Professor James Skinner Receives UW-Madison Hilldale Award

Four University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty members have been chosen for the prestigious Hilldale Awards, an annual recognition that dates back to 1987.

The recipients, one each from the four faculty divisions (biological sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, and arts and humanities) will be honored at the April 6 meeting of the Faculty Senate. The award recognizes scholarly contributions in teaching, research and service and comes with a $7,500 prize.

Professor James Skinner is this year’s recipient in the physical sciences category.

“Jim is one of the leading theoretical chemists in the world,” writes Robert McMahon, the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry Helfaer Professor and Chair, in his nomination letter. “His record speaks for itself.”

Indeed, Skinner is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious recognition reserved for only the most productive and influential scientists. He has given more than 300 invited talks and has won numerous recognitions and awards. At the same time, the chemist averages near perfect scores on annual university teaching evaluations, and has won the coveted Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Skinner’s work has focused primarily on the structure and dynamics of solids and liquids, particularly water, and has contributed substantially to his field.

“A hallmark of Jim’s science is his ability to connect sophisticated theory with state-of-the-art experiments,” McMahon writes. “This ability to connect with measurements is one of the reasons his impact is both broad and deep.”

Kelly April Tyrrell, University Communications