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.

Opportunity for free catalyst testing

TDA Research, Inc., under contract to the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, is soliciting candidate catalysts that may be able to detoxify chemical warfare agents under ambient conditions. DTRA seeks to develop catalytic decontamination capability that would protect against chemical warfare agents without needing to store and transport large volumes of decontaminating liquids. Candidate catalysts will be sent directly by the various contributing researchers to an independent surety laboratory for testing with chemical agents HD, GB, and VX. Catalysts are sought that are active against one or more of these chemical agents. Catalysts need not be chemically identified, other than providing sufficient data on safe handling and disposal. Catalyst samples will not be subjected to chemical analysis.

After testing, catalyst samples will be disposed of and will not be returned. Candidate catalysts will be tested if there is a reasonable expectation that they would be shelf stable for prolonged storage (5-10 years) at unregulated temperatures (up to 120 ºF). Catalysts that are known to produce free radicals will not be tested in this program, since free radicals are known to produce complex and potentially dangerous product mixtures. Catalysts will be eligible for testing whether or not they have been designed to detoxify chemical warfare agents and regardless of the amount of previous testing. Individual researchers may submit multiple catalysts for testing, although budget limitations may dictate how many candidate materials will be tested. Researchers will be provided with a report documenting the performance of their catalyst samples against chemical warfare agents, including details of the testing protocols and comparisons to other materials tested.

To participate in this program or for more information, please contact
Bryan Smith, Ph.D.
Senior Chemical Engineer
TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
FAX 303-422-7763

Fabio Ribeiro awarded NY Catalysis Society Excellence in Catalysis Award

The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York is pleased to announce that Professor Fabio Ribeiro of Purdue University is the 2005 recipient of the Society’s Excellence in Catalysis Award, sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. Professor Ribeiro is being recognized for his creativity and outstanding accomplishments in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. His work is broadly recognized and characterized by complete attention to detail, and careful experimental design to precisely answer important questions in catalysis. This award recognizes Professor Ribeiro for his use of the combination of structural characterization, chemical kinetics, and ab initio calculations to understand catalytic systems at a fundamental level. Professor Ribeiro’s career is marked by success and achievement at every stage including graduate and post graduate studies with Michel Boudart and Gabor Somorjai, industrial research at Catalytica Incorporated, and faculty appointments at Worcester Polytechnic and PurdueUniversity. In a relatively short period of time, Professor Ribeiro has provided key insights into numerous important and diverse catalytic systems, such as catalytic combustion, hydrodechlorination, hydrocarbon rearrangement on alloy surfaces, and properties of oxygen-modified transition metal carbides.

V. N. Ipatieff Lectureship

The Northwestern University Center for Catalysis and Surface Science is pleased to announce that Dr. Enrique Iglesia, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley will serve as the V. N. Ipatieff Lecturer for 2005.

The V. N. Ipatieff Lectureship was established in 1988 to enhance the educational experience of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers by sponsoring extended, up to one month, visits to the Center by internationally distinguished researchers in catalysis. The lectureship is named after Professor Vladimir N. Ipatieff, the father of high-pressure heterogeneous catalysis and the founder of the Ipatieff High Pressure Laboratory at Northwestern University. Previous V. N. Ipatieff lecturers include Prof. Helmut Knözinger, Prof. Jack Lunsford, Dr. Pierre Gallezot, Dr. Werner Haag, Prof. D. Wayne Goodman, Prof. Rutger A. van Santen, Dr. George Parshall, Prof. Gary Haller, Prof. Makoto Misono, Prof. Roel Prins, Prof. Lanny D. Schmidt, Prof. Avelino Corma, and Sir John M. Thomas.

Professor Iglesia is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Catalysis, Director of the Berkeley Catalysis Center, and among numerous awards, he is the recipient of the 2005 George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon Chemistry of the American Chemical Society.

