In Memoriam: Jerzy Haber (1930–2010)

Pro­fes­sor Jerzy Haber (1930–2010), an out­stand­ing sci­en­tist, Leader and Tutor of many gen­er­a­tions of Pol­ish chemists, a remark­able organ­is­er of research, died on Jan­u­ary 1, 2010. He was an inter­na­tion­al­ly acclaimed spe­cial­ist in sol­id state chem­istry, catal­y­sis and sur­face phe­nom­e­na who cre­at­ed and direct­ed for many years the Insti­tute of Catal­y­sis and Sur­face Chem­istry of Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences in Krakow.

Jerzy Haber was born on May 7, 1930 in Krakow and linked with this city his entire pro­fes­sion­al and pri­vate life. Here, in 1951, he grad­u­at­ed in chem­istry from the Fac­ul­ty of Math­e­mat­ics, Physics and Chem­istry of the Jagiel­lon­ian Uni­ver­si­ty. After grad­u­a­tion, he took posi­tion of a research assis­tant at the AGH Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy in Krakow, work­ing on physi­co-chem­i­cal prop­er­ties of tran­si­tion met­al oxides in the research group of Pro­fes­sor Adam Bielañs­ki. In his research, he demon­strat­ed a cor­re­la­tion between changes in their elec­tron prop­er­ties and cat­alyt­ic activ­i­ty (A.Bielañski, J. Dereñ, J. Haber, Nature 179 (1957) 668). This was one of the first exper­i­men­tal con­fir­ma­tions of the elec­tron the­o­ry of catal­y­sis in the world. His doc­tor­al the­sis ‘A rela­tion­ship between the elec­tric con­duc­tiv­i­ty of a work­ing cat­a­lyst and its cat­alyt­ic activ­i­ty’, accom­plished at the age of 26, con­cerned the same sub­ject.
In 1960–1961, he stayed as a post­doc­tor­al fel­low at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol, where he under­took with Pro­fes­sor F. S. Stone a pio­neer­ing at that time research on the inter­pre­ta­tion of pho­toad­sorp­tion and pho­to­catal­y­sis on the basis of the crys­tal field the­o­ry, the results of which have been quot­ed until today in the text­books and mono­graphs (J. Haber, F.S. Stone, Trans. Fara­day Soc. 59 (1963) 19).

On his return to Poland, he con­tin­ued his work at the AGH Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy until 1968 first as a research fel­low and then as an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor. He was an excel­lent lec­tur­er. His lec­tures on phys­i­cal chem­istry attract­ed crowds of stu­dents of var­i­ous depart­ments of the uni­ver­si­ty.

In 1968, he was appoint­ed direc­tor of an inde­pen­dent Lab­o­ra­to­ry of Catal­y­sis and Sur­face Chem­istry of Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences (since 1978, the Insti­tute). The Insti­tute was Jerzy Haber’s life accom­plish­ment. He mas­ter­mind­ed the con­cept of cre­at­ing a plat­form for a mutu­al exchange of ideas and research in the entire area of the phys­i­cal chem­istry of gas-sol­id, gas-liq­uid and sol­id-sol­id inter­faces. He stood behind the spec­tac­u­lar devel­op­ment of the Insti­tute which start­ed in a few rent­ed premis­es with 28 mem­bers of staff, includ­ing just 5 in catal­y­sis sen­su stricte, and attained dur­ing 30 years its own impres­sive build­ing, unique research equip­ment and almost 100 mem­bers of staff, includ­ing 15 pro­fes­sors and asso­ci­at­ed pro­fes­sors, spe­cial­is­ing in diverse aspects of catal­y­sis, sur­face chem­istry and col­loids. In spite of dif­fi­cult times of polit­i­cal­ly divid­ed Europe, the Insti­tute has become an ele­ment in the inter­na­tion­al research net­work, a place of free flow of ideas, open to con­tacts with the entire world, a true cen­tre of excel­lence in its area.

At the Insti­tute, Jerzy Haber ini­ti­at­ed and devel­oped broad research, both fun­da­men­tal and applied, in diverse areas of het­ero­ge­neous and homoge­nous catal­y­sis, as well as sol­id state chem­istry applied to catal­y­sis. In par­tic­u­lar, his research con­cerned oxide sys­tems – cat­a­lysts of the selec­tive oxi­da­tion process­es, as well as zeo­lites, cat­a­lysts based on met­al­lo-organ­ic com­plex­es, and cat­a­lysts used in the envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, to men­tion just the most impor­tant research direc­tions.

