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Professor Richard Spontak Selected as a Tau Beta Pi Distinguished Alumnus

Professor Richard Spontak
Prof. Richard Spontak

Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, has selected Professor Richard J. Spontak, as the recipient of a 2021 Tau Beta Pi Distinguished Alumnus Award.

From the Tau Beta web site, “Distinguished Alumni are recognized for their demonstration of outstanding adherence to the ideals of Tau Beta Pi (integrity, breadth of interest, adaptability, and unselfish activity) and for fostering a spirit of liberal culture in society on local, national, and international levels.”

A portion of the award announcement reads:

In recognition of his passion for research & writing, innovation, and teaching, Richard J. Spontak, Ph.D., has been named a 2021 TBP Distinguished Alumnus.

He earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in chemE from the University of California, Berkeley. He also completed two post-grad research fellowships at the Univ. of Cambridge and the Institute for Energy Technology.

Dr. Spontak’s career began as a soft materials engineer at Procter & Gamble. He accepted a faculty position at North Carolina State University in 1992 because of his love of teaching and mentoring students. Today, he is a Distinguished Professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering and has established the Macromolecular Materials & Morphology Group.

His research in the field of condensed matter has led to 300+ publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured on 30+ journal covers, including Advanced Materials and Macromolecular Rapid Communications.

Dr. Spontak’s striking publication record and substantial contributions across a breadth of topics was lauded in his nomination: “His ability to design and work effortlessly with novel materials…is a joy to witness, and I have always been impressed by his creative approach to scholarly research.”

He has traveled around the globe to deliver seminars and teach courses in an effort to forge new collaborations, serve as a goodwill ambassador, and benefit the lives of others through dissemination of knowledge and ideas.

He was recognized and nominated by the Research Triangle Alumni Chapter (NC) for being a leading advocate of interdisciplinary undergraduate research and leading teams to national awards. His colleagues attribute these victories to the “Spontak flair”in which he utilizes his unique problem-solving strategies and time management methods. This, together with his boundless optimism and resourcefulness, has helped guide many through a wide range of challenges.

Congratulations to Professor Spontak for this well-earned award and your exemplary career!