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Chemistry professor wins UVa’s top prize for innovation
The Daily Progress Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 9 p.m.
Brooks Pate, a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Virginia, has won the university’s top prize for faculty entrepreneurship. The university’s Licensing and Ventures Group, which helps faculty members turn their research findings into products that can be developed for the commercial market, has given Pate its annual Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year Award.
 
Pate’s work on molecular rotational spectroscopy led to the invention of an instrument that dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to perform complex chemical analysis.
 
Molecular rotational spectrometers — now marketed by the Charlottesville-based company BrightSpec — use electromagnetic pulses to detect the rotational frequency of molecules. This allows users to determine the chemical makeup of a sample that could be made up of hundreds of substances relatively quickly and cheaply. 

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