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Awards / Honors

Finke receives Scholarship Impact Award

April 29, 2014

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Scholarship Impact Award is one of the top honors a researcher can receive at Colorado State University. This annual award recognizes a faculty member whose work has had national and international impact. The winner receives a plaque and $10,000 to support his or her research program.

Richard “Rick” Finke, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, is an expert in chemical catalysis, kinetics and mechanism, and organometallic, inorganic, bio-inorganic and materials chemistries.

He has worked in eight areas of chemical science over his career and supervised more than 100 students and postdoctoral students.  He has published 218 articles to date and has been invited to lecture at outside venues nearly 200 times.

Finke has been recognized with several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2012 American Chemical Society Colorado Section Award.

Research impact

One of his most notable discoveries is what is now known as the Finke-Watzky mechanism of nucleation and autocatalytic growth of nanoparticles. 

Particle formation and crystallization are a crucial occurrence in our daily lives and play a role in everything from the formation of rain and snow to the protein aggregate involved in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. 

Finke has defined the most broadly applicable, most fundamental mechanism of nucleation and growth of such particles, the Finke-Watzky mechanism of slow, continuous nucleation and autocatalytic surface growth. 

It is perhaps this exceptional, fundamental work on a truly universal problem that represents his single most, far-reaching, scholarly research impact.