The recipient of the 2022 Research Excellence Award of the European Mineralogical Union is Dr. Jakub Kierczak from University of Wrocław, Poland.
Dr. Kierczak is internationally renowned for his work on the mobility and distribution of metals in natural and anthropogenic soils as well as for his achievements in studying metallurgical slags within a multidisciplinary context of environmental, archaeological, and metal recovery research.
His principal research interests are focused on reconstructing migration paths of metallic elements from ultramafic rocks and metallurgical slags. His research is interdisciplinary and combines methods of geochemistry, geology, mineralogy, soil science, and biology in studying rocks, soils, and plants. One of his main concerns is the environmental impact for ultramafic sites, he stresses that Ni, Cr, and Co are easily mobilized and may pose a health risk. For slag-related studies, his research embraces also other aspects such as the potential recovery of metals from slags as well as the reconstruction of historical smelting technologies. Dr. Jakub Kierczak showed the importance of proper and detailed characterization of minerals in soils and metallurgical slags for the prediction of metal mobility from these materials.
In addition to the main trends of his research activity, Dr. Jakub Kierczak collaborates with numerous scientists representing a diverse range of scientific disciplines providing mineralogical support for their research. Dr. Jakub Kierczak is an excellent team leader focused on the development and promotion of young scientists. He has established an extensive network of international collaborations with scientists from several research institutions in Europe. Dr. Jakub Kierczak is deeply involved in the integration of the mineralogical community in Poland. First, through his activities as a member of the Society’s Board and since December 2020 as the President of the Mineralogical Society of Poland.
Dr. Jakub Kierczak’s interdisciplinary approach, combined with his dedication to advancing scientific knowledge, makes him a deserving recipient of the EMU Research Excellence Medal 2022.