In Memoriam: James R. Katzer (1941–2012)

James Robert Katzer

James Robert Katzer

James Robert Katzer, for­mer pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing and vice-pres­i­dent of tech­nol­o­gy for Mobil Oil Cor­po­ra­tion, died in Mar­shall­town, IA on Novem­ber 2, 2012. He was 71. Katzer was inter­na­tion­al­ly respect­ed for his exper­tise and major con­tri­bu­tions to ener­gy tech­nolo­gies and pol­i­cy. Jim Katzer built a career as a high­ly respect­ed researcher and man­ag­er in the areas of cat­alyt­ic sci­ence and in the analy­sis of tech­ni­cal issues relat­ed to the pro­duc­tion of high qual­i­ty fuels. Jim was a co-author, along with George C. A. Schuit and Bruce C. Gates of The Chem­istry of Cat­alyt­ic Process­es, pub­lished by McGraw Hill in 1978. Dur­ing his career, he authored or co-authored more than 80 tech­ni­cal arti­cles and 6 U.S. Patents.

Jim grad­u­at­ed from Iowa State with a degree in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing in 1964. He received his Sc.D. from MIT in the same dis­ci­pline in 1969, and then imme­di­ate­ly joined the Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware as an assis­tant pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing. He was instru­men­tal in found­ing the university’s Cen­ter for Cat­alyt­ic Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy, attract­ing more than $800,000 in new research fund­ing in its first year. Togeth­er with Pro­fes­sor Bruce Gates, Jim estab­lished one of the first col­lab­o­ra­tive indus­try –aca­d­e­m­ic cen­ters of its kind. He served as its first direc­tor. By 1980, the Cen­ter list­ed 23 com­pa­nies as mem­bers and had a total research bud­get of $1.8 mil­lion. Jim was pro­mot­ed to full pro­fes­sor in Delaware’s Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing in 1978.

In 1981, Jim moved to Mobil Oil Corporation’s Cen­tral Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry in Prince­ton, NJ as man­ag­er of CRL’s cat­a­lyst sec­tion. He advanced in man­age­ment at Mobil, hold­ing posi­tions of Divi­sion Manger of Process R&D and Vice Pres­i­dent of Plan­ning for Research and Engi­neer­ing. In 1997, he was appoint­ed Vice Pres­i­dent for Tech­nol­o­gy.

With the merg­er of Mobil and Exxon in 1999, Jim became Man­ag­er of Plan­ning and Port­fo­lio Analy­sis for Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Com­pa­ny. He retired from Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Com­pa­ny in 2004.

In recog­ni­tion of his con­tri­bu­tions to catal­y­sis and reac­tion engi­neer­ing research and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of cat­alyt­ic process­es, Jim was elect­ed to the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing in 1998. In 2001 he was award­ed the Marston Medal, Iowa State University’s high­est hon­or for a grad­u­ate from its Col­lege of Engi­neer­ing. From 2006 to 2010 Jim was mem­ber of 4 sig­nif­i­cant Nation­al Research Coun­cil stud­ies on Tran­si­tions in Trans­porta­tion, which helped define a strat­e­gy for the US’s ener­gy future. He served as a vis­it­ing sci­en­tist for MIT’s Lab­o­ra­to­ry for Ener­gy and the Envi­ron­ment from 2004 until 2007, where he was the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the MIT Future of Coal study.

At the time of his death, he was an affil­i­ate pro­fes­sor, a mem­ber of the advi­so­ry board for Iowa State University’s Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­log­i­cal Engi­neer­ing, and a mem­ber of the Tech­ni­cal Advi­so­ry Board for the Chi­na Nation­al Insti­tute for Clean and Low-Car­bon Fuels. He was also a mem­ber of the Tech­ni­cal Advi­so­ry Board for Rive Tech­nol­o­gy and a mem­ber of the Cos­mos Club of Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

In his free time, he enjoyed sail­ing and gar­den­ing. Jim is sur­vived by his wife of 32 years, Isabelle (McGre­gor) Katzer; his moth­er, Vel­ma Sheller; son, Robert James, MD (Jen­ni) Katzer, and grand­daugh­ter, Autumn Eliz­a­beth Katzer; daugh­ter, Anne Louise Katzer; broth­ers, Wayne Katzer and Ken (Sharon) Katzer; and sis­ter, JoAnn Katzer.
(Con­tributed by Thomas Deg­nan, Roland H. Heck and Jose Santi­este­ban)