The inves­ti­ga­tions have led to the for­mu­la­tion of a the­o­ry of cat­alyt­ic oxi­da­tion of hydro­car­bons and have intro­duced into the world lit­er­a­ture the con­cept of elec­trophilic and nucle­ophilic oxi­da­tion. The clas­si­fi­ca­tion revealed a cor­re­la­tion between the cat­alyt­ic prop­er­ties of tran­si­tion met­al oxides and their struc­ture, and has become foun­da­tion of the sci­ence-based selec­tion of the cat­a­lysts. Pro­fes­sor Haber demon­strat­ed that the abil­i­ty of oxides of tran­si­tion met­als of groups V – VII to add selec­tive­ly oxy­gen atoms to the hydro­car­bon chain of an organ­ic mol­e­cule is linked with the phe­nom­e­non of crys­tal shear­ing. Inves­ti­ga­tions of sin­gle-crys­tal oxide cat­a­lysts have led to a gen­er­al con­clu­sion that the con­sec­u­tive ele­men­tary steps of the cat­alyt­ic reac­tion may pro­ceed on dif­fer­ent crys­tal faces (struc­ture-sen­si­tive reac­tions).

Jerzy Haber was first in the world to ini­ti­ate research on the descrip­tion of ele­men­tary steps of the reac­tion of cat­alyt­ic oxi­da­tion of hydro­car­bons using quan­tum chem­i­cal meth­ods. They revealed that the reac­tion path depends on the ori­en­ta­tion of react­ing mol­e­cules one with respect to anoth­er and to the cat­a­lyst sur­face which under­goes restruc­tur­ing.

The inves­ti­ga­tions on the homoge­nous reac­tions of hydro­car­bon oxi­da­tion with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of tran­si­tion met­al por­phyrins as mod­el cat­a­lysts, allowed reveal­ing role of the elec­tron struc­ture of tran­si­tion met­al ions as active cen­tres for these reac­tions, and for­mu­lat­ing the mech­a­nism of ini­ti­a­tion of the chain reac­tions and the chain devel­op­ment step.

Jerzy Haber was active­ly com­mit­ted to organ­is­ing research in Poland, among oth­er by coor­di­nat­ing the nation­al research pro­gramme in catal­y­sis. Since 1971 he was full pro­fes­sor in chem­i­cal sci­ences, since 1973 a cor­re­spond­ing mem­ber and since1983 a full mem­ber of the Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, since 1990 a mem­ber of the Pre­sid­i­um of the Acad­e­my, Pres­i­dent of the Krakow Branch of the Acad­e­my since 2003, a full mem­ber of the Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Arts and Sci­ences since 1991, the direc­tor of its Class of Math­e­mat­ics, Physics and Chem­istry, 1999–2008, a found­ing mem­ber of the Pol­ish Club of Catal­y­sis and its Pres­i­dent, 1992–2007, a mem­ber of Research Coun­cil to the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic, 1991–95, a mem­ber of the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Research Degrees, 1975–81 and 2000-06, and a mem­ber of the Nation­al Coun­cil of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, 1991–2002. For his research and admin­is­tra­tive activ­i­ty, he was award­ed among oth­ers the doc­tor­ate hon­oris causa by the Marie Curie-Sklodows­ka Uni­ver­si­ty in Lublin, the Research Prize of the Prime Min­is­ter, the Com­man­der Cross with Star of the Order of Polo­nia Resti­tu­ta.

Excel­lent eru­di­tion, organ­i­sa­tion­al tal­ents, flu­en­cy in sev­er­al lan­guages, friend­ly atti­tude to all, final­ly ease in estab­lish­ing con­tacts and social skills made Jerzy Haber a val­ued mem­ber of many inter­na­tion­al bod­ies and a pop­u­lar lec­tur­er. He hold a num­ber of func­tions in inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions and organ­i­sa­tions: among oth­ers Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of Reac­tiv­i­ty of Solids, 1976–84, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion on Col­loid and Sur­face Chem­istry Includ­ing Catal­y­sis IUPAC, 1977–87, Pres­i­dent of the Sub­com­mit­tee of Cat­a­lysts Char­ac­ter­i­za­tion IUPAC, 1978–90, Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Coun­cil of Catal­y­sis, 1988–92 and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties, 1997–99. The French Chem­i­cal Soci­ety award­ed him the Pierre et Marie Curie Prize and the Ger­man Soci­ety of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and Biotech­nol­o­gy — the medal of Alwin Mit­tasch. He was doc­tor hon­oris causa of the Uni­ver­sité Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, mem­ber of the Acad­e­mia Euro­pea and the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ence of Ukraine. He received the Order of the Aca­d­e­m­ic Palms of the French Repub­lic.

