In Memoriam: John T. Yates, Jr. (1935–2015)

John_YatesPro­fes­sor John T. Yates, Jr. received his B.S. degree from Juni­ata Col­lege and his Ph.D. in phys­i­cal chem­istry from M.I.T. After three years as Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor at Anti­och Col­lege, he joined the National Bureau of Stan­dards, first as a NRC Post­doc­toral Research Fel­low and then as a mem­ber of its sci­en­tific staff. His research in the fields of sur­face chem­istry and physics, includ­ing both the struc­ture and spec­troscopy of sur­face species, the dynam­ics of sur­face processes, and the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods for research in sur­face chem­istry, kept him at the fore­front of this field of sci­ence through­out his long and dis­tin­guished career.

Pro­fes­sor Yates joined the Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh in 1982 as the first R.K. Mel­lon Pro­fes­sor of Chem­istry and as Found­ing Direc­tor of the Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh Sur­face Sci­ence Cen­ter. He estab­lished and led the Sur­face Sci­ence Cen­ter and men­tored 40 Ph.D stu­dents and more than 100 senior researchers at Pitts­burgh. He moved to the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia in 2006 as a Pro­fes­sor and Shan­non Research Fel­low; there, he estab­lished a new research pro­gram in Sur­face Sci­ence and became active in the new field of astrochemistry.

Pro­fes­sor Yates served as Asso­ciate Edi­tor of Chem­i­cal Reviews and of ACS Lang­muir and on the Advi­sory Boards of Chem­i­cal & Engi­neer­ing News and Chem­istry World. He was active as a mem­ber of the AVS Boards of Direc­tors and Trustees and as Chair of the AVS Sur­face Sci­ence Divi­sion, the APS Divi­sion of Chem­i­cal Physics, and the ACS Divi­sion of Col­loid and Sur­face Chem­istry. He chaired three Gor­don Research Conferences.

He was the recip­i­ent of the AVS Medard Welch Award, the ACS Arthur W. Adam­son Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Sur­face Chem­istry, the ACS Peter Debye Award in Phys­i­cal Chem­istry, and an Alexan­der von Hum­boldt Senior Research Award. He was elected to the National Acad­emy of Sci­ences in 1996. Dur­ing his dis­tin­guished career, he co-authored more than 700 arti­cles in the lead­ing jour­nals of chem­istry and physics.

We mourn his pass­ing as we cel­e­brate his achievements.