Jens Norskov named the recipient of the 2013 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis

Prof. Jens K. Norskov

Prof. Jens K. Norskov

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Jens K. Norskov of the Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and the SLAC Nation­al Accel­er­a­tor Lab­o­ra­to­ry at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty is the recip­i­ent of the 2013 Michel Boudart Award for the Advance­ment catal­y­sis. The Award is spon­sored by the Hal­dor Top­søe Com­pa­ny and is admin­is­tered joint­ly by the NACS and the EFCATS. More infor­ma­tion on this award and the award process can be found in the Awards fold­er of the NACS home page

The Michel Boudart Award for the Advance­ment catal­y­sis is giv­en in recog­ni­tion of indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions to the elu­ci­da­tion of the mech­a­nism and active sites involved in cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na and to the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods or con­cepts that advance the under­stand­ing and/or prac­tice of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. The Award selec­tion process will empha­size accom­plish­ments and con­tri­bu­tions pub­lished with­in the five pre­ced­ing years.

The award rec­og­nizes Pro­fes­sor Jens K. Nork­skov for his pio­neer­ing work on under­stand­ing trends in cat­a­lyst activ­i­ty and devel­op­ing cat­a­lyst design prin­ci­ples based on reac­tiv­i­ty descrip­tors. He and his cowork­ers have con­tributed exten­sive­ly to the devel­op­ment of com­pu­ta­tion­al meth­ods and mod­els of sur­face reac­tiv­i­ty. Pro­fes­sor Norskov has intro­duced what is today a stan­dard mod­el of tran­si­tion met­al reac­tiv­i­ty and has used it to explain trends in adsorp­tion ener­gies and in the acti­va­tion ener­gies of ele­men­tary process­es on tran­si­tion met­al cat­a­lysts in terms of vari­a­tions in the d‑band cen­ter and oth­er para­me­ters char­ac­ter­iz­ing the prop­er­ties of sur­face elec­trons. Norskov has quan­ti­fied Brøn­st­ed-Evans-Polanyi (BEP) rela­tions and showed how they lead to pre­dic­tive mod­els that relate cat­alyt­ic reac­tiv­i­ty to adsorp­tion ener­gies of key rel­e­vant species. The meth­ods devel­oped for use in het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis have been suc­cess­ful­ly trans­ferred into the area of elec­tro­catal­y­sis. Most recent­ly, his research group has intro­duced the first data­base of sur­face chem­i­cal prop­er­ties and devel­oped pub­licly avail­able soft­ware to access and mine ther­mo­dy­nam­ic and cat­alyt­ic data on active sur­faces, thus open­ing nov­el oppor­tu­ni­ties for dis­cov­er­ing trends and for design­ing new cat­a­lysts and cat­alyt­ic process­es.

Pro­fes­sor Norskov will present ple­nary lec­tures at the 2013 meet­ings of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety in Louisville and at the 2013 Europacat Meet­ing in Lyon.

Aveli­no Cor­ma
Pres­i­dent, Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties

Enrique Igle­sia
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety

Christopher W. Jones is the recipient of the 2013 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis

Prof. Christo­pher W. Jones

I am pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Christo­pher W. Jones of the School of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing at the Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy is the recip­i­ent of the 2013 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis, spon­sored by the Grace Cat­a­lyst Tech­nolo­gies oper­at­ing seg­ment of W.R. Grace & Co. and admin­is­tered by The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The Award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­i­um of $5,000. The plaque will be pre­sent­ed dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2013 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Pro­fes­sor Jones will also present a ple­nary lec­ture dur­ing this con­fer­ence.

The Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis is giv­en in recog­ni­tion of sub­stan­tial indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on dis­cov­ery and under­stand­ing of cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na, pro­pos­al of cat­alyt­ic reac­tion mech­a­nisms and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of and descrip­tion of cat­alyt­ic sites and species.