Jerzy Haber was wide­ly acclaimed in Poland and world­wide as author of sci­en­tif­ic papers: he pub­lished near­ly 530 orig­i­nal papers and 6 books, received more than 50 patents, pre­sent­ed 115 ple­nary and invit­ed lec­tures at inter­na­tion­al con­gress­es. He super­vised 30 doc­tor­al projects and was mem­ber of edi­to­r­i­al boards of many sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals, includ­ing the most impor­tant ones for his research area: Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis (1976–82), Catal­y­sis Reviews, Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing (1976–85), Reac­tion Kinet­ics and Catal­y­sis Let­ters (od 1976), Jour­nal of Chem­i­cal Tech­nol­o­gy and Biotech­nol­o­gy (since 1979), Pol­ish Jour­nal of Applied Chem­istry (since 1979), Revue de Chimie Minerale/European Jour­nal of Sol­id State Chemistry/Solid State Sci­ences (since 1980), Applied Catal­y­sis (1981–84), Bul­letin of the Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, Chem­i­cal Series (1981–2004), Reac­tiv­i­ty of Solids (1985–90), Catal­y­sis Let­ters (since 1987), Bul­letin des Sociétés Chim­iques Belges (1991–1997), Pol­ish Jour­nal of Chem­istry (1992–1996), Comptes Ren­dus de l’A­cad­e­mie de Sci­ences, Paris (since 1998).

Cit­i­zen of the world, invit­ed to con­gress­es and meet­ings to all cor­ners of the globe, vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor of the uni­ver­si­ties in Bel­gium, France, Japan and Cana­da, he remained dur­ing all his life close­ly linked to his native Poland and city of Krakow. Enthu­si­as­tic con­nois­seur of art and his­toric mon­u­ments, he ini­ti­at­ed at his Insti­tute mod­ern research on the dete­ri­o­ra­tion mech­a­nisms and pro­tec­tion of his­toric objects and sup­port­ed the activ­i­ties of the Coun­cil of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion in Krakow. A reg­u­lar con­cert- and art exhi­bi­tion-goer. From his trav­els all over the world, he was return­ing to his beau­ti­ful house in Krakow, gar­den, dogs, exquis­ite library, col­lec­tion of prints and maps, with a pro­fes­sion­al col­lec­tion of views of his city. Charm­ing host of social meet­ings, pos­sess­ing a rare tal­ent of lis­ten­ing to the oth­ers. He is sur­vived by his wife Han­na, an archi­tect and art-lover, a con­stant com­pan­ion in all his under­tak­ings.
Writ­ten by friends
Feb­ru­ary 2010

Dr. Jeffrey T. Miller is the recipient of the NACS 2010 F.G. Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis

Dr. Jef­frey T. Miller, cur­rent­ly Het­ero­ge­neous Catal­y­sis Group Leader at Argonne Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, is the recip­i­ent of the 2010 F.G. Cia­pet­ta Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis Award spon­sored by the Grace Davi­son oper­at­ing seg­ment of W.R. Grace & Co. and The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The Award is pre­sent­ed bien­ni­al­ly in even num­bered years and con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­i­um of $5,000. The award plaque will be pre­sent­ed at the clos­ing ban­quet dur­ing the 2011 Meet­ing of the North Amer­i­can catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Dr. Miller will present lec­tures at the reg­u­lar meet­ing of the affil­i­at­ed local clubs and soci­ety dur­ing 2010 and 2011.

Dr. Miller is being rec­og­nized for his con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture and to the prac­tice of catal­y­sis. His ded­i­ca­tion and inten­si­ty in the pur­suit of knowl­edge has led to indus­tri­al appli­ca­tions of his inven­tions and to a large num­ber of sci­en­tif­ic papers. His excel­lent con­tri­bu­tions have advanced our knowl­edge of fun­da­men­tal cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na, while his inter­ac­tions with acad­e­mia have enriched the edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence of many grad­u­ate stu­dents.

