First Electronic ONLY Version of the Newsletter

The first issue of the 2006 Newsletter is available at
At the 2005 Board of Directors Meeting, the Board agreed that in the future the Newsletter will be converted to electronic distribution only. Starting with this issue, the Newsletter will be produced in Adobe Acrobat and posted on the NACS web site for viewing and distribution. If you wish to receive a paper copy, please notify Edrick Morales, Communications Director, at with your name and postal address. An e-mail with the highlights and a link to the newsletter will be sent to all NACS members in our distribution list.

Nominations open for next Eugene J. Houdry Award

Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis

The Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis is sponsored by Süd-Chemie, Inc. It is administered by The Catalysis Society and is awarded biennially in odd numbered years, generally at the North American meeting of The Catalysis Society, where the awardee will be asked to give a plenary lecture. The award consists of a plaque and a prize of $3,000. An additional $500 is available for otherwise unreimbursed travel expenses.

The purpose of the Award is to recognize and encourage 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.

Selection of the Award winner wiil be made by a committee of renowned scientists and engineers appointed by the President of The North American Catalysis Society. Selection shall be made without regard for age, sex, nationality or affiliation. Posthumous awards will be made only when knowledge of the awardee’s death is received after announcement of the Award Committee’s decision. Nominations for the Award should be made before July 1,2006 and should present the nominee’s qualifications, accomplishments and biography. A critical evaluation of the significance of publications and patents should be made as well as a statement of the particular contribution(s) on which the nomination is based. Nomination documents should be submitted in six copies to the President of the Society along with no more than two seconding letters.

All nomination packages for the Houdry Award should be addressed to John Armor, President, North American Catalysis Society; 1608 Barkwood Dr., Orefield, PA 18069 USA .

James C. Stevens is the recipient of the ACS award in Industrial Chemistry

James C. Stevens, a research fellow at Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas, is the recipient of the ACS award in Industrial Chemistry for discovery and commercial development of catalysts used in the polyolefin production. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to chemical research in the industrial context.

His work on designed ligands for titanium- and zirconium-based catalysts led to the discovery of the “single-site, constrained-geometry catalyst system” in the late 1980s. Stevens and his colleagues refined the technology, transforming it “from a lab curiosity to a commercial reality” for the production of polyolefins. More recently, his collaboration with Symyx Technologies led to the discovery of a new class of hafnium-based single-site catalysts for the polymerization of propylene. Stevens holds 75 patents and his work have resulted in commercial success for Dow. The catalysts he helped to develop are used in the production of more than 1 billion pounds of plastics and elastomers per year.

Tobin J. Marks, a catalysis chemistry professor at Northwestern University, says Stevens is “the kind of superb industrial scientist and technologist who comes along only once in a generation.” Marks adds that Stevens’ work “has permanently changed the face of modern polymerization science, and has led to a number of multi-billion-dollar processes that produce cleaner, greener, more recyclable, and more processible polymeric materials than ever believed possible. Moreover, due to Stevens’ incisive work, the intimate mechanistic details of catalyst function are understood at a level never before thought possible for an industrial olefin-polymerization catalyst.”
Past Recipients

  • 1991 James F. Roth
  • 1992 David R. Bryant
  • 1993 Larry F. Thompson
  • 1994 Marion D. Francis
  • 1995 Lynn H. Slaugh
  • 1996 Gordon W. Calundann
  • 1997 Robert M. Sydansk
  • 1998 William C. Drinkard, Jr.
  • 1999 Madan M. Bhasin
  • 2000 Guido Sartori
  • 2001 Paul S. Anderson
  • 2002 Bipin V. Vora
  • 2003 Bruce E. Maryanoff
  • 2004 Joseph C. Salamone
  • 2005 Edwin A. Chandross
  • 2006 James C. Stevens

James Dumesic is the recipient of the Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis

James A. Dumesic, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of the Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis sponsored by the Gabor A. & Judith K. Somorjai Endowment Fund.

Prof. Dumesic research group is currently working in the broad areas of heterogeneous catalysis and surface science. Particular emphasis is given to measuring surface properties under reaction conditions and relating these properties to catalyst performance. In addition, they use computational techniques such as quantum chemical calculations and chemical reactor simulations to help them identify new catalytic systems for study.

This award recognizes outstanding theoretical, experimental, or developmental research resulting in the advancement of understanding or application of catalysis. The award was established by the ACS Board of Directors in 2002. It is supported by the Gabor A. Somorjai Endowment Fund. A prior ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogenous or Heterogeneous Catalysis sponsored by the Shell Oil Foundation was established in 1997.
Past Recipients

  • 1999 Sir John Meurig Thomas
  • 2000 Gabor A. Somorjai
  • 2001 Alexis T. Bell
  • 2002 Jack H. Lunsford
  • 2003 Robert H. Grubbs
  • 2004 Bruce C. Gates
  • 2005 D. Wayne Goodman
  • 2006 James A. Dumesic

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.