The award rec­og­nizes the con­tri­bu­tions of Pro­fes­sor Christo­pher W. Jones to fun­da­men­tal advances in catal­y­sis at the inter­face between het­ero­ge­neous and homo­ge­neous catal­y­sis. Specif­i­cal­ly, his stud­ies of sil­i­ca and poly­mer-sup­port­ed Pd(II) pin­cer com­plex­es unrav­eled their behav­ior in Heck and Suzu­ki cou­pling reac­tions, where the com­plex­es were demon­strat­ed to form sol­u­ble lig­and-free species that cat­alyzed tra­di­tion­al Pd(0)-Pd(II) path­ways. His group has also devel­oped a fam­i­ly of sup­port­ed met­al-salen com­plex cat­a­lysts for enan­tios­e­lec­tive reac­tions, includ­ing coop­er­a­tive epox­ide ring-open­ing reac­tions and olefin cyclo­propa­na­tion. This work has focused on the sta­bil­i­ty and deac­ti­va­tion of these cat­a­lysts and clar­i­fied degra­da­tion path­ways, allow­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of sta­bi­liza­tion strate­gies to enhance cat­a­lyst turnovers.

In Memoriam: Paul Burg Weisz (1919–2012)

Paul B. Weisz

Paul B. Weisz, 93, for­mer Mobil Senior Sci­en­tist and Man­ag­er of Mobil’s Cen­tral Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry and an inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized expert in the area of petro­le­um refin­ing cat­a­lysts died on Tues­day, Sep­tem­ber 25th in State Col­lege, PA. Born in Pilsen, Czecho­slo­va­kia, he was the son of Alexan­der and Amalia Weisz. He is sur­vived by his wife, Rho­da A. M. Burg and two chil­dren, Ingrid and Randy Weisz. He grew up with an innate desire to become a sci­en­tist. Paul pub­lished his first arti­cle in a ham radio jour­nal at the age of 16.

Paul emi­grat­ed to the U.S. in 1939 from Berlin, inter­rupt­ing his grad­u­ate stud­ies in pre- World War II Ger­many to attend Auburn Uni­ver­si­ty where he com­plet­ed his B.S. degree in less than one year. Fol­low­ing his grad­u­a­tion, he worked as a researcher at the Bar­tol Research Foun­da­tion of the Franklin Insti­tute in Swarth­more, PA. He lat­er moved to the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy where, as an elec­tron­ics engi­neer, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in the devel­op­ment of LORAN, a long range radio sig­nal-based aid to nav­i­ga­tion.

Paul joined Mobil Research and Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion in 1946 as a Research Asso­ciate at Mobil’s Pauls­boro, NJ research lab­o­ra­to­ry. He pro­gressed through a num­ber of tech­ni­cal assign­ments, reach­ing the posi­tion of Senior Sci­en­tist, the high­est tech­ni­cal posi­tion in Mobil in 1961. He man­aged Mobil’s Explorato­ry Process Research orga­ni­za­tion from 1967 until 1969 and its Cen­tral Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry in Prince­ton, NJ from 1969 through 1982. Paul retired from Mobil in 1984.

Short­ly after join­ing Mobil, Paul became inter­est­ed in the sub­ject of dif­fu­sion and catal­y­sis. This was the foun­da­tion for a life­long inter­est in porous mate­ri­als as cat­a­lysts and specif­i­cal­ly in crys­talline hydrous alu­mi­nosil­i­cates known as zeo­lites. Along with sev­er­al Mobil col­lab­o­ra­tors, he pio­neered the use of nat­ur­al and syn­thet­ic zeo­lites as cat­a­lysts for petro­le­um refin­ing and petro­chem­i­cal man­u­fac­ture. These zeo­lite cat­a­lysts even­tu­al­ly rev­o­lu­tion­ized many refin­ing process­es because they facil­i­tat­ed only cer­tain reac­tions between mol­e­cules hav­ing spe­cif­ic dimen­sions.

