Stuart Soled is 2006 Ciapetta Lecturer

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Stuart Soled of ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. is the 2006 F. G. Ciapetta Lecturer. This award is sponsored by Grace Davison Catalysts and administered by The North American Catalysis Society. The award is given in recognition of substantial contributions to one or more areas in the field of catalysis with emphasis on industrially significant catalysts and catalytic processes and the discovery of new catalytic reactions and systems of potential industrial importance. The Award consists of a plaque, an honorarium and additional money is available to cover traveling expenses to visit many of the local clubs in North America. The local clubs should contact Dr. Soled directly (908-730-2577) to make travel arrangements.

Stu has a long and distinguished record in industrial research. His nominators cited his many contributions to the synthesis, structural and functional characterization, and use of catalytic solids. Stu has made discoveries and fundamental advances in bulk solid oxides, molecular oxide clusters, sulfides, and carbides applied to Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, hydrodesulfurization, oxidation, and acid catalysis. Most recently, his work on novel, mixed metal catalysts have had a dramatic impact on the desulfurization of diesel fuels. These Nebula catalysts offer significantly enhanced activity which allow refiners to retrofit existing hydrotreaters with little additional capital cost and to produce a product which exceeds the governmentally mandated clean fuels standards around the world. Well over one million pounds of the Nebula catalyst has been deployed throughout the world for the production of ultra low sulfur fuels.

Dr soled is probably best know for his work in the area of solid acidity. His 1993 paper on the chemistry of sulfated zirconia has been cited over 100 times in the last five years, and it provides the definitive account of the structural requirements for isomerization of larger alkanes on these materials. He continued this work with the novel family of tungstated zirconias. Stu also led an effort in understanding aspects of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis that are critical components of the AGC-21 process and led the generation of a new generation of more stable catalysts.

Stu has been at ExxonMobil in Annandale, N.J. since 1979 where he is a senior member of the technical staff with the title of Distinguished Research Associate. He received his Ph.D. in 1973 from Brown University and his B.S. in Chemistry from City College of New York (graduated Magna Cum Laude). He has received the 2003 NY Catalysis Society Excellence in Catalysis Award and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 2002 which is given for product innovations and important scientific breakthroughs originating in the State of New Jersey.
John Armor
President, North American Catalysis Society

Heinz Heinemann has passed away

Heinz Heinemann, a long-time lecturer in the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and a chemistry researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, died Nov. 23 of pneumonia at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 92. During a 60-year career in industry and academia, Heinz contributed to the invention and development of 14 commercial fossil fuel processes, received 75 patents and was the author of more than a hundred publications. Among his inventions was a process for converting methanol to gasoline. At his death, he was a distinguished scientist in the Washington office of LBNL. During the period 2001 to 2004, he served as a manager of the Washington Chemical Society (ACS) and as president of its Retired Chemists Group.

Born in Berlin, Germany, he attended the University and Technische Hochschule in Berlin (Munich?). When his doctoral dissertation was rejected because he was Jewish, he made his way to Basel, Switzerland, where he received his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Basel, before coming to the United States in 1938. He became a U.S. citizen in 1944. He worked for several petroleum companies in Louisiana and Texas and won a postdoctoral fellowship at the then-Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie-Mellon University. The fellowship was funded by the government of the Dominican Republic and involved research into ethanol, which was made from the Dominican Republic’s primary cash crop, sugar cane.

He published more than 150 papers and over 50 patents in catalysis and petroleum chemistry, mostly while working for Houdry Process Corp., the MW Kellogg Co. as director of chemical and engineering research, and the Mobil Research and Development Co. as manager of catalysis research. During those years he actively participated in the research and development of 14 commercial processes, including the process for converting methanol to gasoline.

After retiring from industry in 1978, he joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a researcher and became a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley. His research involved coal gasification, catalytic coal liquefaction, hydrodenitrification, nitrogen oxide emission control and the development of a special catalyst that enables methane, the major component of natural gas, to be used to make petrochemicals. The research team he led invented and patented a process known as catalytic oxydehydrogenation.

He was a co-founder of the Philadelphia Catalysis Club, the Catalysis Society of North America and the International Congress of Catalysis, serving as its president from 1956 to 1960. He was the founder of Catalysis Reviews, and worked as its editor for 20 years. He also was Consulting Editor for over 90 books in the Chemical Industries Series, published by Marcel Dekker, Inc.

He received many honors, among them election to the National Academy of Engineering , the Houdry Award of the Catalysis Society, the Murphree Award of the American Chemical Society, the H.H. Lowry Award presented for research he pursued in his seventies, and a Distinguished Scientist/Engineer award of the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, he was elected a member of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research for his support in founding its Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry.

He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Dr. Barbara Tenenbaum of Washington, D.C.; daughter Sue Heinemann of Oakland, Calif.; and son and daughter-in-law Peter M. Heinemann and Dana Kueffner of San Francisco. His first wife, Elaine P. Heinemann, died in 1993 after 46 years of marriage.
Source: December 6, 2005 University of California, Berkeley News (

A New Catalysis Institute in the USA

The Institute for Interfacial Catalysis (IIC) was launched at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in February 2005 as a center to study catalyzed chemical transformations important for a secure energy future. The Institute was established to build and deploy, for the benefit of the research community, new capabilities, particularly tools addressing single site and operando catalysis, that take advantage of revolutionary advances in nanotechnology and high-performance computing. PNNL’s strong catalysis portfolio serves as the foundation for IIC’s interactions and collaborations with fundamental and applied scientists across the Nation and around the globe.

