David Chavez selected Fellow of the American Chemical Society

Chavez is recognized for contributions to the field of energetic materials chemistry

August 3, 2021

Chavez Lab
David Chavez working in his lab at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Aug 3, 2021—David Chavez, deputy group leader of the High Explosives Science and Technology group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been selected as a member of the 2021 class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Chavez is recognized by the ACS for distinguished contributions to the field of energetic materials chemistry, particularly the development of highly energetic, fundamentally novel, and environmentally friendly materials important to national security.

He is a highly-respected scientist known for his many innovations in the area of energetic materials, particularly in developing novel low-smoke high-nitrogen pyrotechnics and synthesis of a potential replacement for TNT, another nitrogen-containing compound called bis-oxadiazole. Chavez is an often-quoted scientific expert on explosives in general.

“David’s selection as an ACS fellow reflects the exemplary work he does and highlights his important contributions to national security,” said John Sarrao, deputy director for Science, Technology, and Engineering at Los Alamos. “I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Chavez’s contributions to the ACS community also include mentoring early-career scientists from historically marginalized groups in both laboratory and classroom environments, providing access to quality chemical education, and serving and promoting ACS Project SEED. The Summer Experiences for the Economically Disadvantaged program is a paid summer internship for high school students, a program Chavez participated in at the Laboratory after his sophomore year in high school.

“After I graduated with a PhD, I made it a goal to create opportunities for others, the way opportunities had been created for me throughout my journey. I am honored and grateful that my efforts in this area were worthy of recognition by the American Chemical Society,” said Chavez.

Chavez also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the prestigious Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Chavez joined the Laboratory in 2003, and also served on the Taos Municipal School Board and the advisory board for University of New Mexico-Taos campus, both in his home town of Taos, New Mexico, for nine years. He is an invited professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure, in Cachan, France, as well as an adjunct professor at University of New Mexico, Taos Branch, where he teaches chemistry.

He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University.

The 2021 ACS Fellows will be honored at a special hybrid ceremony during the ACS Fall 2021 Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.