|Vol. 17, No. 12||Nov. 20, 1997|
Robert Wood (right), chemistry and biochemistry, receives an honorary doctorate Oct. 14 from Jacques Fontaine, president of the University of Blaise Pascal in France.Robert H. Wood, chemistry and biochemistry, recently received an honorary doctorate from the University of Blaise Pascal (UBP) in France.
Awarded to an elite handful of scholars including a Nobel Prize winner, the honor recognized Wood's long-standing international collaboration with the French university and his studies of aqueous solutions at high temperatures.
Wood, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1957, has been collaborating with UBP since the 1980s, when UD first established an exchange agreement for sharing students and faculty members.
In keeping with the arrangement, Wood has lectured and conducted research in France, and UBP faculty members Jean-Pierre Grolier, Jacques Quint, Vladimer Majer and Marc Palma visited UD.
Wood and his research team investigate the behavior of aqueous solutions subjected to high temperatures-through experimental work as well as computer simulations.
Understanding and predicting chemical reactions involving these solutions is crucial, Wood said, because they play a role in a wide variety of processes, from mineral transport and deposition to hydrocarbon accumulation.
Preventing electric-power-boiler corrosion, for example, and making the most effective use of hydrothermal reservoirs requires detailed information about hot aqueous solutions.
Moreover, Wood added, researchers in recent years have become increasingly interested in very high-temperature or "supercritical" water because it might serve as a more environmentally friendly solvent for a variety of applications.
Supercritical water is being investigated for use in oxidizing and decomposing hazardous organic wastes and for converting coal to gasoline.
Located in the central mountain region of France in the town of Clermont-Ferrand, UBP specializes in science and mathematics.
It is affiliated with the nearby University of Auvergne, which focuses on the arts and humanities.