In 1960, Paul pub­lished a ground-break­ing paper co-authored with Vince Frilette, anoth­er Mobil sci­en­tist. This became the foun­da­tion of “shape-selec­tive catal­y­sis” con­cept, and also one of Paul’s wide­ly cit­ed papers (J. Phys. Chem., 64, 382 (1960)). Process­es based on Paul’s con­cept of shape-selec­tive catal­y­sis were first com­mer­cial­ized in the ear­ly 1960’s. Through­out the 1970’s and 1980’s Paul was close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with Mobil’s devel­op­ment of new cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als and the process­es that were devel­oped around them.

While work­ing at Mobil, Paul took a sab­bat­i­cal in 1964 to earn his doc­tor­al degree from the Eidgenos­sis­che Tech­nis­che Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, Switzer­land in 1966. His doc­tor­al research the­sis was based on an analy­sis of the per­me­ation of dyes into fibers. His analy­sis was the foun­da­tion for some of the fun­da­men­tal laws asso­ci­at­ed with dif­fu­sion of dye mol­e­cules into fibers.

One of Paul’s for­mi­da­ble strengths was his abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate com­plex the­o­ries suc­cinct­ly. He was a con­stant con­trib­u­tor to the ACS pub­li­ca­tion ChemTech through­out the 70’s and 80’s where he con­tin­ued to enlight­en and delight read­ers with his insight­ful obser­va­tions of how phe­nom­e­na like dif­fu­sion and kinet­ics applied to every­day life.

His 1962 arti­cle with J. S. Hicks, enti­tled “The Behav­ior of Porous Cat­a­lyst Par­ti­cles in View of Inter­nal Mass and Heat Dif­fu­sion Effects,” Chem. Eng. Sci. 17, 265 (1962) was select­ed as one of the 50 most influ­en­tial arti­cles in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Sci­ence in the publication’s 1995 “Fron­tiers in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Sci­ence” com­mem­o­ra­tive edi­tion.

After he retired from Mobil in 1984, he began a third, high­ly pro­duc­tive career, apply­ing chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal prin­ci­ples to bio­med­ical research first at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia an then at Penn State. Work­ing with Dr. Madeleine Jouille at U. Penn he syn­the­sized mol­e­cules that mim­ic some of the heal­ing prop­er­ties of heparin, but that do not exhib­it heparin’s poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous side effects.

For his numer­ous indus­tri­al research accom­plish­ments and con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence of catal­y­sis, Paul earned many awards includ­ing: The E. V. Mur­phree Award in Indus­tri­al Chem­istry from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety (1972), The Pio­neer Award from the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chemists (1974), The Leo Friend Award of the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety (1977), the R. H. Wil­helm Award from the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers (1978), the Lavosier Medal from the Soci­ete Chemique de France (1983), The Lang­muir Dis­tin­guished Lec­tur­er Award from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety (1983), the Perkin Medal, from the Amer­i­can Sec­tion of the Soci­ety of Chem­i­cal Indus­try (1985), The Carothers Award from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety (1987), and the Nation­al Medal of Tech­nol­o­gy from Pres­i­dent George H. Bush in 1992. He was elect­ed to the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing, one of the high­est hon­ors for an engi­neer, in 1977 and received an Hon­orary Doc­tor­ate (Sc.D. in tech­no­log­i­cal sci­ence) from the Swiss Fed­er­al Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy in 1980.

Begin­ning in the ear­ly 1950’s Paul’s work at Mobil Oil with col­lab­o­ra­tors includ­ing N. Y. Chen, Vince Frilette, John McCul­lough, Dwight Prater, Jack Wise, Al Schwartz, Heinz Heine­man, Fritz Smith, and oth­ers helped set the foun­da­tions for zeo­lite catal­y­sis. His sem­i­nal work in the use of nat­ur­al zeo­lites as high­ly shape-selec­tive con­ver­sion cat­a­lysts set the stage for 50+ years of high­ly pro­duc­tive process research and rev­o­lu­tion­ized the refin­ing and petro­chem­i­cal indus­tries. Paul’s nine­ty-one issued U.S. patents and more than 180 jour­nal pub­li­ca­tions cov­er top­ics rang­ing from car­bona­ceous deposits on cat­a­lysts to chem­i­cal agents that impact the dif­fu­sion of drugs in human cells. Paul Weisz leaves behind a very rich sci­en­tif­ic and tech­ni­cal lega­cy that has great­ly impact­ed our aca­d­e­m­ic and indus­tri­al catal­y­sis research com­mu­ni­ties. His work con­tin­ues to inspire chemists and chem­i­cal engi­neers work­ing in the area of catal­y­sis and bio­ma­te­ri­als.
(Con­tributed by Thomas Deg­nan, Jose’ Santi­este­ban, and Dominick Maz­zone)

