Stephen E. Stein, a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, today received the institute's Applied Research Award for technical innovations in a database widely-used in chemical analysis.
Stein, a resident of GAITHERSBURG, Md., is being honored for leadership and creativity in improving the NIST/EPA/NIH Mass Spectral Database which contains the world's most widely used mass spectral library.
Scientists use the database to help identify unknown chemical compounds. This database is integrated into nearly every commercial mass spectrometer worldwide. Users include academic and industrial scientists in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, rubber, petroleum, aerospace, telecommunications and computer fields, as well as hospitals, environmental laboratories and law enforcement agencies.
Stein significantly improved the quality of the database by correcting flaws which he discovered in commercial software used to match unknown chemical structures with structures in the database. He developed innovative new software for searching the database and matching unknown spectra. He also led the evaluation and validation of all 100,000 spectra in the database.
The Applied Research Award was established in 1975 to recognize superior achievement in the practical application of the results of scientific or engineering research.
As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.