The University of Utah presented Distinguished Research Awards to three faculty members in the colleges of science and engineering at its 119th annual commencement.

Recipients are Dr. James R. Ehler-inger, professor of biology; Dr. Joel M. Harris, professor of chemistry and adjunct associate professor of bioengineering; and Dr. Richard F. Riesenfeld, professor and former chairman of the computer science department.The award carries a $2,000 grant to support research. Faculty members were selected for their contributions to the academic character of the university.

Ehleringer has a reputation as an international leader in plant ecology. An Alexander von Humbolt Fellow, the scientist earned a doctorate from Stanford University. He is on editorial boards of the top ecological journals, serves on several international ecological advisory panels and has published more than 100 articles and book chapters.

Harris' research activities concentrate on the application of laser to analytical spectroscopy. He received the Coblentz Award a few years ago and is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.

The author of more than 70 research publications, Harris holds two U.S. patents. He came to the U. of U. in 1976. He received a doctorate from Purdue University.

Riesenfeld is co-head of the computer science department's computer-aided Geometric Design Group. In 1987, he was awarded the Governor's Medal for Science and Technology. He has been a consultant to the National Science Foundation and to numerous private companies. He was a visiting professor at Princeton University.

He served on the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for Computer Research for three years. He earned a doctorate from Syracuse University.