The Craver Award

Award Description
    In 2006, The Coblentz Society created an award to recognize the efforts of young professional spectroscopists that have made significant contributions in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. The Society has named this award for Clara D. Craver in recognition of her pioneering efforts in promoting the practice of infrared vibrational spectroscopy and her many years of service to the Coblentz Society. Clara Craver was the editor of the Coblentz Desk reference and other subsequent libraries that later became databases of infrared spectra. These libraries are the foundation for the application of modern vibrational spectroscopy. Her efforts resulted in the creation of the endowment that supports the Coblentz society and many of its annual awards. The first Craver Award was presented at FACSS 2007 meeting in Memphis, TN. 

2015 Craver Award Recipient

   Ji-Xin Cheng was born in Jixi, Anhui Province, P. R. China in 1971. He attended University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) from 1989 to 1994. From 1994 to 1998, he carried out his PhD study on bond-selective chemistry under the supervision of Qingshi Zhu at USTC. As a graduate student, he worked as a research assistant at Universite Paris-sud (France) on vibrational spectroscopy and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) on quantum dynamics theory. After postdoctoral training on ultrafast spectroscopy in Yijing Yan’s group at HKUST, he joined Sunney Xie’s group at Harvard University as a postdoc, where he and others developed CARS microscopy that allows high-speed vibrational imaging of cells and tissues. Cheng joined Purdue University in 2003 as Assistant Professor in Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Chemistry, promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and to Full Professor in 2013. He was appointed as Scientific Director of Label-free Imaging at Purdue’s Discovery Park in Oct 2014.

     Professor Cheng’s research aims to transform molecular spectroscopy from an in vitro analytical tool to an in vivo imaging platform for biological and medical applications. His pioneering work includes CARS imaging of myelin sheath in its nature state, multimodal nonlinear optical microscopy, chemical imaging of deep tissue through acoustic detection of harmonic vibration, transient absorption microscopy of nanomaterials, and lock-in free stimulated Raman spectroscopic imaging. He is authored in over 170 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited more than 10,000 times, with an h-index of 50 (Google Scholar). His leadership is demonstrated as the organizer of 23 national/international symposia, over 170 invited talks, and as co-editor of the first book on Coherent Raman Scattering Microscopy, published by CRC Press in 2012. He is a co-inventor of CARS microscope which is now available through Olympus and Leica. In 2013 he co-founded Vibronix Inc which has the mission of saving lives through vibrational imaging technology. He is the Purdue site director of NSF-funded I/UCRC Center for Biophotonics Sensors and Systems.

     Professor Cheng’s achievements have been recently recognized by Chang-Jiang Scholar from Chinese Minister of Education (2014), Fellow of American Institute of Medicine and Biological Engineering (2014), Purdue University Faculty Scholar (2012-17), College of Engineering Early Career Research Award (2011), Research Excellence Award from Purdue Center for Cancer Research (2011), Outstanding Young Scientist Award from Chinese National Academy of Sciences (2009). 

     The Craver Award will be presented at the 2015 SciX Conference to be held in Providence, RI at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Professor Cheng will present the Coblentz Society’s Craver Award Plenary Lecture in Applied Vibrational Spectroscopy and a separate half-day award symposium of five invited presentations will be held following his lecture at this conference.

Recipients of the Craver Award:

 2014Lynne Taylor
 2013Rohit Bhargava

 2012     Duncan Graham
 2011Michael W. George

 2010Boris Mizaikoff

 2009Takeshi Hasegawa

 2008John Conboy

 2007Katherine A. Bakeev

2016 Call for Nominations

    The Coblentz Society announces its solicitation of nominations for the 2016 Craver Award in recognition of young investigators in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. 

     The Craver Award is presented annually to an outstanding young molecular spectroscopist whose efforts are in the area of applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. The candidate must be under the age of 45 on January 1 of the year of the award. The work may include any aspect of infrared (NIR, MIR, or Far), and/or THz, and/or Raman spectroscopy in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. The nominees may come from an academic, government lab, or industrial backgrounds. The award comprises an honorarium, an engraved crystal award, and a travel allowance.

     Nominations for the 2016 award are accepted until August 30, 2015 and must include a detailed description of the nominee's accomplishments, a curriculum vitae or resume, and minimum of three supporting letters. Annual updates of candidate files are encouraged and will be solicited from the nomination source by the award’s committee chair.  Files of candidates will be kept active for 3 years or until the age of eligibility is exceeded. Nominations may be sent to

Craver Award Lecture and Symposium

    The awardee will be offered an opportunity to present a plenary lecture to the assembled SciX conference. Further, a separate half-day award symposium honoring the award recipient and highlighting the interests of the awardee complements the Craver Award Lecture. At right is an image from the 2014 Craver Award symposium speakers, chaired by Luisa Profeta. From Left: Anders Sparen, Dor Ben-Amotz, Lynne Taylor, Patrick Marsac, Luisa Profeta (session chair) and Ian Lewis. Not pictured: Saly Romero-Torres.

Archive of Craver Lectures

The following is a recording of the 2013 Craver Award Lecture by Rohit Bhargava, recorded at SciX 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with the financial support of Pike Technologies and produced by the Coblentz Society Education Committee. 

Craver award 2103, Rohit Bhargava

The following is a recording of the 2012 Craver Award Lecture by Duncan Graham.  It was recorded at SciX 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 and produced by the Coblentz Society Education Committee.

Craver award lecture 2012

Below are images of the inaugural Craver Award presentation in 2007. At left is Katherine A. Bakeev, and at right is Mary W. Carrabba (who was then the President of Coblentz).