Awards | EAS Awards

2021 EAS Young Investigator Award

Dr. Jacob (Jake) Shelley, the Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Professor of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 2005.  His research at NAU, under Prof. Diane Stearns, was focused on examining metal-DNA adducts with ICP-AES.  He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for four summers on a wide range of projects including metallomics with X-ray fluorescence detection, developing nanoporous silica substrates for matrix-free MALDI, and method development for detecting a wide range of radioactive materials.  He completed his Ph. D. at Indiana University under Prof. Gary Hieftje in 2011 where his research focus was on the development, characterization, and application of novel plasma ionization sources for ambient, molecular mass spectrometry with particular attention on the Flowing Atmospheric-Pressure Afterglow (FAPA) source.  Jake started his postdoctoral research with Prof. R. Graham Cooks at Purdue University 2011 where he developed portable mass spectrometers capable of in situ analyses.  In 2012, Jake was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellowship to work with Profs. Uwe Karst and Carsten Engelhard at the University of Münster in Germany.  In 2014, Jake started his independent academic career as an Assistant Professor at Kent State University.  In August, 2016, Jake became the Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Chair at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.  His current research interests lie in the development of new hardware and software tools for mass spectrometry, which enable rapid and sensitive detection and identification of analytes in complex matrices.  In addition, his research group uses high-energy species produced by electrical plasmas to perform unique gas-phase synthesis.  Both of these research areas converge in trying to understand the chemical origins of life on Earth as part of the Rensselaer Astrobiology Research and Education (RARE) Center, where Prof. Shelley was recently named the Associate Director.  Jake has been recognized for his research accomplishments so far including the Bunsen-Kirchoff Award by the German Working Group for Analytical Spectroscopy in the German Chemical Society (2017), Spectroscopy’s 2020 Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy Award, RPI’s School of Science Outstanding Research Award, and being named to The Analytical Scientist’s Top 40 Under 40 Power List.  Thus far, he has authored 42 published journal articles, 4 issued United States patents, a book chapter, and has given more than 50 invited presentations at national and international venues.