His research at BP/Amoco led to the devel­op­ment of sev­er­al refin­ing and petro­chem­i­cal cat­a­lysts that remain in use. These include cat­a­lysts and process­es for upgrad­ing of high­ly aro­mat­ic feeds, for toluene dis­pro­por­tion­a­tion and transalky­la­tion reac­tions, and for con­ver­sion of waste chem­i­cals to high-val­ue aro­mat­ic chem­i­cals and fuel com­po­nents. Through his aca­d­e­m­ic col­lab­o­ra­tions, he has con­tributed to our fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing of acid-cat­alyzed hydro­car­bon crack­ing by zeo­lites and to the syn­the­sis, char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and func­tion of met­al and alloy nanopar­ti­cles. He is wide­ly regard­ed as a leader in the appli­ca­tion of X‑ray absorp­tion meth­ods dur­ing catal­y­sis to probe syn­thet­ic path­ways, iden­ti­fy active sites, and deter­mine the dynam­ics of spe­cif­ic ele­men­tary steps with­in com­plex cat­alyt­ic sequences. Upon retire­ment from BP/Amoco, he joined Argonne Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, where he con­tin­ues his research on future sources of ener­gy and his ped­a­gog­i­cal endeav­ors in the appli­ca­tion of X‑ray spec­tro­scop­ic meth­ods to the study of cat­a­lysts and cat­alyt­ic chemistries.

Haren Gandhi has passed away

Haren Gand­hi, Hen­ry Ford Tech­ni­cal Fel­low, has passed away.
Details are includ­ed in Ford’s online news at,ExemplaryRoleModel.aspx

David Thompson has passed away

The Gold Bul­letin edi­to­r­i­al com­mem­o­rat­ing Dr. David T. Thomp­son is avail­able at

Gary McVicker has passed away

Gary B. McVick­er passed away on Jan­u­ary 22, 2010 sur­round­ed by friends and fam­i­ly. The catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty has lost one of its lead­ers and the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety one of his loy­al and thought­ful sup­port­ers. An obit­u­ary will appear here short­ly.
Details are includ­ed in the local obit­u­ary: Hun­ter­don Coun­ty’s week­ly paper

Professor Nicholas Delgass is the recipient of the NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis

Pro­fes­sor W. Nicholas Del­gass (Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing, Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty) is the recip­i­ent of the inau­gur­al NACS Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis. This Award will be pre­sent­ed every two years to rec­og­nize an indi­vid­ual who has advanced cat­alyt­ic chem­istry or engi­neer­ing through both sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice to the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty and out­stand­ing tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments. The award includes an hon­o­rar­i­um ($5,000) and a plaque. The lat­ter will be pre­sent­ed at the clos­ing ban­quet dur­ing the 2011 NAM in Detroit.

The career of Pro­fes­sor Del­gass, over its four decades, exem­pli­fies this com­bi­na­tion of pio­neer­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence of catal­y­sis, ded­i­ca­tion and rig­or in the edu­ca­tion of sci­en­tists and engi­neers, and ser­vice to oth­ers in the advance­ment of catal­y­sis. His research achieve­ments include the syn­the­sis of nov­el cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als, the devel­op­ment of mod­ern spec­tro­scop­ic meth­ods for cat­a­lyst char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and the use of rig­or­ous kinet­ic and spec­tro­scop­ic meth­ods to elu­ci­date the mech­a­nism of com­plex cat­alyt­ic reac­tions on solids. He is lead­ing a team that is devel­op­ing and imple­ment­ing mod­el-based approach­es for the design and effi­cient opti­miza­tion of new cat­a­lysts. Pro­fes­sor Del­gass has been a remark­ably gift­ed and ded­i­cat­ed teacher, both in the class­room and in the research lab­o­ra­to­ry. He has been rec­og­nized with the most pres­ti­gious teach­ing hon­ors on the Pur­due cam­pus. In his ser­vice to stu­dents and peers as Asso­ciate Head of the School of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing, he has shown a true com­mit­ment to men­tor and edu­cate the next gen­er­a­tion of chem­i­cal engi­neers. His pas­sion for men­tor­ing grad­u­ate stu­dents and young fac­ul­ty was rec­og­nized with the inau­gur­al Col­lege of Engi­neer­ing Men­tor­ing Excel­lence Award. Many among our catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty, in acad­e­mia and in indus­try, have been touched by his thought­ful advice. For many years, he was the zeal­ous guardian and gen­tle stew­ard of the archives of our dis­ci­pline, as Edi­tor-in-Chief of Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis. He has ded­i­cat­ed his time and efforts to the orga­ni­za­tion of the 11th Inter­na­tion­al Con­gress on Catal­y­sis and of numer­ous sym­posia at AIChE, ACS and Catal­y­sis Soci­ety meet­ings. It is a fit­ting ges­ture of thanks that our com­mu­ni­ty has cho­sen to rec­og­nize the schol­ar­ship and ded­i­ca­tion of Pro­fes­sor Del­gass with this inau­gur­al award for ser­vice.

