New York Club’s Award for Excellence in Catalysis


Presented by The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York


The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York is seeking nominations for its twenty-first annual “Award for Excellence in Catalysis.” The award, sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, consists of a plaque and a $1,200 gift. It is granted to an individual or a research team from North America to recognize outstanding contributions in either applied or basic research in either homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysis. Particular effort is made to identify worthy individuals or teams who have not received sufficient recognition for their work.

This award will bring due recognition to the recipient(s), and we appreciate your help in seeking first-rate candidates. We especially need to fortify our active nomination list! Nominations are solicited from anyone who is currently, or has been previously, active in the field of catalysis. Nominations previously submitted as well as new ones will remain active for a period of three years.

Those wishing to submit a nomination should write a letter of recommendation for the individual nominee or team, including pertinent biographical information and a specific description of the impact of the nominee’s achievements in catalysis. The maximum length of the letter should be no more than two pages. It may be accompanied by copies of no more than two items presenting important documentation, such as papers or patents.

Deadline for receipt of nominations is January 18, 2002.

Past Recipients of the Award

  • 1982 J.A. Rabo (Union Carbide)
  • 1983 K. Klier (Lehigh)
  • 1984 W. Kaeding, et al (Mobil)
  • 1985 A. Vannice (U. of Pennsylvania)
  • 1986 J. Lunsford (Texas A&M)
  • 1987 F.J. Karol, et al (Union Carbide)
  • 1988 S.J. Tauster (Engelhard)
  • 1989 Bruce C. Gates (Delaware)
  • 1990 W. Keith Hall (Pittsburgh)
  • 1991 N.Y. Chen (Mobil)
  • 1992 H.S. Gandi (Ford)
  • 1993 Gary L. Haller (Yale)
  • 1994 James A. Dumesic (Wisconsin)
  • 1995 Gary McVicker (Exxon)
  • 1996 Israel Wachs (Lehigh)
  • 1997 John Newsam (Molecular Simulations Inc)
  • 1998 Terry Baker (Northeastern)
  • 1999 Shun Fung (Exxon)
  • 2000 Henry C. Foley (Delaware)
  • 2001 J.F. Brazdil, et al (BP Chemical)

2002 Spring Symposium

Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York
Friday, April 26, 2002
Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey

The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan NY invites you to submit abstracts of papers for oral or poster presentation at the 2002 Spring Symposium. As a heading of the abstract please list the title, author(s) (underline the speaker) and affiliation. The length of the abstract should not exceed one page, single-spaced. Twenty minutes will be allotted for each oral presentation, followed by a ten-minute discussion period. Times will be strictly monitored so as to encourage a thorough discussion. In addition, two $125 awards will be given to the best student posters. All members are urged to reserve the date and participate in the Spring Symposium.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 1, 2002. You will be notified of consideration for the Symposium by February 22, 2002.

Those submitting an award nomination and/or paper(s)/poster(s) for consideration for the Spring Symposium should send or e-mail them to:
David Calabro
ExxonMobil Research & Engineering
1545 Route 22 East
Annandale, NJ 08801

Newly available Pilot Plant Facilities and Services

World-Class Pilot Plant Facilities and Services Now Available To Global Refining and Process Industries.

ChevronTexaco Global Technology Services Company (Globe Tech), an entity of ChevronTexaco Corporation and ITS Caleb Brett Corp., have entered into an agreement in October 2001 to provide clients in the refining and process industries use of Globe Tech’s pilot plant facility located in Richmond, California.

ChevronTexaco Corp., through Globe Tech, operates the pilot plant to evaluate catalysts in a variety of refinery processes. The adaptable and flexible design of the pilot plant offers the ability to test many other reaction-based processes. The facility features large-scale distillation capabilities, feedstock preparation and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Through the agreement, ITS Caleb Brett offers and Globe Tech provides pilot plant capabilities for catalytic, reaction, separation, purification, batch scale, continuous process, fluidized catalytic cracking, fixed-bed catalytic processing, small scale synthesis, proof of concept, isothermal, adiabatic, liquid and gas recycling processes and more.

