Distinguished Achievement Award 2009

Hong Wang, Distinguished Achivement

Hong Wang was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the ISGS's reputation in both his research and services. Wang recently established the ISGS Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Laboratory, which is an important milestone for the ISGS and the Institute. The OSL dating range extends up to approximately 250,000 years, which far exceeds that of radiocarbon dating. Wang recognized the importance of OSL and pursued the concept. He contacted the right people and learned what was necessary to set up the laboratory, purchased an instrument, and brought the laboratory to reality this year. This important accomplishment will greatly benefit research in areas such as Quaternary geology, paleoclimate investigations, earthquake hazards, and archeology and opens up new possibilities for research. The OSL Laboratory also utilizes the radiochemistry laboratory and expertise, which were already established but underutilized. Colleagues at the ISGS and the University of Illinois have already started contacting Hong Wang about using the laboratory. The potential for growth in this field is great, as exemplified by the current demand for OSL dates.

During the past few years, Wang has become the Director of the ISGS Radiocarbon Laboratory and taken over all the responsibilities that go along with supervising the laboratory: calculating, verifying, and reporting results and billing for the services rendered. Running a service laboratory is very time-consuming and involves continuous efforts in supervision, paperwork completion, handling questions, discussing results, and improving processes and methods. In addition to these major accomplishments, Wang has pursued his own research interests by applying novel approaches to studying paleoclimate and loess deposits in Illinois. Wang works very hard and is dedicated to the research and services he provides.

Wang's plaque reads, "Distinguished Achievement Award: Hong Wang, Ph.D., in recognition of contributions in radiocarbon dating and the establishment of an Optical Stimulated Luminescence Laboratory at the ISGS for the benefit of the people of Illinois." In addition to his plaque, Wang also received a monetary award to be used for work-related purposes.