Giuseppe Bellussi is named the recipient of the 2013 Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North American Catalysis Society

Giuseppe Bel­lusi

Giuseppe Bel­lus­si, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent, Research and Devel­op­ment, for ENI Refin­ing & Mar­ket­ing is the recip­i­ent of the 2013 Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catal­y­sis is spon­sored by Clari­ant. It is admin­is­tered by The Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in odd-num­bered years. This award rec­og­nizes and encour­ages indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on the devel­op­ment of new and improved cat­a­lysts and process­es rep­re­sent­ing out­stand­ing advances in their use­ful appli­ca­tion. The award con­sists of a plaque and a prize of $5,000, which will be pre­sent­ed at the 23rd North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety to be held in Louisville, Ken­tucky on June 2–7, 2013. The Award Ple­nary lec­ture will also be pre­sent­ed dur­ing this meet­ing.

The 2013 Eugene J. Houdry Award rec­og­nizes Giuseppe Bel­lus­si for his impor­tant con­tri­bu­tions to the devel­op­ment of sev­er­al key process­es in petro­chem­i­cals and refin­ing through research in new cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als, in fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing of under­ly­ing cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na, and in enabling engi­neer­ing con­cepts for cat­alyt­ic process­es.

Dr. Bel­lus­si joined the Eni Com­pa­ny in 1981. Since then, he has been engaged in research and devel­op­ment of new tech­nolo­gies with broad impact in refin­ing, petro­chem­i­cals, and explo­ration-pro­duc­tion. His spe­cif­ic con­tri­bu­tions have focused on het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, with spe­cif­ic empha­sis on the sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy of zeo­lite cat­a­lysts. These con­tri­bu­tions have ranged from selec­tive oxi­da­tion reac­tions to acid catal­y­sis with broad appli­ca­tions to nat­ur­al gas con­ver­sion, the upgrad­ing of heavy residues, and the syn­the­sis of new struc­tured mate­ri­als. Many of these achieve­ments have con­tributed to indus­tri­al appli­ca­tions, such as in oxi­da­tions with hydro­gen per­ox­ide on tita­ni­um-sil­i­calite (TS‑1) cat­a­lysts for the pro­duc­tion of di-phe­nols, cyclo­hexa­none oxime and propy­lene oxide and the alky­la­tion of ben­zene by light olefins to eth­yl­ben­zene or cumene on Beta-zeo­lites. Most recent­ly, Dr. Bel­lus­si has been involved in the devel­op­ment of a gas-to-liq­uids tech­nol­o­gy based on Fis­ch­er-Trop­sch syn­the­sis in slur­ry phase reac­tor and of the EST (Eni Slur­ry Tech­nol­o­gy) for upgrad­ing of heavy oils to clean high-qual­i­ty dis­til­lates with­out con­cur­rent for­ma­tion of coke and oth­er by-prod­ucts.

He has been rec­og­nized for these con­tri­bu­tions with the 1994 Don Breck Award of the Inter­na­tion­al Zeo­lite Asso­ci­a­tion, which he shared with Eni col­leagues for the devel­op­ment of TS-1-based cat­a­lysts, the 2003 John­son Matthey Award for inno­va­tion in catal­y­sis, the 2007 Inter­na­tion­al Zeo­lite Asso­ci­a­tion Award for sem­i­nal con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence and appli­ca­tions of zeo­lites, and the 2008 “Prof. P. Pino” Gold Medal from the Indus­tri­al Chem­istry Divi­sion of Ital­ian Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. Since 2010, Dr. Bel­lus­si has been the Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Zeo­lite Asso­ci­a­tion.

