2014 Herman Skolnik Award Announced

ImageDr. Engelbert Zass has been selected as the recipient of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Information’s 2014 Herman Skolnik Award.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines. The prize consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a plaque. Dr. Zass will also be invited to present an award symposium at the Fall 2014 ACS National Meeting to be held in San Francisco.

Dr. Zass, Head of the Chemistry Biology Information Center at ETH Zürich (retired), is being recognized for outstanding contributions and achievements in the practice of chemical information science, notably for his lifelong work in education, research and development activities. Throughout his career he has been a true bridge-builder and mediator between database producers, vendors, publishers, librarians and end-users in chemistry, contributing to advancing chemical information as a whole.

Dr. Zass specialized in chemical information after receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and has more than 30 years of experience in searching, operating, and designing chemistry databases, as well as in the support, training and education of users of chemical information. He has given numerous lectures and courses in Europe and the U.S., is author of more than 60 papers on chemical information, and served on several publisher advisory boards. From 1999 till 2004, he was a partner in the BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) Project "Vernetztes Studium – Chemie," where he was engaged in the design of multimedia educational material for chemical information. Through his leadership, vision, and collaborative efforts with his staff, he developed a model 21st century library that serves chemists and biologists at ETH.

To his many friends and admirers, “Bert” has been a true leader in the profession, generous in sharing his expertise with colleagues. His dedicated, sustained efforts and the transformative impact he has had on chemical information systems, database producers, chemists, and librarians make him a worthy recipient for the Herman Skolnik Award.

Dr. Zass did his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Universität zu Köln, followed by a Master’s degree (Diplom) in Chemistry with Prof. E. Vogel. He went on to complete graduate studies with Prof. A. Eschenmoser at the Laboratorium für organische Chemie der ETH Zürich, culminating with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (Dr. sc. nat.). Upon completing his education, Dr. Zass was a lecturer and senior scientist at the ETH, Laboratorium für organische Chemie ETH / Chemistry Information Center, later serving as Head of the expanded ETH Chemistry Biology Pharmacy Information Center until his retirement in 2012.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee