Enrique Iglesia awarded the 2005 Robert Burwell Lectureship in Catalysis

Pro­fes­sor Enrique Igle­sia of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley has been award­ed the 2005 Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis. The award is spon­sored by John­son Matthey 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 dis­cov­ery and under­stand­ing of cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na, cat­alyt­ic reac­tion mech­a­nisms and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and descrip­tion of cat­alyt­ic sites and species.

Enrique Iglesia’s work has cre­at­ed fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries con­nect­ing the chem­istry of mate­ri­als, kinet­ics, in situ char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and reac­tion-trans­port mod­els to under­stand indus­tri­al catal­y­sis and to design new cat­a­lysts. Exam­ples include oxide nanos­truc­tures as acid and oxi­da­tion cat­a­lysts and exchanged cations and met­al clus­ters for alka­ne con­ver­sion. Before mov­ing to his cur­rent posi­tion at Berke­ley, he spent about ten years at Exxon Research and Engi­neer­ing, where he made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions in the area of Fis­ch­er-Trop­sch syn­the­sis and alka­ne acti­va­tion. His con­tin­u­ous inter­est in indus­tri­al prob­lems is reflect­ed in his fil­ing of eight patents since join­ing Berke­ley. The main thrust of his work, how­ev­er, has been all along the under­stand­ing of struc­ture and func­tion in cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na. The scope of his work uses many tools to assem­ble and coa­lesce this knowl­edge. It starts with the syn­the­sis of active oxide domains or met­al clus­ters with­in porous mate­ri­als and is fol­lowed by detailed char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of atom­ic arrange­ments. The num­ber of these sites is count­ed, and in situ spec­tro­scop­ic tech­niques such as IR, Raman, UV-vis­i­ble and X‑ray absorp­tion are used to iden­ti­fy their local geo­met­ric and elec­tron­ic prop­er­ties. Final­ly, steady-state and tran­sient kinet­ic stud­ies, includ­ing exten­sive use of iso­topes, are com­bined with in situ spec­tro­scop­ic tech­niques to iden­ti­fy adsorbed inter­me­di­ates and ulti­mate­ly the iden­ti­ty and kinet­ic rel­e­vance of ele­men­tary steps. The qual­i­ty, quan­ti­ty, and impact of his fun­da­men­tal pub­li­ca­tions are very impres­sive. Enrique is a pop­u­lar lec­tur­er; he has been very active in the orga­ni­za­tion and oper­a­tion of many catal­y­sis meet­ings. He also serves our com­mu­ni­ty as the Edi­tor-in-Chief of Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis.

The lec­ture­ship pro­vides an hon­o­rar­i­um and a trav­el stipend that will allow him to vis­it many of the local clubs of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Local clubs should con­tact Pro­fes­sor Igle­sia direct­ly [iglesia@cchem.berkeley.edu] about speak­ing arrange­ments over the next two years. More infor­ma­tion about this award, the awards process, and pre­vi­ous awardees are avail­able with­in the Awards fold­er on the NACS home page (www.nacatsoc.org).