News Release

NJIT Chemist wins Wallace H. Coulter Award for Career Achievements

NJIT’s Wunmi Sadik takes center stage as the honored keynote speaker at the 75th annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon)

Grant and Award Announcement

New Jersey Institute of Technology



NJIT’s Wunmi Sadik takes center stage as the honored keynote speaker at the 75th annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.

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Credit: Ricky Haldis Photography

NJIT Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Wunmi Sadik has recently been honored with the prestigious Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship during a guest appearance at one of the largest scientific conferences on laboratory science in the world, Pittcon.

The Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship is presented each year at Pittcon to an “outstanding individual who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to, and made important contributions that have had a significant impact on education, practice and/or research in laboratory science.”

Sadik, chair of NJIT's Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, was recognized for leadership and scientific breakthroughs spanning a 30-year career that began as a researcher with the Environmental Protection Agency in 1994.

She’s noted for contributing to advancements in the fields of nanomaterials, green chemistry and sustainability, while sparking innovation in analytical sensor technologies used for the detection of everything from drugs and explosives to human disease and environmental contamination.

The award included a $10,000 honorarium and a spot as featured guest speaker at this year's Pittcon in San Diego held Feb. 24-28, which drew nearly 30,000 attendees.

“This award is hugely significant to me on a personal and professional level,” Sadik told Pittcon Today ahead of her appearance. “On a professional level, I have attended Pittcon for the last 30 years and have witnessed leaders in the field deliver the Coulter Lecture many times. It is gratifying to be recognized along with these outstanding leaders in Analytical Chemistry for my work and career thus far.

“On a personal level, my family and I attended Pittcon many years ago together several times. My children always looked forward to getting their pictures taken at the Pittcon Souvenir stand and receiving their ‘Future Scientist’ badges. … As adult professionals, they will watch me receive the Coulter Award. It is a privilege to see how Pittcon has influenced their careers in chemistry and medicine, law and private equity, and economics and computer science.”

Sadik’s Pittcon presentation addressed the potential of bridging nanoscience and sustainability to improve healthcare and the environment. The topic has been a career focus for Sadik which led her to co-found the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization — a nonprofit dedicated to the responsible use of nanotechnologies around the world.

Her plenary lecture, titled “Sustainable Nanomaterials for Sensing Human Health and the Environment,” highlighted a range of applications for nanomaterials she’s been developing as director of NJIT’s BioSMART Center.

Sadik's latest efforts at NJIT have included nano-sized biosensors for measuring pain biomarkers in human blood that could allow clinicians to objectively measure pain experienced by their patients. She’s also recently contributed to cutting-edge approaches for rapidly detecting and degrading toxic PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in the environment.

The Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship is the latest career milestone for Sadik, who earned notable distinction in the field of chemistry in 2023 when she was named fellow by the American Chemical Society.

Sadik is also a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, The National Academy of Inventors, and the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has published over 200 peer-reviewed works with 400 invited lectures and conference contributions to date. She holds 12 U.S. patents and patent applications and is the founder of three startup companies.

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