General Info

2015 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Analytical Chemistry

Dr. Chris Enke Indiana University
Dr. Chris Enke
University of New Mexico

Chris Enke is currently Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Michigan State University and The University of New Mexico and Adjunct Professor at Indiana University. He received the BA degree from Principia College in 1955 and the Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1959. His thesis, with Herbert Laitinen, concerned the formation of surface oxide films on platinum electrodes. Prior to his move to The University of New Mexico in 1994, he was Instructor and Assistant Professor at Princeton University and then Associate Professor, Professor, and Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University. Sixty-nine students received their Ph.D.’s under his direction. Alone and with them, he has published over 140 papers, 18 book chapters, and obtained 13 patents, these works now cited over 3000 times.

Throughout his career, Chris has remained active in both fundamental research and the development of new teaching materials and methods. His research interests have included electroanalytical chemistry (high-speed charge transfer kinetic studies, introduction of operational amplifiers and computer control in electrochemical instrumentation), conductance (invention of the bipolar pulse conductance method now universally employed), computer-based instrumentation (including distributed microprocessor control systems), array detector spectroscopy (one of the first vidicon applications), and mass spectrometry (discovery of low-energy ion fragmentation and co-invention of the triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, interpretation of MS/MS spectra, and the equilibrium partition theory of electrospray ionization).

His most recent accomplishments have been the invention of distance-of-flight mass spectrometry and the discovery that the distribution of component concentrations in complex mixtures is very likely lognormal. He is currently immersed in the study of epistemology, trying to sort out the facts that scientists know and use from the explanations we make up to explain them. In teaching, he is best known for the series of text and lab books on Electronics for Scientists which he coauthored with Howard Malmstadt and Stan Crouch.

Chris has served as Chair of the Analytical Division of the American Chemical Society, President of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and Chair of the Computers in Chemistry Division of ACS. He has served on many professional society and journal advisory boards. Chris received the ACS awards for Scientific Instrumentation (1974), Computers in Chemistry (1989), and Analytical Chemistry (2011), the ASMS award for Distinguished Contribution to Mass Spectrometry (1993). The Analytical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society has awarded him the J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education (2003) and The Distinguished Service Award (2014). He is a Fellow of ACS and AAAS.