Recipient of 2017 Guggenheim Medal
Pablo Debenedetti is the Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Dean for Research at Princeton University. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Buenos Aires, and his graduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he obtained MS (1981) and PhD (1985) degrees in Chemical Engineering. Since 1985 he has been a faculty member at Princeton University. Prior to becoming Dean for Research, he served as Chair of the Chemical Engineering department (1996-2004), and Vice Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (2008-2013).
His research interests include the thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of liquids and glasses; water and aqueous solutions; protein thermodynamics; nucleation; metastability; and the origin of biological homochirality. Research in Debenedetti’s group has helped define the current state of basic knowledge on the properties of metastable liquids and glasses, and brought this vast field to the mainstream of chemical engineering thermodynamics. He is the author of one book, Metastable Liquids, and more than 250 scientific articles. Debenedetti’s professional honors include the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award (1987), the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1989), a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1991), the Professional Progress (1997), Walker (2008) and Institute Lecture (2013) Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the John M. Prausnitz Award in Applied Chemical Thermodynamics (2001), and the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids from the American Chemical Society (2008). He received the Distinguished Teacher Award from Princeton’s School of Engineering (2008), and the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching (2008), Princeton’s highest distinction for teaching. In 2008 Debenedetti was named one of 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Physical Society.