Dean Douglas Clark announed today the recent passing on November 6th of our colleague and friend, Kenneth (Ken) Sauer, professor emeritus of chemistry. He was 91 years old.
Ken joined the Berkeley faculty in the Department of Chemistry in 1963 and was promoted to full Professor in 1972. During his time on the faculty, Ken served as Vice Chair for Teaching in the Department of Chemistry and as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Chemistry. He retired in 2001 but continued to be active in research and service as professor emeritus.
In his early years, Ken's work concentrated on the two light reactions of photosynthesis, Photosystem I (PS I) and Photosystem II (PS II), and he later spent most of his career exploring the mysteries of the Z-scheme. Ken's research focused on a manganese-calcium oxygen cluster, known as the oxygen-evolving complex (the source of all the oxygen in the atmosphere), located in Photosystem II of plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. He developed sophisticated analytical devices to provide a more detailed picture of the nature of the components and their arrangement in the photosynthetic light reactions.
In 2010, Ken was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR) in recognition of his exceptional career-long contributions to understanding the process of photosynthesis. He received the Berkeley Citation in 2001 and was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Please join us in remembering Ken and his many contributions to our community.