Dr. Debenedetti, the Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science and professor of chemical and biological engineering, was honored for “contributions which have shaped our understanding of the liquid state, the properties of supercooled and glassy water and the theory of hydrophobicity,” Jon Prichard, the institution’s chief executive, wrote in a letter announcing the award.
An expert in the thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of liquids, glasses and biomolecules, Debenedetti has used theoretical and computational methods to explore diverse phenomena, such as the stability of proteins under low-moisture conditions and the mechanism of ice formation in clouds.
His research has led to advances in fields as diverse as drug manufacturing and water desalination.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Debenedetti is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
His awards include the Professional Progress and Walker Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Hildebrand Award from the American Chemical Society and the 2008 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton.
The Institution of Chemical Engineers is a professional organization representing chemical engineers worldwide.
The Guggenheim Medal is awarded by the institution in recognition for contributions to scholarship in chemical thermodynamics.
Debenedetti is scheduled to receive the award at the institution’s thermodynamics conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.