Chemistry and Biochemistry

Milton Lee Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted: in Analytical, Emeritus, Mar 08, 2016

At the Pittcon 2016 oral symposium, held in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 7, Dr. Milton L. Lee was honored with the 2016 LCGC Lifetime Achievement in Chromatography Award. This annual award, started eight years ago by LCGC North America (the largest publication dedicated to chromatography), honors one iconic figure in the field of chromatography.

Lee certainly is an iconic figure. He has obtained 20 patents, received 35 major awards, commercialized three instruments, founded three analytical instrument companies, published over 570 journal articles, and even started his own scientific journal.

“His ability to spin out chemical instrumentation of high complexity to the market and at the same time continue as a leading researcher and teacher is an amazing achievement,” said Karin Markides, a former postdoctoral student of Lee’s, in a LCGC interview. “The impact of his career is too large to measure.”

Many agree that Lee’s greatest contribution to his field, however, is not his impressive industrial work, but the 96 graduate students he has mentored in his lab at BYU.

One of Lee’s earliest students, Ray West, also in an LCGC interview, said that Lee taught him dedication. “He taught us to work hard and had a cot in the lab so we could be there late in the night taking care of critical experiments,” he said. “I don’t think I could have had any better training in graduate school.”

Lee treated his students like family, celebrated their triumphs, and supported them in difficult moments. Today, many of his students are teachers themselves. Others lead successful industrial companies. Regardless of their career paths, they agree that Lee’s influence helped them reach their goals.

Former doctoral student, Iuliana M. Lazar, told LCGC that Lee’s “patience, wisdom, and vision, were—and will continue be—a source of inspiration throughout my entire care.”

We congratulate Dr. Lee on this well-deserved honor.  To read more about Lee’s career, see the February 2016 issue of LCGC North America here.