Brigham Young University chemistry professor Reed M. Izatt is a recipient of the Governor's Medal for Science and Technology for 1990.
The Utah honor, awarded each April, includes 12 persons this year who have worked in science and technology for at least five years and who have made significant achievements in that time, according to Randy G. Moon, state science advisor."This admittedly is a broad classification, and many people qualify for consideration. Typically we select eight to 10 award winners, but this year the field of nominees was so outstanding, we expanded it to 12," says Moon. "Five reviewers worked through the State Advisory Council on Science and Technology to recognize people we think have enhanced and continue to enhance scientific and technological achievement in Utah."
According to Izatt's nominator, BYU chemistry professor Jerald S.
Bradshaw, Izatt has "fathered a technology for the removal of both toxic and valuable metal ions from water streams, which is considered by other scientists to be an enormous technological advance - even a breakthrough-to clean up the environment and to recover and purify precious metals."
Izatt joined the BYU faculty in 1956, two years after receiving a doctorate in organic chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. Under his guidance, 22 students have become Ph.D.s and 14 have received their master's degrees. In addition, Izatt has trained numerous undergraduate chemistry majors in the research laboratory.
He initiated the first symposium on macrocyclic chemistry in 1977 with the late James J. Christensen, a BYU chemical engineering faculty member, and interest in the symposium prompted its renaming as an international meeting in 1984.
His research led to the formation of a new scientific company, IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc., established to capitalize on capabilities to economically purify fluids and gases by removing and concentrating trace substances.
Izat was also a primary inventor of high-precision calorimetric instrumentation.