For More Information, please contact:
Erik Holladay
ITS Caleb Brett
Global Alliance Services
5051 Westheimer, Suite 1700
Houston, Texas 77056
Tel: 713.407.3500 USA
Steven Sciamanna
ChevronTexaco Global Technology Services Co.
100 Chevron Way
Richmond, CA 94802
Tel. 510.242.5075 USA
November 12, 2001
Richmond, California USA Houston, Texas USA Madrid, Spain

Nominations for Herman Pines Award

The Catalysis Club of Chicago is soliciting nominations for the Herman Pines Award 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. The award will be presented annually at the Spring Symposium of the Catalysis Club of Chicago. The recipient will receive a cash award of $1,000 and reimbursement for travel and lodging as a plenary speaker at the Spring Symposium.

Past Herman Pines Award winners

  • 1999 Professor Harold Kung (Northwestern University)
  • 2000 Dr. John Monnier (Eastman Chemical Company)
  • 2001 Professor Lanny Schmidt (University of Minnesota)

A committee appointed by the Executive Committee of the Catalysis Club of Chicago will choose the recipient based on the following criteria:

  • Importance of catalysis research completed in the past five years.
  • Alternation of the award between industrial and academic/national laboratory researchers.
  • Recipient must be a resident of North America.

For the award to be given in 2002, nominations for AN INDUSTRIAL RESEARCHER are sought by December 31, 2001. Nominations should describe the specific work for which the nominee should be recognized. Please send your nomination either through Internet Nomination Form or directly via regular mail by the deadline to:
Dr. Paul T. Barger
President of the Chicago Catalysis Club
UOP Research Center
50 East Algonquin Road
Des Plaines, IL 60017-5016 (E-mail)
(847) 391-3729 (Phone)
(847) 391-3724 (Fax)
The recipient will be notified in February of 2002, and the award address will take place at the Spring Symposium in May of 2002.

Multiple ACS Awards for Catalysis Research

Once again, several of the 2002 ACS awards were given to those working in catalysis.

ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis sponsored by Shell Oil Foundation, Jack H. Lunsford, Texas A&M University. …for innovative applications of spectroscopic techniques to the characterization of solid catalysts and to the elucidation of catalytic reaction mechanisms.

ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry, Bipin V. Vora, UOP, LLC, Des Plaines, IL. …for contributions to breakthrough technologies in key petrochemical industries and for your leadership in two major commercial developments: new selective process for the production of propylene and isobutylene by catalytic dehydrogenation and new catalytic processes critical for the production of linear alkyl benzene based detergents.

Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry sponsored by Occidental Petroleum Corporation, D. Wayne Goodman,Texas A&M University. …for his innovative research that has helped bridge the gap between surface science and catalysis, and for his leadership role in a large number of councils that have significantly influenced the direction of surface chemistry.

Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, to Kurt W. Swogger, The Dow Chemical Company, Polyolefins and Elastomers Research and Development, Freeport, TX. …for his leadership in the development and commercialization of Dow INSITE*Technology which profoundly changed the course and growth of the global polyolefin industry.

Arthur C. Cope Award sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund, Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology. …for his invention of new transition metal catalysts that have made a major impact on the fields of organic chemistry and materials science.

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund, Xumu Zhang, The Pennsylvania State University; …for his invention of a toolbox of chiral ligands and his development of homogeneous catalysts that enable practical syntheses of many chiral molecules, especially ones having biological significance.

E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and ExxonMobil Chemical Company, George R. Lester, Allied Signal, Inc. (retired). …for his extraordinary contributions to catalytic science and technology and especially for his innovations in environmental control catalysts for automobiles, turbine engines and work places.

George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry sponsored by the George A. Olah Endowment, Gary B. McVicker, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. …for his many contributions to the fundamental understanding of the catalytic transformations of petroleum derived hydrocarbons.

Value of Catalysis

In the Introduction to a new book, the importance of catalysis is nicely summarized:

In 1993, the worldwide use of catalysts amounted to $8.7 billion, with $3.1 billion for chemicals, $3 billion for environmental, $1.8 billion for petroleum refining, and $0.8 billion for industrial biocatalysis. In the USA, the total demand for catalysts was $2.4 billion in 1995 and is forecast to rise to $2.9 billion in 2000.

