Professor W. Nicholas Delgass (Department of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University) is the recipient of the inaugural NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis. This Award will be presented every two years to recognize an individual who has advanced catalytic chemistry or engineering through both significant service to the catalysis community and outstanding technical accomplishments. The award includes an honorarium ($5,000) and a plaque. The latter will be presented at the closing banquet during the 2011 NAM in Detroit.
The career of Professor Delgass, over its four decades, exemplifies this combination of pioneering contributions to the science of catalysis, dedication and rigor in the education of scientists and engineers, and service to others in the advancement of catalysis. His research achievements include the synthesis of novel catalytic materials, the development of modern spectroscopic methods for catalyst characterization, and the use of rigorous kinetic and spectroscopic methods to elucidate the mechanism of complex catalytic reactions on solids. He is leading a team that is developing and implementing model-based approaches for the design and efficient optimization of new catalysts. Professor Delgass has been a remarkably gifted and dedicated teacher, both in the classroom and in the research laboratory. He has been recognized with the most prestigious teaching honors on the Purdue campus. In his service to students and peers as Associate Head of the School of Chemical Engineering, he has shown a true commitment to mentor and educate the next generation of chemical engineers. His passion for mentoring graduate students and young faculty was recognized with the inaugural College of Engineering Mentoring Excellence Award. Many among our catalysis community, in academia and in industry, have been touched by his thoughtful advice. For many years, he was the zealous guardian and gentle steward of the archives of our discipline, as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Catalysis. He has dedicated his time and efforts to the organization of the 11th International Congress on Catalysis and of numerous symposia at AIChE, ACS and Catalysis Society meetings. It is a fitting gesture of thanks that our community has chosen to recognize the scholarship and dedication of Professor Delgass with this inaugural award for service.