UH Manoa's Keil Receives Honorary Doctorate from Friedrich-Schiller-University in Germany

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Mar 14, 2002

HONOLULU — University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor Klaus Keil, who is director of UH Mānoa‘s Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, was recently informed that he will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the College of Chemistry and Earth Sciences of the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany.

Keil is a native of Jena, Germany, attending elementary and high school there, and received a master‘s degree in mineralogy and geochemistry from Friedrich-Schiller-University. He holds a doctorate degree in the same subject from Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

"We are honoring Professor Keil for his life-long monumental scientific contributions to the understanding of the early history of the solar system and the origin and evolution of meteorites, asteroids and the terrestrial planets," said Friedrich-Schiller-University‘s College of Chemistry and Earth Sciences Dean G. Buchel. "Professor Keil is one of the leading cosmochemists/planetary scientists in the world, and our College and University are proud to have him as our honoree."

Keil arrived at UH Mānoa in 1990 and has been director of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology since 1995. Before that, Keil was at the University of New Mexico for 22 years where he served as professor and later chairman of the Department of Geology as well as director of the University‘s Institute of Meteoritics. He also served as a researcher for NASA‘s Space Sciences Division at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

Keil‘s expertise encompasses the areas of meteoritics, cosmochemistry, planetary science and the evolution of asteroids. The aim of his research is to understand the processes that took place in the solar nebula and the origin of solid materials in the solar nebula early in the history of the solar system. A large area of his research is aimed at understanding the evolution of crusts, mantles and cores of differentiated asteroids and the vast array of igneous processes that may have taken place on these asteroids.

Keil is a member and fellow of the Meteoritical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Mineralogical Society of America, and the American Institute of Chemists. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work and research, including the Leonard Medal of the Meteoritical Society, the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award, the US National Academy of Sciences G.P. Merrill Award, and having an asteroid named for him. Asteroid 5054, a minor planet orbiting the Sun, was named Asteroid Keil by the International Astronomical Union in 1993.

The Ministry of Education of the German Federal Republic has declared 2002 as the "Year of Geosciences." As part of the celebration, there will be many symposia, exhibitions, and public and professional talks in the geosciences presented at many German universities. Keil will receive his honorary doctorate degree from Friedrich-Schiller-University at a special ceremony in December, marking the culmination of the "Year of Geosciences" in Jena.