In addition, the economic importance of catalysis is enormous:

  • Catalysis is critical to the production of 30 of the top 50 commodity chemicals produced in the USA.
  • Nearly 90% of all US chemical manufacturing processes involve catalysis.
  • $200 to $1000 worth of products are manufactured for every $1 worth of catalyst consumed.
  • The value of US goods produced using catalytic processes is estimated at 17-30% of the US GNP.
  • There is a huge societal benefit of catalysis for environmental protection, since emission control catalysts are a significant sector of the market.

Source of compiled remarks: Catalyst Design, by M. Morbidelli, A. Gavriilidis, and A. Varma, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2001.

Canadian Catalysis Lectureship Award 2001 – Dr. Marten Ternan

The Canadian Catalysis Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Marten Ternan is the winner of the 2001 Canadian Catalysis Lectureship Award. He is currently working with a team at the University of Ottawa (Bourgault, Conway, and Psofogiannakis) on modeling direct hydrocarbon fuel cells using computational fluid dynamics. The award consists of an honorarium along with funding so that the winner can provide a series of lectures across Canada. The Canadian Catalysis Lectureship Award is made to a researcher who is recognized as a leader in a particular field of catalysis, or someone who has just completed a new and interesting/controversial piece of work that is not widely recognized. It is restricted to Canadians who are currently working in Canada in the area of catalysis, and is intended to provide exposure to Canadian scientists and engineers.

Professor Smirniotis recieves award

Dr. Peter Smirniotis (Chem. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Cincinnati) received the BP Faculty Excellence Award for 2000-2001. This newly created award was presented by Mr. Jon Radabaugh, Catalyst Product Manager of BP.

Catalysis is focus of 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize
in Chemistry for 2001 for the development of catalytic asymmetric synthesis, with one half jointly to:

William S. Knowles (St Louis, Missouri, USA) and Ryoji Noyori (Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya, Japan) “for their work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions” and the other half to K. Barry Sharpless (the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA) “for his work on chirally catalysed oxidation reactions”.

Mirror Image Catalysis

Many molecules appear in two forms that mirror each other – just as our hands mirror each other. Such molecules are called chiral. In nature one of these forms is often dominant, so in our cells one of these mirror images of a molecule fits “like a glove”, in contrast to the other one which may even be harmful. Pharmaceutical products often consist of chiral molecules, and the difference between the two forms can be a matter of life and death – as was the case, for example, in the thalidomide disaster in the 1960s. That is why it is vital to be able to produce the two chiral forms separately.

This year’s Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have developed molecules that can catalyse important reactions so that only one of the two mirror image forms is produced. The catalyst molecule, which itself is chiral, speeds up the reaction without being consumed. Just one of these molecules can produce millions of molecules of the desired mirror image form.

William S. Knowles discovered that it was possible to use transition metals to make chiral catalysts for an important type of reaction called hydrogenation, thereby obtaining the desired mirror image form as the final product. His research quickly led to an industrial process for the production of the L-DOPA drug which is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Ryoji Noyori has led the further development of this process to today’s general chiral catalysts for hydrogenation.

K. Barry Sharpless, on the other hand, is awarded half of the Prize for developing chiral catalysts for another important type of reaction – oxidation.

The Laureates have opened up a completely new field of research in which it is possible to synthesise molecules and material with new properties. Today the results of their basic research are being used in a number of industrial syntheses of pharmaceutical products such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and heart medicines.

William S. Knowles, 84 years, born 1917 (US citizen). PhD 1942 at Columbia University. Previously at Monsanto Company, St Louis, USA. Retired since 1986.

