Alena Kubátová, professor in UND’s Chemistry Department, will be officially honored as the newest Chester Fritz Professor. The Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship, UND highest academic honor, was established with an endowment gift from the late University benefactor Chester Fritz (1892-1983). Of the nearly 600 full-time faculty currently on the UND campus, only 26 are Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors.
She will be officially honored for her Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship and presented with a special plaque and medallion during the Graduate and Doctorate Degree Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, at 9 a.m. (CT) at the Alerus Center. A livestream of the ceremony will be available on UND’s Facebook Page via Facebook Live and on UND’s YouTube page. The video will also be available following the ceremony on UND’s Vimeo via this direct link.
Kubátová’s research, among other areas, explores the origins of air pollution and its relation to climate changes and health. Her research methods specifically focus on analysis of complex mixtures in real-world matrices employing chromatographic techniques, with various types of detectors, mainly mass spectrometry (instrumentation frequently used in research and industry). Recently, Kubátová has made news for her collaborations with unmanned aircraft systems experts on campus, incorporating the flying platforms in her research on carbonaceous particulate matter in the atmosphere.
Kubátová also was recognized for her role in securing $1 million in scholarship funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), targeting first-generation college students in science, technology and mathematics fields. She and a UND College of Arts & Sciences faculty team were earlier awarded a $600,000 NSF grant that provided scholarships to talented undergraduate students with interests in environmental sciences.
Also, new collaborations she’s helped establish in her native Czech Republic resulted in another recent NSF award that’s providing research experiences to Midwestern U.S. students in Prague, the cosmopolitan Czech capital. Kubátová also has been known for her high-impact and popular Air Pollution Workshops for high school students.
Kubátová earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Prague at Charles University, before moving on to do post-doc work at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. In 2000, she started doing research at UND’s Energy & Environmental Research Center. Since 2005, she has been a faculty member in the UND Department of Chemistry. Kubátová received the UND Foundation/B.C. Gamble Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research or Creative Activity and Service from the UND Alumni Association & Foundation in 2015.