In Memoriam: Jose M. Parera (1930–2012)

Pro­fes­sor José M. Par­era

Pro­fes­sor José M. Par­era

Pro­fes­sor José M. Par­era passed away on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2012.

Pro­fes­sor José M. Par­era was born in Argenti­na in 1930. He grad­u­at­ed as Chem­i­cal Engi­neer at the School of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing, Uni­ver­si­dad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in San­ta Fe, Argenti­na in 1958 as the top-ranked grad­u­ate of the Depart­ment. He was then grant­ed a Nation­al Research Coun­cil (CONICET) schol­ar­ship to study at Impe­r­i­al Col­lege in Lon­don, where he start­ed his work on het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis.

In his long, fruit­ful career, he was Founder and Direc­tor of Insti­tute of Catal­y­sis and Petro­chem­istry (INCAPE) of San­ta Fe, Argenti­na and a pio­neer through­out Latin Amer­i­ca in teach­ing and research in the field of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. He served as a mem­ber of the Edi­to­r­i­al Board of sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al jour­nals in that field, such as Catal­y­sis Reviews Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing, Applied Catal­y­sis, Latin Amer­i­can Applied Research and Jour­nal of Chem­i­cal Tech­nol­o­gy and Biotech­nol­o­gy. He received many awards and retired as Hon­orary Pro­fes­sor of the Uni­ver­si­dad Nacional del Litoral.

2013 Natural Gas Conversion Award

Pro­fes­sor Kri­jn de Jong (Utrecht Uni­ver­si­ty, The Nether­lands) has been cho­sen as the recip­i­ent of the 2013 Award for Excel­lence in Nat­ur­al Gas Con­ver­sion. The Award is pre­sent­ed every three years dur­ing the Inter­na­tion­al Nat­ur­al Gas Con­ver­sion Sym­po­sium to rec­og­nize endur­ing and sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy for con­ver­sion of nat­ur­al gas to valu­able prod­ucts. The pre­vi­ous award recip­i­ents are Jack Lunsford (1993), Jens Ros­trup-Nielsen (1998), Lan­ny Schmidt (2001), Enrique Igle­sia (2004), David Trimm (2007) and Anders Hol­men (2010).

Pro­fes­sor Kri­jn de Jong is rec­og­nized for con­sis­tent­ly mak­ing note­wor­thy con­tri­bu­tions to the field of nat­ur­al gas con­ver­sion and the devel­op­ment of tech­nolo­gies that are like­ly to play an impor­tant role in meet­ing the world’s chem­i­cal and fuel require­ments in the years ahead. These con­tri­bu­tions are based on a pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion of sci­en­tif­ic excel­lence, orig­i­nal­i­ty and soci­etal rel­e­vance. In par­tic­u­lar he has made emi­nent con­tri­bu­tions to the syn­the­sis, struc­tur­al char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing and uti­liza­tion of sol­id cat­a­lysts for the con­ver­sion of nat­ur­al gas to fuels and chem­i­cals. As spe­cif­ic high­lights we men­tion his research on cobalt par­ti­cle size effects for the Fis­ch­er Trop­sch syn­the­sis and sup­port­ed iron nanopar­ti­cles for the direct con­ver­sion of syn­the­sis gas to low­er olefins. In addi­tion, Pro­fes­sor Kri­jn De Jong has been a lead­ing fig­ure both nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly in his field of catal­y­sis and chem­istry, via chair and board mem­ber­ship roles in con­fer­ences, pro­gram com­mit­tees, advi­so­ry coun­cils, pro­fes­sion­al asso­ci­a­tions and edi­to­r­i­al board roles for top-notch inter­na­tion­al sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals and book series. Last but not least, De Jong is also rec­og­nized for being an inspi­ra­tional and dri­ven teacher, using his didac­tic tal­ent to equip a younger gen­er­a­tion for cre­at­ing con­tri­bu­tions them­selves to tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment in nat­ur­al gas con­ver­sion and oth­er areas.

The award con­sists of a plague and a mon­e­tary prize, which will be pre­sent­ed at the 10th Nat­ur­al Gas Con­ver­sion Sym­po­sium to be held in Doha, Qatar (March 2–7 2013). Pro­fes­sor Kri­jn de Jong will also give the Award Ple­nary Lec­ture dur­ing this meet­ing.

