Bruce Gates is the recipient of the 2017 Michel Boudart Award for Advances in Catalysis

We are pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Bruce Gates of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis is the recip­i­ent of the 2017 Michel Boudart Award for Advances in Catal­y­sis. This award is spon­sored by the Hal­dor Top­søe Com­pa­ny and is admin­is­tered joint­ly by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties. The pre­sen­ta­tion to Pro­fes­sor Gates will be made at both the 25th North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety (Den­ver, June 2017) and the Europacat XIII Meet­ing (Flo­rence, Italy, August 2017).

The Michel Boudart Award rec­og­nizes and encour­ages indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions to the elu­ci­da­tion of the mech­a­nism and active sites involved in cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na and to the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods or con­cepts that advance the under­stand­ing and the prac­tice of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. It rec­og­nizes indi­vid­u­als who bring togeth­er the rig­or and the inter­na­tion­al impact that exem­pli­fied the accom­plish­ments and the career of Pro­fes­sor Michel Boudart.

Pro­fes­sor Gates is being rec­og­nized for his pio­neer­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the field of sup­port­ed mol­e­c­u­lar catal­y­sis. His work can be cred­it­ed direct­ly with stim­u­lat­ing the area of sin­gle site sup­port­ed met­al catal­y­sis and has led to acces­si­ble and well defined fam­i­lies of pre­cise cat­alyt­ic struc­tures (such as dimers and 4 atom clus­ters) which are inter­me­di­ate between sin­gle atom met­al com­plex­es and met­al par­ti­cles. These advances, for which he and his group are wide­ly known to be world lead­ing, arise from the inte­grat­ed com­bi­na­tion of high­ly tar­get­ed organometal­lic syn­the­sis, detailed spec­tro­scop­ic char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and rig­or­ous per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion under­pinned by com­pu­ta­tion­al mod­el­ling. By exert­ing con­trol over the elec­tron­ic prop­er­ties and dis­per­sion of sys­tems through mod­i­fi­ca­tion of lig­and envi­ron­ment, mol­e­c­u­lar­i­ty and sup­port effects, Pro­fes­sor Gates and his group have been able to tai­lor the cat­alyt­ic prop­er­ties of mate­ri­als in a con­trolled man­ner. Through the appli­ca­tion of IR and x‑ray absorp­tion spec­troscopy to work­ing sys­tems, the cru­cial influ­ence of the sup­port upon the iden­ti­ties of inter­me­di­ates and met­al-sup­port inter­ac­tions has been clear­ly elu­ci­dat­ed for reac­tions such as olefin hydro­gena­tion and oligomer­iza­tion. Pro­fes­sor Gates’ work has also result­ed in unprece­dent­ed advances in the under­stand­ing of the inter­con­ver­sion of species aris­ing from changes to reac­tion atmos­phere and struc­ture-func­tion rela­tion­ships at the atom­ic scale. Such advances were not pre­vi­ous­ly achieved in the mech­a­nis­tic descrip­tion of sur­face catal­y­sis.