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Dr. Árpád Ambrus of the National Food Chain Safety Office of Hungary is the recipient of the 2014 IUPAC International Award for Advances in Harmonized Approaches to Crop Protection Chemistry. Árpád has been active for more than 40 years in advancing harmonized approaches for research and management of crop protection chemicals. His interests have revolved around analytical approaches to the chemistry of residues in food and the environment, and his contributions have been made through a diversity of national and international organizations and programs.
Árpád currently serves as Chief Scientific Advisor in the National Food Chain Safety Office of Hungary, where he has been on staff since 2006. He has held a number of key scientific and administrative positions in Hungary since joining the Analytical Department of the Plant Protection and Agrochemistry Centre in 1968. Árpád was posted to influential international assignments with FAO during 1984 to 1990 and the International Atomic Energy Agency during 1998 to 2004. His long years of volunteer service through intergovernmental organizations and programs in the cause of crop protection chemistry are especially noteworthy for their global impact. His knowledge of agricultural and horticultural practices has been invaluable in supporting his work on crop protection chemistry. In addition to tireless work since 1973 with the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), he has also played leading roles with the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) and the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS). In 2005, Árpád was appointed as an IUPAC fellow based on his many project contributions via the Division of Chemistry and Environment.
Árpád has been characterized as being “obsessed with the idea of harmonization of pesticide residue analytical work all over the world,” and he has parlayed his expertise and enthusiasm through research activities, data evaluation, development of international guidelines and manuals, and training programs. His research has primarily been focused on optimization and validation of analytical methods, identification and quantification of uncertainties in sampling and analysis, and elaboration of statistically-based methods for field surveys and estimation of maximum residue limits (MRLs). Through the FAO/WHO JMPR expert panels, Árpád has evaluated data for specific compounds to produce MRLs suitable for adoption as Codex standards, and he has prepared reports that have revised and extended JMPR policies and procedures.
Árpád is well known for his many contributions in development of guidelines and manuals promoting harmonized approaches, and most noteworthy of these has been the FAO Pesticide Residue Manual which appeared first in 1997. His efforts in developing and implementing training around harmonized analytical approaches to crop protection chemistry have taken him from laboratory to lecture hall, from Afghanistan to Japan, Myanmar, USA, Zimbabwe and many points in between. His expertise and knowledge have been generously shared with others, and he remains a constant source of reference for regulators, academics, and the industry around the world.