Industry Updates

Thermo Fisher Scientific Announces Winners of 2016 Winter Conference Awards in Plasma Spectrochemistry



 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today announced the winners of the 2016 Winter Conference Awards in Plasma Spectrochemistry. Selected by an independent awards committee, these industry leading scientists have made noteworthy contributions over time or through a single, significant breakthrough in the field of plasma spectrochemistry. Award winners will be honored during the Winter Plasma Conference in Tucson, Arizona, January 11-16, 2016.

Established in 2009, the biannual Winter Conference Awards in Plasma Spectrochemistry are sponsored by Thermo Fisher and acknowledge achievements in conceptualization and development of innovative instrumentation as well as the elucidation of fundamental events or processes involved in plasma spectrochemistry. The Lifetime Achievement award is presented to a scientist who has made noteworthy contributions in the field of plasma spectrochemistry. The Young Scientist award recognizes achievement for a scientist under the age of 45 years. The independent award committee, comprised of scientists from across multiple industries, will award each recipient $5,000.

2016 award winners include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award:  Professor Nicolò Omenetto of the University of Florida
  • Young Scientist Award: Professor Steven J. Ray, assistant professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo

“As the leader in plasma spectrochemistry instrumentation, we are pleased to sponsor an industry award that brings together the major figures in this field,” said Dr. Lothar Rottmann, director of R&D for trace elemental analysis for Thermo Fisher. “The Winter Conference award complements our objectives for advancement and innovation, and we look forward to honoring Professors Omenetto and Ray for their achievements and valuable contributions to the field.”

Omenetto heads the Omenetto Research Group at the University of Florida’s Department of Chemistry, where his research has centered on the use of lasers on atomic and molecular systems. His research makes extensive use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), but also employs a broad range of other spectroscopic and mathematical techniques, including plasma emission, laser-induced fluorescence (both molecular and atomic), diode-laser absorption and Raman. The research team has recently combined LIBS with spatial-heterodyne spectrometry (LIBS-SHS), to develop a potentially portable, inexpensive, rugged instrument for field applications.

Ray has recently assumed a faculty position at the University at Buffalo, where he is working to improve instrumentation and measurements through integration of spectrochemical research. Recently, Ray successfully built one of the first distance-of-flight mass spectrometry (DOFMS) devices, providing a new way of separating, collecting, and quantifying components of complex samples.

“I am profoundly honored to receive the first of these awards, and I applaud Thermo Fisher Scientific for understanding how valuable recognition of this type is to an young(er) researcher,” said Ray.

More information on the Plasma Awards can be found by visiting

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