2005 Petersen Award Winner

      Originally published in The Vortex, June 2005

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2005 Petersen Award Winner: Dr. Marinda Li Wu

 

The Petersen Award honors the memory of Walter B. Petersen by recognizing a person who has made significant contributions over a period of years to the well being of the California Section. Walter B. Petersen was noted for his many years of outstanding service to the Section. He held numerous section offices over the years and was Chair of the California Section in 1969. He authored a popular column in the VORTEX entitled “Personals by Petersen” that covered news of promotions, awards and general information about Section members. Thus it is in his honor, with recollection of his high standards of service, that we recognize others who have given significantly to the advancement of the California Section. This award was established in 1982 and is supported by the California Section. Nominees must be a member, a former member, or an affiliate of the Section.

Marinda Li Wu has over 25 years of experience in the chemical industry and with partnerships between industry, government, education, and the community. Dr. Wu spent over 16 years at Dow Chemical leading both fundamental and applied research in various polymer applications and also working with Dow Plastics Sales & Marketing and senior management dealing with environmental issues. Later she joined a small company involved with high energy plasma instrumentation for the semiconductor and medical industries. Upon sale of that company, she co-founded a startup to develop new technology for polymer surface modifications. Dr. Wu has also long been a strong advocate for improving science education and has worked with the American Chemical Society, other organizations, local communities, school districts, and government officials at both the local and state levels. She founded “Science is Fun!” to introduce young students to the joys of science and actively works in public outreach to promote science education and awareness with the general public and improve education at all levels (K-12 and beyond).

An ACS member since 1971, Wu has served her local section since 1992 in various roles such as National Chemistry Week Coordinator, Local Section Career Program Coordinator, Public Relations, and Women Chemists Committee Chair. She was recently re-elected as Director for the California Section, has served as Councilor since 1996 and as the California Section Chair during its Centennial Year in 2001. At the national level, she has served previously on the Council Committee on Public Relations, Local Section Activities Committee, and the National Employment Services Advisory Board. She currently chairs the National ACS Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs and works with the ACS Department of Career Services. Wu received a B.S. cum laude with Distinction in Chemistry from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Illinois. She has 7 U.S. Patents, numerous research papers and publications, and has been elected to various honorary societies and invited to speak at international and national conferences in a variety of fields.

 

Photo by Alex Madonik