Steven Bernasek Ph.D.

Position Department / Business Unit
Dept. of Chemistry
Institution Disciplines
Princeton University Chemistry Physics Electronics
City State / Provence
Princeton New Jersey
Country Website
(609) 258-1593

Dr. Steven L. Bernasek, Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, is an experimental chemist with research interests in the area of surface chemistry and chemical physics. His research is concerned primarily with the dynamics of heterogenous reactions, and the chemistry of heterogeneous catalysis, electronic materials and corrosion inhibition.

Dr. Bernasek was born December 14, 1949 in Holton, Kansas. He was raised on a farm near Holton and graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in chemistry, magna cum laude, in 1971. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. He was an NSF Graduate Fellow at Berkeley and also served as a teaching assistant and research assistant during that time. Dr. Bernasek also spent two summers as a radiochemist at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Livermore, California. After receiving his Ph.D. in January of 1975, Dr. Bernasek was a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory for six months.

In July of 1975 Dr. Bernasek came to Princeton as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1981, and to Professor of Chemistry in 1986. During his time at Princeton, he has served as departmental undergraduate representative, as Director of Graduate Studies, as Associate Chairman of the Department, and as Acting Chair. For several years he has been an academic advisor to freshmen and sophomores, and is a Faculty Fellow at Rockefeller College. He teaches Honors Freshman Chemistry, as well as advanced courses in physical chemistry, solid state chemistry, and surface reaction dynamics. He is an Associated Faculty Member of the Princeton Research Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials and the Princeton Environmental Institute, and a member of the Executive Committee for the Program in Plasma Science and Technology.


B.S. Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, Kansas State University, 1971; Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 1975.


• Putnam Scholar, Kansas State University, 1967-1971
• H.H. King Chemistry Scholarship, Kansas State University, 1967-1971
• Phi Eta Sigma
• Phi Kappa Phi
• National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, 1971-1975
• Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Finalist, 1971
• DuPont Young Faculty Grant, 1977
• ACS-Exxon Award in Solid State Chemistry, 1981
• Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow, 1985-1986, 1990
• Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994
• Visiting Fellow, JILA, University of Colorado, 1999
• Distinguished Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore, 1998, 2000, 2003
• Moses Gomberg Lecturer, University of Michigan, 2001
• Fellow of the American Vacuum Society, 2001
• Arthur W. Adamson ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry sponsored by Occidental Petroleum, 2006

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