The American Physical Society (APS), the world’s largest physics organization, has elected Trevor Sears, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry, as a 2018 fellow. Professor Sears was selected based on his advances in the high-resolution spectroscopy of small molecular free radicals, particularly those of importance in combustion chemistry.
The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the Society.
Each year, no more than one half of one percent of the Society’s membership (excluding student members) is recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow of the American Physical Society.
“I congratulate Trevor on this well-deserved recognition for his research accomplishments,” said Nicole Sampson, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry. “I highly value Trevor as a colleague for his research contributions as well as for his leadership both within the Department of Chemistry and with the Arts and Sciences Senate. We are fortunate that someone of his caliber is a member of our faculty.”
Professor Sears’ research in precision spectroscopy using frequency-based optical techniques has been conducted at a laboratory in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook since 2007, and continues to be supported by funding from the DOE. According to Professor Sears, this work provides information on the details of what happens when molecules in a gas collide with one another. It can also be used to determine physical conditions such as temperature and pressure in remote locations on earth; applied to pollution monitoring; and to learn about conditions on other planets and objects in our galaxy.
“It’s a great honor to be elected an APS fellow,” said Professor Sears. “I have been lucky throughout my career to have such great colleagues and friends at both Stony Brook University and Brookhaven.”
Throughout his career, Professor Sears has served as a mentor for numerous young scientists, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in science at organizations including the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, as well as in universities and industries in the U.S. and around the world.
Professor Sears earned his PhD in chemical physics from Southampton University in England. He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Bell Telephone Laboratories and a research associate at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics of the National Research Council of Canada. Professor Sears joined Brookhaven Lab as an associate chemist in 1983 and was promoted through the ranks to the level of senior chemist in 1996. In 2001, he joined Stony Brook University as an adjunct professor and began a joint appointment as a professor in the Department of Chemistry in 2007. He has served as a visiting scholar in the Japan Society for Promotion of Science; a visiting professor at the Universite du Littoral Cote d’Opale, Dunkerque, France; and a visiting professor supported by the Leverhulme Foundation at Imperial College and University College, London. He has been a fellow of the Optical Society of America since 2007 and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy since 2015.
To view the complete list of the 2018 APS Fellows and their citations, or to search all APS Fellows to date, go to the APS Fellows Archive page.