This March, the Virginia Section of the ACS awarded George Karles with its Outstanding Innovator Award, one of the most prestigious awards a scientist can receive from the Section. The award celebrates an individual whose innovation and industrial leadership in technology has made an impact in our state and community.

Throughout his career with Altria, George has championed emerging science, engineering and technologies to advance Altria's portfolio of potentially reduced harm products. In his current role, he leads an engineering organization that develops and implements new-to-the-world scalable process and equipment designs for manufacturing current and next generation potentially reduced harm products.

George, who currently holds 78 patents, is quick to cite the fact that research is a collaborative effort, and he said he feels fortunate to work at a company, with such high-caliber innovative peers and the resources, to do world-class research.

"My background is in chemical engineering, and my career has been at the intersection of several different disciplines and experiences," said George. "That's how I approach my work. I believe in the power of diversity, and I think of my inventions as a product of collaboration, which expands beyond the bounds of Altria to include many top-class partners."