Prof. Anders Holmen is the recipient of the 2010 Award for Excellence in Natural Gas Conversion

Pro­fes­sor Anders Hol­men (Nor­we­gian Uni­ver­si­ty of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy) has been cho­sen as the recip­i­ent of the 2010 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 the sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy for the con­ver­sion of nat­ur­al gas to valu­able prod­ucts. The pre­vi­ous award recip­i­ents are Jack Lunsford, Jens Ros­trup-Nielsen, Lan­ny Schmidt, Enrique Igle­sia, and David Trimm.

Pro­fes­sor Hol­men is being rec­og­nized for his achieve­ments in advanc­ing con­cepts and prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions of direct and indi­rect routes for the effi­cient uti­liza­tion of nat­ur­al gas. He has con­tributed fun­da­men­tal con­cepts for the con­ver­sion of methane to acety­lene in high-tem­per­a­ture short-con­tact time reac­tors. His research group has devel­oped and used meth­ods for mea­sur­ing the dynam­ics of car­bon for­ma­tion dur­ing methane reac­tions at con­di­tions rel­e­vant to indus­tri­al prac­tice and for the elu­ci­da­tion of the kinet­ics and mech­a­nism of par­tial oxi­da­tion of light alka­nes. Through­out his career, Pro­fes­sor Hol­men has con­tributed to our under­stand­ing and prac­tice of the Fis­ch­er-Trop­sch syn­the­sis, specif­i­cal­ly by unrav­el­ing the com­plex effects of water on reac­tion rate and selec­tiv­i­ty and the role of Co crys­tal­lite size and of sup­ports on cat­a­lyst reac­tiv­i­ty and sta­bil­i­ty.

The award con­sists of a plaque and a mon­e­tary prize, which will pre­sent­ed at the 9th Nat­ur­al Gas Con­ver­sion Sym­po­sium (NGCS) to be held in Lyon, France (May 30-June 3, 2010). Pro­fes­sor Hol­men will also present the Award Ple­nary Lec­ture dur­ing this meet­ing.

The selec­tion com­mit­tee for this Award con­sists of pre­vi­ous awardees togeth­er with sev­er­al mem­bers of the NGCS Inter­na­tion­al Advi­so­ry Board. Nom­i­na­tions are con­sid­ered from a broad cross-sec­tion of aca­d­e­m­ic and indus­tri­al mem­bers of the nat­ur­al gas con­ver­sion com­mu­ni­ty.

ORCS Award Winners

The Organ­ic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Soci­ety is pleased to announce its award win­ners, who will be hon­ored at the 23rd ORCS Con­fer­ence March 14–18, 2010 in Mon­terey, CA USA.

Dr. Hans-Ulrich Blaser of Solvias AG has been select­ed as the 2009 Paul Rylan­der Awardee for excel­lence in catal­y­sis, notably for impor­tant devel­op­ments in chemos­e­lec­tive and stere­os­e­lec­tive hydro­gena­tions, includ­ing the the syn­the­sis of (S)- metachlor.

Prof. Matthias Beller of Leib­niz Insti­tute for Catal­y­sis has been select­ed as the 2010 Paul Rylan­der Awardee for excel­lence in catal­y­sis based on his sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions devel­op­ing and apply­ing nov­el homo­ge­neous cat­a­lysts to organ­ic syn­the­sis. His work on Pd-cat­alyzed cross-cou­pling, reduc­tive car­bony­la­tion and hydroaminomethy­la­tion, to name a few, have opened new con­cepts in the con­struc­tion of com­plex organ­ic mol­e­cules.

