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07-28-1998

Clarkson's Matijevic Honored With Rare Degree From University Of Zagreb

Turkish President Süleyman Demirel received the honor last year. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will receive the honor next year.

But this summer, Clarkson University Distinguished University Professor Egon Matijevic of Potsdam traveled to his native Croatia to be recognized with an honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of Zagreb.

Matijevic is no stranger to great honors, having been recognized with many awards in his years as a colloid scientist, but the Zagreb distinction is rarely bestowed. Matijevic is only the 43rd recipient in the award's half-century history.

Matijevic's honorary degree ceremony was a festive, day-long, invitation-only affair on June 25, during which he rubbed shoulders with dignitaries like the chief justice of the Croatian Supreme Court and the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Matijevic was asked to deliver a special address on his "Fifty Years of Research in Very Fine Particles: Science and Art" and was also honored at a reception given by Croatian Archbishop Josip Bozanic.

The field of colloid and surface science deals with materials whose dimensions are larger than molecules, but not large enough to see in a light microscope. They represent an important part of nature and play an essential role in our lives. These exceedingly fine particles are present as interstellar dust, volcanic ash, fog, and in parts of our blood, and are useful in numerous applications, especially high technology and medicine.

Egon Matijevic, who was born in Otocac, Croatia, is considered a brilliant scholar whose prolific and inspired research has helped shape the modern field of colloid and surface science. His techniques for preparing fine particles, uniform in size and shape, have applications in products like the capacitors used in microelectronics, magnetic memories, and the ceramics used in electronic components.

While in Zagreb, Matijevic also participated in the proceedings of the Congress of Croatian Scientists who work abroad, gathered from all parts of the world to discuss research collaboration possibilities with Croatia. They are also concerned with ways in which Croatia can be aided after the civil war.

Matijevic has made an extraordinary impact on Clarkson University's development as a university of international stature. Having earned both a Ph.D. in chemistry (1948) and a Dr. Habil in physical chemistry (1952) at the University of Zagreb, he came to Clarkson in 1957 following a year as a research fellow at Cambridge University in England. The author of more than 500 scientific papers, he has delivered numerous plenary and keynote lectures in many countries of the globe, including the prestigious Faraday Discourse at the Royal Institution in London.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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