North American Catalysis Society Awards and Process

Awards presented by the North American Catalysis Society

The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety spon­sors six pres­ti­gious awards and lec­ture­ships to rec­og­nize the accom­plish­ments of catal­y­sis sci­en­tists and to pro­mote the advance­ment of catal­y­sis sci­ence in North Amer­i­ca and world-wide. These awards are described in the NACS web site (

Three of these awards include ple­nary lec­tures at NACS bian­nu­al meet­ings (Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catal­y­sis, Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis, Michel Boudart Award for the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis, the lat­ter joint­ly pre­sent­ed with the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties). The F.G. Cia­pet­ta and Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ships in Catal­y­sis involve lec­tures at local club meet­ings and the pre­sen­ta­tion of the awards at the NACS meet­ing ban­quet. The NACS Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis is the most recent recog­ni­tion insti­tut­ed by the Soci­ety. All of these awards are pre­sent­ed every two years and the nom­i­na­tion dead­lines are list­ed in the NACS web site.

Canvassing and Nomination Processes

NACS encour­ages all nom­i­na­tions for these awards and nom­i­na­tors and nom­i­nees need not be NACS mem­bers. The Pres­i­dent instructs the Vice Pres­i­dent to form a can­vass­ing com­mit­tee for each cycle of every award to ensure a full slate of out­stand­ing can­di­dates. This com­mit­tee is led by the NACS Vice-Pres­i­dent and con­sists of pre­vi­ous award recip­i­ents and rec­og­nized experts with­in the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty at-large. The com­mit­tee iden­ti­fies wor­thy can­di­dates and its Chair seeks nom­i­na­tors for these can­di­dates, but pro­vides no spe­cif­ic guid­ance about the prepa­ra­tion of the nom­i­na­tion pack­ages beyond that pro­vid­ed on the NACS web site. The Chair also instructs the Sec­re­tary to con­tact all NACS local rep­re­sen­ta­tives to request that they can­vass for nom­i­na­tions with­in their local sec­tions. All nom­i­na­tion dead­lines and cycles are also announced in the quar­ter­ly NACS newslet­ter.

Award Recipient Nomination Process

The jury that selects each NACS award recip­i­ent con­sists of sci­en­tists and engi­neers rec­og­nized as experts and rep­re­sent­ing indus­try, acad­e­mia, and nation­al labs. The mem­bers of this jury must have no affil­i­a­tion with any of the nom­i­nees and are specif­i­cal­ly asked to dis­close any con­flicts of inter­est and to dis­qual­i­fy them­selves with­out prej­u­dice when a con­flict exists. The selec­tion jury is appoint­ed by the NACS Pres­i­dent, who seeks guid­ance in select­ing its mem­bers from the Vice Pres­i­dent and from senior mem­bers of the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty. The iden­ti­ty of the jury mem­bers is kept in the strictest con­fi­dence and known only to the Pres­i­dent; the mem­bers are also required to keep their par­tic­i­pa­tion in these com­mit­tees con­fi­den­tial.

The NACS Pres­i­dent pro­vides the jury with the nom­i­na­tion pack­ages for all can­di­dates with­in two weeks of the dead­line; in the inter­ven­ing time, poten­tial jury mem­bers are asked about their will­ing­ness to serve. The mem­bers of the jury rank the can­di­dates and pro­vide spe­cif­ic details for their selec­tion in the case of the top three can­di­dates. In some cas­es, jury mem­bers are asked to again rank the top two can­di­dates side-by-side, after con­sid­er­ing their respec­tive nom­i­na­tion pack­ages once again.

The recip­i­ent of the Award and his/her nom­i­na­tors are informed of the deci­sion of the jury, fol­lowed by noti­fi­ca­tion of jury mem­bers and of nom­i­na­tors of the oth­er can­di­dates. A for­mal announce­ment, com­posed by the Pres­i­dent in con­sul­ta­tion with the recip­i­ent and the nom­i­na­tor, is pub­lished in the NACS web site and the NACS newslet­ter and soon there­after in Chem­i­cal and Engi­neer­ing News. The awards are all pre­sent­ed at the bien­ni­al NACS meet­ing, where the respec­tive cita­tions are read and the award win­ners receive a plaque.