Ryoji Noyori, 63 years, born 1938 Kobe, Japan (Japanese citizen). PhD 1967 at Kyoto University. Since 1972 Professor of Chemistry at Nagoya University and since 2000 Director of the Research Center for Materials Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan (

K. Barry Sharpless, 60 years, born 1941 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (US citizen). PhD 1968 at Stanford University. Since 1990 W.M. Keck Professor of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA (

Message of Sympathy from President of IACS

Dear President,
On behalf of the entire catalysis community, I would like to express our sincere compassion to our American colleagues and to the people of the United States. We are saddened and shocked by the numerous deaths and the suffering due to the tragic events which have struck your country. More than ever before, it is necessary to conjugate our efforts through education, collaboration and friendship to construct a better world and prevent this type of tragedy.

With warm personal regards, Sincerely Yours,
Tres cordialement,
Michel Che
Boris Imelik Professor of Surface Reactivity and Catalysis
Institut Universitaire de France
President of the International Association of Catalysis Societies (IACS)

Manos Mavrikakis selected for the 2009 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis

I am pleased to announce that Professor Manos Mavrikakis has been selected for the 2009 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis. The award consists of a plaque and a prize. The purpose of the Award is to recognize and encourage individual contributions (under the age of 46) in the field of catalysis with emphasis on discovery and understanding of catalytic phenomena, proposal of catalytic reaction mechanisms and identification of and description of catalytic sites and species.

Since 1999 Manos has been with the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison. Manos is one of the world leaders in the area of computational chemistry in catalysis. He has also served as Visiting Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark. The primary research focus of Manos’ group is the fundamental understanding of surface reactivity, using state-of-the-art first-principles methods, and extensively collaborating with experimental experts. Manos has coauthored more than 80 original publications. He is a member of the editorial board of Surface Science and of the Annual Review of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Mavrikakis has pioneered the use of Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods in the screening of pure and alloy metal catalysts to discover which metals or alloys have potential to yield catalysts of improved activity and/or selectivity. Manos has been unique in having used theoretical methods to find new, interesting classes of systems and site-nanostructures. Key to his success here was the use of fundamental principles concerning the relationships between the energetics of certain key intermediates and the activation barriers for the rate-controlling steps to make this screening procedure faster.

In particular, Manos demonstrated that possibility by identifying bimetallic alloys which bind atomic H as weakly as the noble metals (Cu, Au), but are able to break the H-H bond in H2 more easily than noble metals. Such Near-Surface-Alloy (NSA) materials are ideal for low temperature, highly selective, H-transfer reactions (e.g., in pharmaceutical production), and energy related catalytic applications. Also, Manos’s group systematically studied Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) on a number of late transition metals, including bimetallic and ternary alloys of Pt. The result of that work was the construction of stable, ternary NSAs, which contain much less Pt, and are up to a factor of four more active than pure Pt ORR electrocatalysts. Manos also has discovered many interesting aspects of catalytic reaction mechanisms that have inspired the field. In particular, very recently Manos’ group has proposed a novel low-temperature reaction mechanism for the preferential oxidation of CO in the presence of H2, which explains the room-temperature reactivity of Ru-Pt core-shell nanoparticles. The specific nanoparticles were identified by Manos’ group from first-principles as very active and selective PROX catalysts, and those predictions were confirmed upon synthesis and catalytic testing of the Ru-core Pt-shell nanoparticles. Manos also followed up his detailed gas-phase methanol decomposition DFT work with experiments and microkinetic modeling, to show that one can accurately predict experimental reaction rates directly from first principles. In the area of water gas shift catalysis, his efforts have led to a completely new water-gas shift reaction mechanism involving carboxyl species on Cu, Pt, and Au surfaces, which is quite general and may be applicable to other low temperature water-gas shift catalysts. Importantly, this mechanism is shown to be operational under realistic industrial water-gas shift conditions.

Manos will give a plenary lecture and be recognized at the 2009 North American Catalysis Society meeting in San Francisco.

The Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis is sponsored by the Davison Chemical Division of W.R. Grace and Company. It is administered by The North American Catalysis Society and is awarded biennially in odd numbered years. More information on this award, the awards process, and previous awardees can be found inside the Awards folder on the NACS home page:
John Armor
Award Citation: For his elucidation of the fundamental aspects of the surface chemistry for well-established catalytic processes, and his leadership in the use of Density functional Theory to set directions for future research in the search for new catalysts and new catalytic processes.