Jayanty Honored

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (second from left) honored Indian American RTI International scientist R.K.M. Jayanty (second from right) with the state's highest honor as the 2017 North Carolina Awards recipient for science. Also seen here (from left) are James Woodward, Philip Freelon, Margaret Bauer, Jane Smith Patterson, Loretta Lynch and North Carolina Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources secretary Susi Hamilton. (RTI.org photo)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper last month at the 2017 North Carolina Awards ceremony in Raleigh honored Research Triangle Institute International scientist and Distinguished Fellow R.K.M. Jayanty, emeritus, with the state’s highest achievement.

The Indian American researchers, who was honored with the science award, was celebrated for his pioneering work in air pollution monitoring and control, according to an RTI International news release.

Others honored at the ceremony were in the literature, fine arts and public service fields.

“Dr. Jay’s research has impacted the lives of countless numbers of people in North Carolina and around the world,” said RTI president and chief executive Wayne Holden in a statement. “His dedication to improving the human condition through research into one of the world’s most challenging problems – pollution in the air we breathe – coupled with his commitment to RTI over nearly four decades, has made an incalculable contribution to our scientific stature.”

Jayanty, 71, who received advanced degrees in chemistry and engineering from Andhra University, the University of Bradford in England and Pennsylvania State University, took a chemist position at RTI in 1978 and has since risen to the position of Distinguished Fellow, a role reserved for individuals who have distinguished themselves through scientific accomplishments that have had a significant impact on RTI and society, the institute said.

During his RTI tenure, Jayanty has significantly advanced the state-of-the art measurement of toxic pollutants in multimedia environments, it said.

His work has enabled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies to meet important regulatory goals, provided the scientific basis for international adoption of these methodologies for use in pollution-control programs and protected human health and the environment, RTI added.

Jayanty’s research data on fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere are used worldwide to determine compliance and enforcement strategies with the national ambient air quality standards and to develop control strategies, it said.

“As a young chemist in the Research Triangle in the 1970s, Jayanty followed his passion for science into the burgeoning field of environmental engineering,” said Cooper at the November ceremony. “His work identifying and measuring volatile organic compounds and other pollutants has informed standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has resulted in better air quality around the world.”

Created by the General Assembly in 1961, the North Carolina Awards have been presented annually since 1964.

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