In Memoriam: Paul Grange (1943-2003)

Paul Grange was born in Lyon during the war. He graduated from the University of Lyon, which, in 1970 granted him a PhD, for a work done at the Institut de Recherche sur la Catalyse, in Villeurbanne-Lyon. This was later followed by a post-doctoral position in the Laboratory of Catalysis and Solid State Chemistry in the then newly split Louvain University. In the course of years, the scientific activity of Professor Grange progressively shifted away from solid state chemistry, his initial interest during his PhD. Later his results in the synthesis of high transition temperature superconductors and outstanding success with highly dispersed nitrides, oxynitrides and the very original synthesis of more complicated compounds schematically represented by AlPON – ZrPON – AlGaPON – VAlON, made this background crucial. In the course of 31 years, he changed position no less than seven times. In spite of that, or because of that, he could manage to have some sort of a “sabbatical leave”, in 1983-1984, at INTEVEP in Caracas, a stay rich in fruitful teachings. The last change was in 1996, on his promotion to Full Professor (“Professeur Ordinaire”). From that time on, the remarkable dynamism of Professor Grange led him to combine fundamental research on selected advanced subjects of catalysis (especially oxynitrides, basic catalysis) with more application-oriented developments. In most cases the work was directly related to specific problems of industry, but nevertheless permitted the completion of 29 PhD theses and 43 graduate research programs, and the publication of 418 articles. Paul Grange engaged in an impressive development of activities, initiating co-operative programs in Belgium and with foreign universities (Bucharest, Tunis, Caen, Argentina), and creating one of the activity branches of CERTECH, a university subsidiary for applied research. In UCL, he became member of various committees, was selected as member of the Research Advisory Council of the university, where he was elected Chairman of the Department of Applied Chemistry and Bio-Industries a few days before his death. In less than seven years Paul Grange was able to fully develop his broad capacities. He certainly felt that as a deserved compensation after many years of uncertainties. But the price was worries and work overload, with that terrible end in July.
Written by B. Delmon (original text has been abreviated)

Nominations for IACS’ International Catalysis Award

Nominations for IACS’ International Catalysis Award are now being accepted until 15 September 2003. The award is sponsored by the IACS and presented to the recipient at the ICC meetings, every 4 years. The purpose of the Award is to recognize and encourage individual contributions by a young scientist in the field of catalysis, such as the discovery or significant improvement of a catalytic process, or an important contribution to the understanding of catalytic phenomena. The Award consists of a certificate and a financial reward (ten times the registration fee for the ICC meeting). The recipient must not have passed his/her 45th birthday by May 1, 2003 and will be required to give a lecture on their research as part of the 13 ICC meeting.

Nomination documents should be sent to the President of the IACS
Michel Che
Universite’ Pierre et Marie Curie
Laboratoire de Reactivite de Surface, casier 178
4 place Jussieu
75252 Paris Cedex 05, FRANCE

Israel Wachs wins AIChE Award

Professor Israel E. Wachs of the Chemical Engineering Department of Lehigh University is this year’s recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division Practice Award, which will be presented at the Annual AIChE meeting in San Francisco the week of November 16-21, 2003. The AIChE C&RE Practice Award recognizes individuals who have made pioneering contributions to industrial practice of catalysis and chemical reaction engineering and is sponsored by Merck & Company, Inc.

Professor Wachs is being recognized for his commercial developments of novel catalysts and reaction engineering applications in the areas of:

  1. o-xylene oxidation to phthalic anhydride over supported promoted-V2O5/TiO2 catalysts.
  2. Methanol oxidation to formaldehyde over bulk metal oxide catalysts.
  3. A new environmental catalytic process that converts undesirable waste gases from pulp mills to valuable chemicals (H2CO, H2SO4, terpenes) and simultaneously eliminates significant polluting emissions of VOCs, NOx, SOx and CO2.

C&E News features Cancun meeting report

Chemical & Engineering News has a 5 page article by Mitch Jacoby in the July 7, 2003 issue (pp. 18-22) [], which highlights our recent Cancun National meeting. Paticular focus is given to the plenary award lectures by Professors Corma and Zaera. Mitch concludes, “A week in summy Cancun sounds more like vacation than work… But truth be told, the catalysis meeting was business as usual, with researches talking shop everywhere- even on the beach.”

Enrique Iglesia wins Wilhelm Award

Professor Enrique Iglesia of the University of California at Berkeley has received the 2003 R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering from the AIChE. This award is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company and recognizes an individual’s significant and new contribution in chemical reaction engineering. As a member of the AIChE, the recipient is expected to have advanced the frontiers of chemical reaction engineering through originality, creativity, and novelty of concept or application.

