Lifetime Achievement Award 2009
van Krapac was honored in appreciation for his many years of outstanding research contributions. Materials submitted with his nomination included letters from Krapac's ISGS peers, University of Illinois peers, and former students. Krapac joined the ISGS Geochemistry Section in January 1980. In 2005, he was asked to lead the environmental monitoring portion of the carbon sequestration program. This project brings him almost full circle to where he started his career, which was to study energy waste. At that time, the project was leaching characteristics of coal cleaning wastes. His first project as principal investigator was on the same topic. He then conducted a study to develop a methodology for conducting adsorption studies in the laboratory. This study resulted in a Technical Resource Document for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is still in use. Krapac's research has evolved with societal needs. He has studied the movement of water and tracers through a compacted earth liner and, when the national focus shifted to agricultural chemicals, he studied the fate and transport of pesticides at retail agrichemical facilities. That work led to an interest in the occurrence and distribution of contaminants at Illinois livestock confinement facilities. The contaminant list grew to include viruses, bacteria, and antibiotics in groundwater—areas that are still hot topics today.
Krapac is one of those rare individuals who are at home in both the lab and field. One nominator noted, "When he's a project leader, you can be assured that the research efforts will be focused, well organized, all deadlines will be met, and it will be highly successful". He is the most detailed researcher and one of the most dedicated and hard-working scientists I have ever met." Krapac is also a humble and modest scientist who shares his accomplishments selflessly with his peers and always responds to requests for assistance.
In recognition of his scientific leadership, Krapac was named head of the Geochemistry Section in 2008. A staff member there wrote that "he constantly seeks to improve the diversity and quality of the research of his section and has high expectations of himself and his staff." The section has grown in size and capability under Krapac's leadership.
Krapac's plaque reads, "Lifetime Achievement Award: Ivan Krapac, in recognition of your thirty years of innovative geochemical research in the areas of agricultural contamination of groundwater and monitoring of carbon sequestration for the benefit of the people of Illinois." In addition to his plaque, Krapac received a monetary award to be used for work-related purposes.