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&® 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.