In addition to travel and living expenses associated with his visit, Professor Iglesia will receive an honorarium.
Peter Stair

2005 World Oxidation Meeting Travel Awards

Sapporo, Japan; Sept. 25-30, 2005 – The World Oxidation Catalysis meeting in San Diego, CA in September 1997 was a very successful, both from the scientific content and record attendance. Attendance was much higher than anticipated with on site registration almost double the advance registration, resulting in excess proceeds for this meeting (which were not established until after the meeting was over). The Executive Board of the conference decided to place the excess proceeds in a high interest bearing account (under the sponsorship of the North American Catalysis Society) and to use the funds to partially fund some North American attendees to the next conference in Tokyo, Japan in 2005 (Web site: We have sufficient funds to grant six-seven travel awards for up to $2,000. each to deserving attendees from North America. Applications for these awards must be received (electronically) by 1 March 2005 and addressed to Leo Manzer, committee chair.

Members of the former Executive Committee [L. E. Manzer (Chair), J. E. Lyons, and A. M. Gaffney] will review the requests and announce the awards by 1 April. Awards will be selected on the strength of the request and the need described in the proposal. Awards are open to any resident of North America.

The requests must meet the following guidelines:

  • 1-2 page proposals, maximum
  • Indicate awardee and correspondence address, fax, and email address
  • Describe individual’s educational and professional background
  • Provide reasons for consideration- benefits, importance to individual, etc. (This is the most important section of the request.)
  • Any resident of the USA, Canada, or Mexico is eligible for this award. [Proof of residency in one of these countries is required. US residents must provide their tax id number (Social Security number)]
  • Funds may only be used for airfare, registration, local transportation, hotels, and/or meals during the meeting.
  • Upon return to North America, proof of actual expenses must be submitted along with proof of attendance, in order to be reimbursed for the award.

Please consider if you need a visa to travel to Japan and the time required to secure the visa. Send requests for awards to Leo Manzer at

New job postings bulletin board on website

We’ve added a new feature the the NACS web site,, a bulletin board for job postings (post doc, faculty, industrial, and any other). Just click open the “Jobs Posting” folder on the left margin of any web page.

If you have a position that is CATALYSIS RELATED in North America, for which you are seeking candidates, send it to the contact address for the web site and we will post it there. The intent is to offer this as a service to those seeking jobs in catalysis within North America. When you fill the position, send us another message to remove the posting.

Our public web site gets over 1000 hits/month, with over 60,000 hits in the 3 years since the Fall of 2001!

We’ve beta tested this new service and started with one recent posting. If you have other postings that you seek to fill or other suggestions, let us know.

Enrique Iglesia awarded the 2005 Robert Burwell Lectureship in Catalysis

Professor Enrique Iglesia of the University of California at Berkeley has been awarded the 2005 Robert Burwell Lectureship in Catalysis. The award is sponsored by Johnson Matthey 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 discovery and understanding of catalytic phenomena, catalytic reaction mechanisms and identification and description of catalytic sites and species.

Enrique Iglesia’s work has created fascinating stories connecting the chemistry of materials, kinetics, in situ characterization, and reaction-transport models to understand industrial catalysis and to design new catalysts. Examples include oxide nanostructures as acid and oxidation catalysts and exchanged cations and metal clusters for alkane conversion. Before moving to his current position at Berkeley, he spent about ten years at Exxon Research and Engineering, where he made significant contributions in the area of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and alkane activation. His continuous interest in industrial problems is reflected in his filing of eight patents since joining Berkeley. The main thrust of his work, however, has been all along the understanding of structure and function in catalytic phenomena. The scope of his work uses many tools to assemble and coalesce this knowledge. It starts with the synthesis of active oxide domains or metal clusters within porous materials and is followed by detailed characterization of atomic arrangements. The number of these sites is counted, and in situ spectroscopic techniques such as IR, Raman, UV-visible and X-ray absorption are used to identify their local geometric and electronic properties. Finally, steady-state and transient kinetic studies, including extensive use of isotopes, are combined with in situ spectroscopic techniques to identify adsorbed intermediates and ultimately the identity and kinetic relevance of elementary steps. The quality, quantity, and impact of his fundamental publications are very impressive. Enrique is a popular lecturer; he has been very active in the organization and operation of many catalysis meetings. He also serves our community as the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Catalysis.

The lectureship provides an honorarium and a travel stipend that will allow him to visit many of the local clubs of the North American Catalysis Society. Local clubs should contact Professor Iglesia directly [] about speaking arrangements over the next two years. More information about this award, the awards process, and previous awardees are available within the Awards folder on the NACS home page (