Welcome to the 2015-16 Season of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia

Dear Colleagues:
On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to welcome you to join us for the 67th season of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia. We are proud to continue the legacy set forth by the original 7 scientists who established this club in 1949 of holding meetings to stimulate discussions among the academic and industrial catalysis scientists in the greater Philadelphia area. We hope that you will join us by attending the excellent selection of talks that have been arranged for this season.

We are excited to announce the speaker lineup for our monthly meetings that has been coordinated by Alan Allgeier of DuPont. Following our tradition, the first meeting presentation of the season will be given by the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Awardee, Sourav Sengupta of DuPont. The full season speaker schedule along with various special events is listed below.

Date Speaker Special Event
Sept. 17, 2015 Sourav Sengupta, DuPont CCP Award Lecture
Oct. 15, 2015 Matt Neurock, U of M
Nov. 19, 2015 John Holladay, PNNL Poster Session
Jan. 21, 2016 Jingguang Chen, Columbia U.
Feb. 18, 2016 Susannah Scott, UCSB Officer Nominations
March 24, 2016 TBA Officer Nominations
April 21, 2016 Rob Rioux, PSU Officer Elections
May 2016 CCP Spring Symposium

Our annual student poster competition will take place in November and will be coordinated by Bingjun Xu of University of Delaware. The poster session provides a great opportunity for local graduate students to present their work to a broad catalysis audience and for companies to look for potential candidates. Additionally, selected students will also give brief presentations at several monthly meetings. The nominations of CCP officers for the 2016-17 season will take place in February with elections scheduled for April. Anton Petushkov of Zeolyst International will organize the CCP Spring Symposium in May 2016.

The monthly meetings will continue to be held at the Doubletree Hotel on US-202 in Wilmington, DE. The cost of the dinner will remain at $35.00 for members, $20.00 for students/retirees and will include one drink during the social hour. The fees for walk-ins and non-members will be $40.00. We strongly encourage advance reservations for the meetings. Dues for the 2015-16 season will remain at $25.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $20.00 to the national club). Dues for students, postdocs and retirees will be $10.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $5.00 to the national club).

You can receive our latest information and news through our website at catalysisclubphilly.org, through LinkedIn, and also Facebook. While you can still work with your company representative, we would like to strongly encourage you to try our online registration form or contact our arrangements chair, Alex Mironenko, directly.

If you would like to receive our monthly announcements or need to update your contact information, please contact our Membership Director, Eric Sacia of DuPont.

The strength of our club has always revolved around our generous industrial sponsors and members of our monthly meetings. Please continue to support CCP by attending the meetings and by inviting your colleagues. I am looking forward to seeing you all on September 17th to start off another great season. Please also feel free to contact me or the other officers throughout the season with any comments or suggestions for how we can improve the club.
Best regards,
Torren Carlson

Dr. Sourav Sengupta is the Winner of the 2015 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

Sourav SenguptaThe Catalysis Club of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that Dr. Sourav K. Sengupta, Research Fellow – DuPont Central Research and Development, has been selected as the 2015 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award winner. The selection recognizes his significant contributions to the science and practice of catalysis, along with his efforts in mentoring young scientists.

Dr. Sengupta earned his Ph.D. Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1991 and has held a variety of research and development assignments at DuPont. He was the founding leader of the Process Development Center for DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise and his efforts led to the commercialization of several new specialty chemical products and optimization of several existing catalysts and catalytic processes, which collectively generate tens of millions of dollars.

To achieve these accomplishments, Sengupta applies an in depth understanding of heterogeneous catalyst structure / function relationships in oxide materials, supported metal catalysts and bulk metal catalysts. He was a primary contributor to a novel process for on-demand hydrogen cyanide production via induction heating of Pt-Rh gauze and optimized oxide supported base metal catalysts for abatement of ozone depleting effluent gases. Recently, Dr. Sengupta has directed his expertise toward the utilization of bio-renewable resources for the production of fuels and chemicals.

Beyond technical contributions, he is recognized for his efforts at mentoring young scientists and engineers. Countless careers have benefited from his technical and organizational insights. He has shared these through formal interactions, such serving as instructor for a short course on Hydrogenation Catalysis and on the board of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia but more importantly through personal interactions with junior colleagues. The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia is proud to recognize Dr. Sourav Sengupta for his combination of technical excellence and mentoring with the granting of its 2015 award.

