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 [email@example.com] 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).