Virginia Tech University Distinguished Professor Robert J. Bodnar's innovative work has led to his being named Virginia's Outstanding Scientist 2010 by Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Science Museum of Virginia.
Bodnar is the C. C. Garvin Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Geosciences in the College of Science. He’s internationally recognized as a leader in his specialized field of fluid inclusions, which are microscopic droplets that are trapped in minerals when they form beneath Earth’s surface. Bodnar uses fluid inclusions to study volcanic eruptions and to predict explosiveness of future eruptions.
Bodnar’s work focuses on the formation of and exploration for economically important mineral deposits of copper, gold, lead, zinc, silver, and uranium. Bodnar is working to create a scientific framework that will allow Virginians to understand the costs and benefits of uranium mining in the state. In 1999 he discovered liquid water fluid inclusions in a meteorite that fell in Texas. This is the only unambiguous discovery of liquid water in an extraterrestrial sample.
Among Bodnar’s many awards are: Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU); and the AGU Bowen Award. He is also one of the leading scientists involved in the establishment of a highly publicized research lab inside an operating limestone mine in Giles County, Va.
Bodnar came to Virginia Tech in 1985. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, his master’s from the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
The awarded was presented Jan. 28, 2010 in Richmond.
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