Professor Petrich received his B.S. in Chemistry, cum laude, from Yale University in 1980 and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry with Graham Fleming from The University of Chicago in 1985. He went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, with Dr. Jean-Louis Martin. Professor Petrich joined the Iowa State University faculty in 1989. He served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry from 2005 through 2010 and facilitated and oversaw the construction and completion of the new Chemistry building, Hach Hall. His honors and awards include:
- Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, 2018.
- American Chemical Society Midwest Award, 2016.
- ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2016.
- Distinguished Lecturer, ΦΛΥ, Kansas St. University, 2016.
- ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Graduate Mentoring, 2014.
- ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Intellectual Property, 2011.
- ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Departmental Leadership, 2010 (declined).
- ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Departmental Leadership, 2009.
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008.
- CELT Miller Faculty Fellowship, 2006-2007
- Secretary's Honor Award for Enhancing Protection and Safety of the Nation's Agriculture and Food Supply, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2004.
- ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Mid-Career Award for Excellence in Research/Artistic Creativity, 2004.
- Agricultural Research Services Technology Transfer Award, 2003.
- 2002 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for Work in Laser Detection in Food Safety, 2002.
- R&D 100 Award, 2000, “Method and System for Detecting Fecal and Ingesta Contamination on the Carcasses of Meat Animals.”
- Finsen Award Lectureship, 2000 (presented by the Association Internationale de Photobiologie and the American Society for Photobiology to an Outstanding Photobiology Researcher).
- Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, 1991-1994.
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