational spectroscopy arising from the volume of contributions in a specific area. The nomination packet should include a resume of the nominee's career including a publication list. Seconding letters to the nomination are useful, but not necessary. Files on nominees will be kept active for three years, after which the candidate must either be renominated with an updated file, or the file will be closed. Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the Williams-Wright Award Selection Committee. Nominations close May 1st for the 2016 award.

Please send nomination packages (email is preferred) to:

2015-2016 Chair:  Nancy Jestel 



Recipients of the Williams-Wright Award

2015       Jagdeesh Bandekar

2014       Mike Doyle

2013       John Coates

2012       Richard Crocombe

2011       Howard Mark

2010       Patrick Treado

2009       Jerome J. Workman

2008       Rina Dukor

2007       Michael Carrabba

2006       Harry Owen

2005       Fran Adar

2004       Neil Lewis

2003       Neil Everall

2002       Isao Noda

2001       Raul Curbelo

2000       John A. Reffner

1999       Donald Kuehl

1998       Henry Buijs

1997       Michael J. Pelletier

1996       Robert G. Messerschmidt

1995       Michael R. Philpott

1994       John M. Chalmers

1993       Curtis Marcott

1992       Timothy Harris

1991       Robert J. Obremski

1990       John F. Rabolt

1989       D. Bruce Chase

1988       Darwin L. Wood

1987       A. Lee Smith

1986       Abe Savitsky/Joseph J. Barrett

1985       Clara D. Craver/Richard A. Nyquist

1984       Robert Jakobsen

1983       Harry Willis

1982       Robert Hannah

1981       Paul Wilks/James Harrick

1980       Jeanette Grasselli

1979       Norman Colthup

1978       Norman Wright