Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that Dr. Gang Yu, a professor at the School of Environment at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award. The award recognizes his contributions towards understanding the problems caused by emerging organic contaminants in water, and the development of solutions to combat these problems.

Professor Yu is also director of Beijing Key Laboratories for Emerging Organic Contaminants Control, and director of Tsinghua Research Center on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The School of Environment at Tsinghua University is one of the leading environmental education and research institutes in the world.

The award will provide support to Professor Yu and his team for continuing research into emerging organic contaminants in surface waters and groundwater, and ongoing efforts in the development of advanced pollution control technologies and strategies.

Using non-targeted screening methods for simultaneous suspect screening and unknown compound identification (based on LC-QTOF), combined with targeted quantification (using LC-QQQ) instruments from Agilent, Professor Yu, and his team are developing methods and technologies to advance the detection and identification of these new and emerging organic contaminants in water. The discovered contaminants can then be addressed under new regulations and pollution control strategies, providing profound benefits to the health and safety of the Chinese population. 

"Professor Yu is conducting leading-edge research to identify emerging, or even unknown organic contaminants, that are not yet being regulated – they are not on priority pollutant lists. His work is helping to define China 's environmental protection, pollution control, and remediation strategies related to emerging organic contaminants," said Mary McBride, director of Agilent 's Applied Segment Markets. "With this award, we are pleased to recognize the foundational work that Professor Yu has done to advance the science of environmental protection and pollution prevention." 

McBride noted that Agilent has been collaborating with Professor Yu for several years. "We have developed workflows for the quantitative determination of organics in water, and are now working to develop workflows for emerging organic contaminants in water," she added.

"As caretakers of the Earth,  we are responsible for creating a healthy environment without toxic contaminants. However, the regulation of new contaminants often lags behind the fundamental understanding of their nature, extent, and impact on the environment. Intensive, in-depth studies on emerging organic contaminants will help our society to find ways to improve environmental quality," said Professor Yu. "We are excited to work with Agilent to develop rapid and economic methods for the analysis of emerging organic contaminants, and the determination of their risk in water environments."

The Agilent Thought Leader Award promotes fundamental scientific advances by contributing financial support, products, and expertise to the research of influential thought leaders in the life sciences, diagnostics, and chemical analysis space. Further information, including previous award recipients, is available on the Agilent Thought Leader Award web page.