There is a wealth of information on their resources at

Catalysis and the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Updated: 12:08 p.m. ET Oct. 5, 2005
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Americans Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chauvin of France won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for discoveries that let industry create drugs and advanced plastics in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way.

The trio won the award for their development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis — a way to swap groups of atoms between molecules that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences likened to a dance in which couples change partners.

Timing for future NACS Awards

Each of the 4 NACS awards are announced every 2 years. The Ciapetta Lectureship Award is already open for nominations and will close on November 30, 2005.

  • Nominations for the Houdry Award will open May 2006, close August 1, 2006
  • Nominations for the Emmett Award will open August 2006 and close Nov. 30, 2006
  • Nominations for the Burwell Lectureship will open January 2007 and close April 1,2007

Details for submitting nominations and the composition of the nomination package on given under the Awards folder for each award.
John Armor
President, North American Catalysis Society

Ciapetta Lectureship award for 2006

Nominations are now being accepted for the next Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis Award given by the North American Catalysis Society. The award is described below.
The F.G. Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis is cosponsored by Grace Davison, a business unit of W. R. Grace & Co and The North American Catalysis Society. The Society administers this Lectureship. It is to be awarded biennially in even numbered years. The Award consists of a plaque and an honorarium of $5,000. An additional $4,500 is available to cover travelling expenses. The honorarium is provided completely by Davison. The Award is given in recognition of substantial contributions to one or more areas in the field of catalysis with emphasis on industrially significant catalysts and catalytic processes and the discovery of new catalytic reactions and systems of potential industrial importance. The awardee will be selected on the basis of his/her contributions to the catalytic literature and the current timeliness of these research contributions. The recipient may be invited to (1) visit and lecture to each of the affiliated Clubs/Societies with which mutually satisfactory arrangements can be made and (2) prepare a review paper(s) for publication covering these lectures. Publication will be in an appropriate periodical.

Nominations and supporting documents (6 copies) must be submitted before 30 November 2005 to:
John N. Armor
President, North American Catalysis Society
1608 Barkwood Dr
Orefield, PA 18069 USA
Phone: 610-395-1406
The nomination should include a cover letter by the nominator detailing the qualifications of the nominee. At least 1-2 seconding letters are helpful. A copy of the resume of the nominee should be included and any other relevant material to support the nomination. Selection will be made in December 2005-January 2006.

WSJ Technology Innovation Awards

Technology Innovation Awards

From the Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2005
In today’s fiercely competitive business environment, it’s more important than ever to discover and nurture new ideas. That’s why The Wall Street Journal presents the Technology Innovation Awards. The Journal is looking for technological breakthroughs in such areas as medicine, biotechnology, software, hardware, the Internet, wireless and broadcasting. Winners will be featured in The Wall Street Journal Europe on Oct. 28. For an application form and more information, go to

Entry deadline is Aug. 12.

Anyone have an entry in the catalysis area?- If so, contact the above address.

New NAM Officers for 2005-2009

At the recent Board meeting of the North American Catalysis Society, elections were held for all officer positions. In addition, the Board voted to expand the role of the Newsletter editor to include web page editions. The title of this position will be Communications Director, which is to be an elected position with voting privelges at the Board meeting. The new slate of officers for 2005-2009 are

  • President, John Armor of
  • Vice President, Enrique Iglesia, University of California at Berkeley
  • Secretary, Umit Ozkan, Ohio State University
  • Treasurer, John Byrne, Engelhard Corporation
  • Communications Director, Edrick Morales, Lyondell Chemical Company
  • Foreign Secretary, Curt Conner, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

I also wish to express my thanks to those who have left the Board

  • Former Vice President, Gary McVicker
  • Former Newsletter Editor, Mike D’Amore
  • Former Directors at Large, Kathy Taylor and Gary McVicker

In additon, since no Board member should hold two voting roles, John Armor has stepped aside as the newly elected Director-at-Large and Stu Soled of ExxonMobil has been appointed to fill that role.

Israel Wachs receives Herman Pines Award

The Catalysis Club of Chicago is pleased to announce that the 2005 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis is presented to Professor Israel E. Wachs from Lehigh University.

The Herman Pines Award is presented annually by the Catalysis Club of Chicago at its Spring Symposium for outstanding research in the field of catalysis. Herman Pines was an outstanding research scientist, and his work revolutionized the general understanding of organic chemistry, particularly the chemistry of hydrocarbons interacting with strong acids. The award in his honor is sponsored by UOP where Herman began his industrial career in 1930 and amassed 145 US patents over a 23-year period. The award is being co-sponsored by the Catalysis Club of Chicago of which Professor Pines was a founding member.

Formal presentation of the award will take place at the 2005 Spring Symposium of the Catalysis Club of Chicago on Wednesday, May 18, 2005, where Professor Wachs will present the keynote address.

Directors-at-Large for next 4 years

From the mail balloting of the membership, 4 new Directors-at-Large have been elected to serve from the next Board meeting (May 2005) for the next 4 years. They are Bruce Gates, Jingguang Chen, Chris Marshall, and John Armor. Two runner-up candidates will be designated as Alternates; they are Stu Soled and Dan Resasco.