US Trade Commission issues report on Catalysis

In a recently released report from the US International Trade Commission, USITC Publication 3602 [available on the web at note you need only print pages 25-44], describes catalysts as an innovative industry responding to technological and competitive challenges. The article describes the basic characteristics of catalysts, their principle commercial applications, the structure of the industry, major challenges facing the industry; and prospective future applications. In the section on Barriers to Commercialization, the author notes, “The mere fact that a new catalyst shows promising technical properties does not guarantee that the newer catalytic technology will supersede the older technology as rapidly as expected, especially if the traditional technology is recognized as being reliable and well chacterized.”

Bylaws of the NACS, June 2003

The members in attendance on prior to the beginning of the first plenary lecture of the National meeting in Cancun were asked to vote on the minor changes proposed to the existing bylaws of the NACS. A summary of these changes and the new bylaws have been posted on the web site since last April. The President summarized the changes, which were mostly procedural and reflected minor changes in the way the Society has been operating since the last revisions in 1995. The members overwhelmingly approved the changes by both a voice vote and a printed ballot.
Click here to view the entire document in PDF format

Changes proposed to NACS Bylaws

The Board of Directors of the North American Catalysis Society has discussed, edited, and accepted the proposed changes to the bylaws. Our bylaws also require that any changes to them be voted on by the membership of the NACS, which we shall do at the beginning of the Cancun meeting. These changes are mainly proposed to reflect modest changes in the operations of the NACS since the last bylaws were adopted (1995). The Board of Directors is responsible for the management of the NACS and the President of the NACS is the CEO of the NACS. Provisions exist for making procedural changes to the way the NACS operates, but these often don’t get added to the bylaws; this new set of bylaws reflects the way the Society is currently operating. The entire set of bylaws (10 pages with 25 Articles) is posted on the web site for all to review; I will only discuss the procedural changes made to the 1995 bylaws.

  • Article II, section 6 describes the status of Associate (non-voting) members.
  • Article II, section 7 and Article XI, section 3 defines the legal and tax status of the NACS and its clubs.
  • Article VII, describes financial bonding of the officers and the trustees
  • Article VIII, section 1 extends the number of voting members of the Board of Directors, while Article XV, sections 2 and 3 define voting procedures at the Board meetings.
  • Article XIII, section 1 and Article XVII, section 1 describe the appointment of a Nominating Committee for election of officers. Section 5 elaborates the line of ascension in the event the President can no longer serve.
  • Article XVII, sections 3 and 4 describes the composition and operation of the Executive Committee.
  • Article XVII, section 5 and Article XXII describes the composition and selection of the Awards Committee.
  • Article XXIII describes the Keith Hall Educational Fund.
  • Articles XXIV and XXV are added at the suggestion of our attorney to meet laws of incorporation.

Prepared by John Armor, President
Originally posted on 3/18/2003
At the Board of Director’s meeting in Cancun on June 1, 2003, the Board of Directors approved one additional change in wording to Article XVII, section 4, so it now reads: The President may call a meeting of the Executive Committee to seek its advice.
Click here to view the entire document in PDF format

Stu Soled wins Excellence in Catalysis Award from NY Club

The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York is pleased to announce the Excellence in Catalysis Award for 2003, to Dr. Stuart L. Soled

This award recognizes Dr. Soled’s contributions in the areas of materials synthesis and catalysis research culminating in the development of the now commercial Nebula family of catalysts for the environmentally important production of ultralow sulfur diesel fuel. In addition, Dr. Soled has made significant contributions to Exxon’s AGC-21 process for the synthesis of liquid fuels from natural gas.

NSF awards available for Kokes Student travel to Cancun

A grant to assist student attendance at the North American Catalysis Society (NACS) Meeting in Cancun, Mexico has been awarded by The National Science Foundation. The date of the meeting is from June 1-6th, 2003. The grant will be administered by Tulane University, New Orleans, La. These funds are in addition to those independently provided by the NACS for this same purpose (Kokes Awards). Those who already sent their application to the NAM organizers in Cancun should not have to send another one to Professor Gonzalez.

Successful awardees for this NSF money must meet the following criteria: (i) they should be graduate students in good standing at an academic institution in the United States, (ii) preference will be given to students with an accepted oral or poster paper and, (iii) students will be expected to participate in as many technical sessions as possible.

Interested candidates for these awards should submit an application to Professor Richard D Gonzalez, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, La 70118. Tulane University is an Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to ethnic diversity including minority applicants. If awarded, these grants may be used only for transportation to and from Cancun and for hotel occupancy. The deadline date for receipt of any new NSF supported applications is April 30, 2003; this deadline is a little later than the NAM Kokes Award dates for the same purpose, which was based on earlier funding by the North American Catalysis Society. The award panels for both the NSF and NACS sponsored Kokes awards will be working together.

NOTE- the full technical program can be read on the Cancun NAM website- click on any session number in the table of week-long symposia.