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Ames Laboratory's John Corbett wins Spedding award

Rare-Earth Research Conference recognizes senior chemist for research excellence

DOE/Ames Laboratory

AMES, Iowa - John Corbett, a senior chemist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, has been named the recipient of the 2005 Spedding Award, the top honor for researchers in the field of rare-earth science and named for the first director of Ames Laboratory.

Corbett , who is also a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University, is the 11th recipient of the Spedding Award, which is given annually by the Rare Earth Research Conference. The award is given in recognition of excellence and achievement in research centered on the science and technology of rare earths and consists of a medal mounted on a plaque and a prize of $1,000, sponsored by Bracco Research USA Inc.

The award will be presented to Corbett at the 24th Rare Earth Research Conference, June 26-30, in Keystone, Colo. During the conference, Corbett will present an awards lecture on his many years of work with reduced rare-earth metal compounds.

Corbett is the third Ames Laboratory researcher to receive the Spedding Award. Senior physicist Sam Legvold was a co-winner of the third award and senior metallurgist Karl A. Gschneidner was the sixth winner overall.

The Spedding Award is named in honor of Frank Spedding, a longtime Iowa State chemistry professor and one of the nation's leading atomic scientists. Spedding was a pioneer researcher with rare earths and organized and directed the chemistry phase at Iowa State of the historic Manhattan Project. He founded the Institute for Atomic Research and the Ames Laboratory of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Corbett has been an Ames Laboratory researcher and a faculty member in Iowa State's chemistry department since 1952. During that time, he has served as a division chief and program director at the Ames Laboratory and as chair of the ISU chemistry department.Corbett's research interests revolve around inorganic solid-state chemistry, emphasizing strong metal-metal bonding. He has received both awards in inorganic chemistry given by the American Chemical Society, including the Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received a Senior Scientist Award from the Humboldt Foundation and two DOE awards for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishments and Sustained Research in Materials Chemistry.


Ames Laboratory is operated for the DOE's Office of Science by Iowa State University. The Lab conducts research into various areas of national concern, including energy resources, high-speed computer design, environmental cleanup and restoration, and the synthesis and study of new materials. More information about the Ames Laboratory can be found at

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