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 (http://chemistry.berkeley.edu/Publications/news/fall2005/heinz_obit.html)

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 http://iic.pnl.gov/.

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 www.dowjones.com/innovation.

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 GlobalCatalysis.com
  • 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.