The NACS com­mu­ni­ty at-large deserves con­grat­u­la­tions and thanks for the excel­lent cadre of nom­i­nees that it has put forth and cho­sen and for their ded­i­ca­tion as nom­i­na­tors and as mem­bers of the jury.
Enrique Igle­sia
Bruce Cook
Vice Pres­i­dent

7th International Symposium on Acid-Base Catalysis (ABC‑7)

On behalf of the orga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, I am pleased to announce the 7th Inter­na­tion­al Sym­po­sium on Acid-Base Catal­y­sis (ABC‑7), which will be held from May 12 to May 15,  2013 at Shi­na­gawa, Tokyo, Japan.

The ABC is a suc­cess­ful series of sym­posia. The 7th ABC will pro­vide a forum for sci­en­tists and engi­neers from both acad­e­mia and indus­try to dis­cuss most recent devel­op­ments and tech­no­log­i­cal oppor­tu­ni­ties in this vibrant area of research as well as the past ABC sym­posia, pro­mot­ing a glob­al and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach towards both fun­da­men­tal sci­ence and indus­tri­al appli­ca­tions of acid-base catal­y­sis. We hope many peo­ple engag­ing in the acid-base catal­y­sis field par­tic­i­pate in ABC‑7.

The sci­en­tif­ic activ­i­ties of the sym­po­sium will be held at TKP Gar­den City Shi­na­gawa, which is in front of Shi­na­gawa Sta­tion in Tokyo. This area has good access to Nari­ta Inter­na­tion­al Air­port (total time: 70~80 min.) and Hane­da Air­port (Tokyo Inter­na­tion­al air­port) (total time: 15~20 min.).

On detailed infor­ma­tion on abstract sub­mis­sion, reg­is­tra­tion, access to the con­fer­ence venue, and sci­en­tif­ic pro­grams, please vis­it our web­site.

Please note the dead­line for abstract sub­mis­sion is Novem­ber 16, 2012.

Now you can find the titles of Ple­nary and Keynote Lec­tures on the web­site. We look for­ward to meet­ing you at the sym­po­sium.
Best regards,
Takashi Tat­su­mi
Chair­man of ABC‑7
Michikazu Hara
Gen­er­al sec­re­tary of ABC‑7

Travel Grants for Attendance at the International Congress on Catalysis

The Soci­ety grate­ful­ly acknowl­edged the finan­cial sup­port of DOE, NSF, BASF, BP, Süd-Chemie, and Dow for trav­el sup­port for catal­y­sis researchers from the Unit­ed States, Cana­da and Mex­i­co to attend the ICC meet­ing in Munich.

Trav­el assis­tance was pro­vid­ed to:

  • Young fac­ul­ty in a tenure-track posi­tion (Aditya Bahn, Cathy Chin, Phillip Christo­pher, Steven Cross­ley, Lars Grabow, Simon Pod­kolzin, Carsten Siev­ers, Yyriy Roman)
  • Post-doc­tor­al fel­lows (David Fla­her­ty, Mon­i­ca Gar­cia, Raja­mani Gounder, Jan Kopy­scin­s­ki, Alexan­der Okrut, Far­naz Sotood­eh, Alek­san­dra Vojvod­ic).
  • Grad­u­ate stu­dents, all of whom received par­tial sup­port from the indus­tri­al spon­sor and car­ried a named fel­low­ship des­ig­na­tion:
    1. BASF Fel­lows (Andrew Fos­ter, Samia Ilias, Amber Jan­da, Matthew Mon­te­more, Simon Pang, Natal­ie Ray, Di Wu)
    2. BP Fel­lows (Maria Ter­an and Vic­to­ria Whif­f­en)
    3. Dow Fel­lows (Matthew Bouch­er, John Copeland, Shan­non Klaus, Wen-Sheng Lee, Michael Nigra, Jing Lu, and Dario Pri­eto).

The selec­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers were Jing­guang Chen (Chair), Bruce Cook, Enrique Igle­sia and Israel Wachs.