Jacob Israelachvili, ICB project leader and professor of chemical engineering and materials at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded the Tribology Gold Medal by the Institute for Mechanical Engineers for his contributions to the understanding of molecular origins and tribological processes.
The world's highest award in tribology, the gold medal honors contributions to the technology and science of friction and wear. Israelachvili is a world leader in the areas of measurements and understanding of surface forces and their relevance to tribology. Israelachvili's research interests are in the general area of intermolecular and intersurface forces in complex fluid, biological and materials systems. He uses the Surface Forces Apparatus and other techniques for directly measuring the forces between surfaces in liquids and vapors, and for studying other interfacial and thin film phenomena at the molecular level. Specific projects currently include: non-equilibrium interactions (e.g., adhesion and friction), and developing new experimental techniques. His research has led to several breakthroughs in materials science and chemical engineering over the decades.
The Tribology Gold Medal is awarded by the Institute for Mechanical Engineers through the Tribology Trust Fund.