CEE's Eric Adams wins the Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry

October 21, 2010

By Denise Brehm
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Eric Adams, lecturer and senior research engineer in CEE, was awarded the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry for disproving the adage that oil and water don’t mix. Adams and his co-investigators Scott Socolofsky S.M. ’97, Ph.D. '01 and Stephen Masutani shared the prize with British Petroleum, one of the funders of a research project completed in 2000 that demonstrated that most oil from a spill in the deep ocean would in fact mix with water, rather than rise directly to the surface.

The Ig Nobels are awarded each year by Improbable Research, a local organization that inspires an appreciation for science and scientists by poking fun at research that, on the surface, appears frivolous or just plain funny. But this year, the selections for chemistry and economics displayed a deeper irony. Improbable Research ostensibly rewarded BP — whose Deepwater Horizon rig earlier this year spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months, greatly harming plant and wildlife and the