Lester Andrews received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 under the direction of George C. Pimentel, inventor of the chemical laser. Andrews then secured a position with the University of Virginia's Department of Chemistry and has been a faculty member for over 40 years. During his long and productive career, he has amassed more than 720 publications and his Web of Science citation index is 59.
Andrews' research continues to expand the bounds of chemistry. He and his colleagues recently created the first uranium-carbon triple bonded molecule. This investigation, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contributes important insights to uranium chemistry. Since uranium is used to fuel nuclear power plants and create weapons, a greater understanding of the element is imperative.
Andrews has won many awards throughout his career, including OSA’s Ellis R. Lippincott Award in 2001. He received the award “for prodigious vibrational spectroscopic investigations of a wide range of novel reactive chemical species that are important in chemical reactions, in catalysis, and in furthering quantum chemical calculations of vibrational frequencies.”