By SARAH HARTSFIELD
BYU professor of chemistry Milton Lee won a national award for his scientific research.
Lee won the 1999 Stephen Dae Nogare Plaque for his lifetime work in chromatography, an area of analytical chemistry, which involves separating chemicals down to their molecular form to study them.
“Most everything that you encounter in this life is not a pure chemical, it’s a mixture. If you are going to analyze the composition then you have to separate a mixture first,” Lee said.
Lee has done many studies on coal over 23 years to find out certain things like what is in it that causes cancer and pollution. He has also studied the structure of coal to learn how to make it more efficient.
He has also analyzed substances of a clinical nature, like certain drugs to help high blood pressure and also steroids and other illegal drugs, Lee said.
Lee’s colleagues and friends think very highly of him and his work.
“He is a tireless worker in the forefront of his field,” said Jerald Bradshaw, the Reed M. Izatt professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who has worked for about 20 years with Lee by making “gummy” material that helps separate substances.
Bradshaw also said Lee is a pleasure to work with because all his work is done and published in a timely manner and it is well received by colleagues.
For example, Lee and Bradshaw had the opportunity to present posters during a trip to Italy. Lee’s poster was put at the top of the stairs where everyone could see it, but Bradshaw’s was stuck in the back corner where nobody could find it, said Bradshaw.
Calvin Bartholomew, the Pope professor of chemical engineering, has worked with Lee for about 12 years in the combustion center. He said Lee is a fine man whose work is world class.
“The award was well deserved,” he said.