Dr. Steve Schmidt of W.R. Grace & Co. has been select­ed as the 2010 Mur­ray Raney Awardee for advance­ments in the tech­nol­o­gy of acti­vat­ed base met­al cat­a­lysts. His work on the devel­op­ment of plat­inum group met­al pro­mot­ed Raney® cat­a­lysts was notable for elu­ci­dat­ing fun­da­men­tal prop­er­ties and also in iden­ti­fy­ing com­mer­cial­ly rel­e­vant appli­ca­tions.

Prof. Robert Augus­tine, Emer­i­tus Seton Hall Uni­ver­si­ty is the 2010 Rus­sell Malz Awardee for dis­tin­guished ser­vice to the Organ­ic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Prof. Augus­tine was part of the found­ing group estab­lish­ing ORCS, played a sig­nif­i­cant role in gov­er­nance of the Soci­ety serv­ing 20+ years on the Board and as the Chair of the 1986 con­fer­ence.

More infor­ma­tion about ORCS and its 23rd Con­fer­ence March 14–18, 2010 can be found at our web­site,

A note from your incoming President

I am hon­ored by this oppor­tu­ni­ty to serve our com­mu­ni­ty and in awe of the chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties that it presents.

I speak with the grate­ful voice of our com­mu­ni­ty in acknowl­edg­ing the ded­i­ca­tion and con­tri­bu­tions of the out­go­ing offi­cers: John Armor and Umit Ozkan and of the con­tin­u­ing offi­cers John Byrne and Edrick Morales. I also wel­come Bruce Cook, Hong-Xin Li, and C.Y. Chen as new offi­cers and thank them for their com­mit­ment to serve.

The youth, vig­or, and qual­i­ty evi­dent at our 21st NAM in San Fran­cis­co served to con­firm the intel­lec­tu­al and finan­cial health of our dis­ci­pline and of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Catal­y­sis con­tin­ues to serve as the enabling dis­ci­pline in ener­gy sup­ply and con­ver­sion, in the syn­the­sis of fuels and chem­i­cals, and in our thought­ful care for the envi­ron­ment; it remains an essen­tial con­trib­u­tor to qual­i­ty of life and to sus­tain­able growth in the world at large. As a dis­ci­pline, its vis­i­bil­i­ty and its sup­port research base con­tin­ue to grow, fueled by a com­bi­na­tion of intel­lec­tu­al advances, new con­cepts and tools, evolv­ing soci­etal needs, and a con­sis­tent track record of prac­ti­cal impact.

The Soci­ety remains in excel­lent finan­cial health. Its long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to serve the com­mu­ni­ty remains firm­ly entrenched with­in our very active local clubs and their ded­i­cat­ed lead­ers and mem­bers and amongst their coun­ter­parts in the nation­al orga­ni­za­tion. We are com­mit­ted to con­tin­ue to return to our mem­bers the ben­e­fits of their ded­i­ca­tion by grow­ing our sup­port for new gen­er­a­tions of researchers and ideas, so that they enter safe­ly and choose to stay. To bal­ance nov­el­ty with his­to­ry, we intend to expand our ini­tia­tives to pre­serve and pro­claim our her­itage and, in doing so, to rec­og­nize the con­tri­bu­tions of the intel­lec­tu­al forces that shaped the con­cepts and tools upon which we build our future as a catal­y­sis dis­ci­pline.
We encour­age your com­ments and sug­ges­tions, as well as your involve­ment in all activ­i­ties and ini­tia­tives of the Soci­ety. You can always reach me via email at
Enrique Igle­sia
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety
Berke­ley, CA
20 Octo­ber 2009

Nominations open for Award for Excellence in Natural Gas Conversion — Deadline is November 1, 2009

The Award for Excel­lence in Nat­ur­al Gas Con­ver­sion is spon­sored by the Nat­ur­al Gas Con­ver­sion Board and its Inter­na­tion­al Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee. The award has been pre­sent­ed just 5 times in the past twen­ty years, and rec­og­nizes indi­vid­u­als who — in the eyes of their peers — have made note­wor­thy con­tri­bu­tions in the field of nat­ur­al gas con­ver­sion and the devel­op­ment of tech­nolo­gies that are like­ly to play an impor­tant part in meet­ing the world’s chem­i­cal and fuel require­ments in the years ahead.

Please vis­it the award web page at for addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion and the nom­i­na­tion process.