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09-26-2006

Clarkson University Professor Emeritus Listed on “Incredible People” Web Site

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/zuman.jpg]

If you surf the Web address http://www.incredible-people.com, you will discover what decades of Clarkson University students already know ─ Distinguished Chemistry Professor Emeritus Petr Zuman is an incredible person. The popular Web site, a repository for information chronicling the accomplishments of the world’s most famous personalities, scientists, leaders, entrepreneurs, rulers, athletes, saints & sages and more, includes the biography of the 80-year-old chemist. Zuman was listed among about 300 scientists from all areas and all ages.zuman

Zuman, whose research interests include organic electrochemistry, studies mechanisms of organic reactions using polarographic, voltammetric and kinetic measurements that contribute to a better understanding of biological activity.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1926, Zuman was 13 when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia and sent his father to a concentration camp. In 1944, Zuman, too, was uprooted from his laboratory in Prague’s Sugar Research Institute and imprisoned by the Nazis.  Liberated at the end of the war, he returned to Prague and enrolled in Charles University. In 1950, Zuman was awarded an RNDr, the equivalent of a Ph.D. He became one of the first researchers in the newly created Central Polarographic Institute of Prague and was rapidly promoted to Head of the Polarography Division. He worked and studied under the direction of, and was mentored by, Nobel Prize winner J. Heyrovsky. In 1960, Zuman was awarded a doctor of science degree by the Czechoslovakia Academy of Sciences.

The upheaval in Czechoslovakia during the mid-sixties led Zuman to accept a research fellowship at the University of Birmingham in England. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1970 and joined Clarkson University’s Chemistry Department. Retiring in 1996, Zuman was appointed emeritus professor and continues to be active in the academic and research life of the University. He currently supervises both graduate and undergraduate students.  

“Petr was a pioneer in the early development of organic electrochemistry,” remarked James R. Pratt, dean of Clarkson University’s School of Arts & Sciences. “His life story is remarkable, as is his contributions to both the field of chemistry and generations of Clarkson University chemistry students. Petr has authored more than 420 critical papers in his field and published 15 books, many of which   are considered classics in electrochemical analysis. “

In addition to teaching and conducting research, Zuman has served on the editorial boards of the Microchemical Journal, Analytical Letter, the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry and others. This latter journal, as well as the journal Electroanalysis, published special issues this year to honor his 80th birthday.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Clarkson University Department of Chemistry Distinguished Emeritus Research Professor Petr Zuman is among the incredible people noted on the popular Web site “Incredible People, Famous People of the World.” The site marks the achievements and significance of world personalities, history and culture. The list includes historical figures, celebrities and those individuals who have influenced the lives of others.

[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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