Past Recipients of the Award

1968 Adalbert Farkas
1969 Charles J. Plank
1970 Paul H. Emmett
1971 G. Alex Mills
1972 Alfred E. Hirschler
1973 Paul B. Weisz
1974 Roland C. Hansford
1975 Paul Venuto
1976 Heinz Heinemann
1977 G.C.A. Schuit
1978 George W. Parshall
1979 Alvin B. Stiles
1980 Abraham Schneider
1981 James F. Roth
1982 Robert Eischens
1983 Edward Rosinski
1984 James R. Katzer
1985 N.Y. Chen
1986 Bruce C. Gates
1987 James E. Lyons
1988 George Kokotailo
1989 Maurice Mitchell, Jr.
1990 Werner O. Haag
1991 John A. Sofranko
1992 Fran Waller
1993 George Kerr
1994 Theodore A. Koch
1995 John N. Armor
1996 Mae Rubin
1997 Leo E. Manzer
1998 Ray Gorte
1999 Anne M. Gaffney
2000 Henry C. Foley
2001 Mark Barteau
2002 Steven D. Ittel
2003 Frank E. Herkes
2004 Jingguang Chen
2005 Israel Wachs
2006 James Dumesic
2007 John Vohs
2008 David Olson
2009 Ted Oyama
2010 Chuck Coe
2011 Chunshan Song
2012 Rostam Madon
2013 Daniel Resasco
2014 Haiying Chen
2015 Sourav Sengupta
2016 Dion Vlachos
2017 Thomas Colacot

Elections for the 2015-2016 CCP Season

Elections for the 2015-2016 Season Executive Committee will be held on April 16th 2015

Candidates for the CCP Executive Committee

  • Chair-Elect: Anton Petushkov, Daniel Slanac (3 year appointment)
  • Treasurer: Roger Grey, Steve Harris
  • Directors: Prannit Metkar, Eric Sacia , Bingjun Xu
  • NACS Representative: Chuck Coe, Dion Vlachos (4 year appointment)

Biographical sketches of the candidates

Chair-Elect (3 year appointment)

  • Anton Petushkov received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Iowa where he researched nanosized zeolite synthesis from 2006 to 2011. In 2010 Anton participated in internship in Chevron, where he worked with Stacey Zones on multiple projects. Anton joined Zeolyst International in 2011 and has been working there on the development of new zeolite products for a variety of custom and automotive applications. Anton has been a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia since 2011 and has been the club’s secretary since 2012.
  • Dan Slanac has been a Research Investigator in DuPont Central Research and Development in Wilmington, DE since 2012. His current work is focused on developing next generation cellulosic ethanol processes. He received a B.S. in biomolecular engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD in 2007. Immediately after, he went to the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained a Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 2012, working with Prof. Keith Johnston and Prof. Keith Stevenson on the synthesis of PGM and non-PGM catalysts (perovskites and other oxides) for oxygen reduction in PEM fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Dan joined the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia in 2013 and is the Program Chair this year. ToC


  • Roger Grey After almost 40 years working in the chemical industry utilizing my PhD in Chemistry, I recently retired from Lyondell Chemical Company. Much of my career was involved in catalysis chemical research and process development in homogeneous and heterogeneous oxidation and hydrogenation catalysis including metals, supported metals and zeolites. I have been a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia for over 20 years holding several officer positions, including program chair, director, chair and treasurer as well as co-chair for the poster session for the North American Catalysis Society Meeting (NAM) the last time it was held in Philadelphia. Even though I am retired, I intend to stay active in the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia activities.
  • Stephen Harris Organic Chemist/Scientist. 32 years in petrochemical/refining process definition and optimization, product development and technical service for ARCO Chemical and its successors. Three years in biochemical transformation process development. Past treasurer. ToC

NACS Representative (4 year appointment)

  • Dr. Charles Coe, Research Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering, comes to Villanova with more than 30 years of experience in the development of catalysts and adsorbents. At Villanova he is sharing his knowledge with the next generation of engineers and scientists. He is actively involved in developing and teaching alternative energy courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. His research at Villanova, in collaboration with Drs. Satrio and Smith, is focused on the thermal chemical conversion of biomass using catalytic pathways to enhance carbon yield and product selectivity. He also is involved in Corporate sponsored research on the separation and purification of gases over molecular sieves. During his industrial career at Air Products he developed an extensive expertise in molecular sieve science and catalysis. For many years he teamed with project leaders across business units to enable the development of improved adsorbents and catalysts based on creating structure-property relationships targeted at specific applications. He has been active in the PCC for 35 years and served in most administrative positions of the PCC over this period of time.
  • Dion Vlachos is the Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware and the Director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI), an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). Dr. Vlachos obtained a five years diploma in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical Univ. of Athens, in Greece, in 1987. He obtained his MS and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1990 and 1992, respectively, and spent a postdoctoral year at the Army High Performance Computing Research Center, MN, after which he joined UMass as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to an associate professor at UMass in 1998. He joined the Univ. of Delaware in 2000. He was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University in the spring of 2000, a visiting faculty at Thomas Jefferson Univ. and Hospital in spring of 2007 and the George Pierce Distinguished Prof. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the Univ. of Minnesota in the fall of 2007. Dr. Vlachos is the recipient of the R. H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering from AIChE, an AAAS Fellow, an ONR Young Investigator Award and a NSF Career Award. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, the Combustion Institute, the Catalysis Society, and SIAM. His main research thrust is multiscale modeling and simulation along with their application to catalysis, crystal growth, portable microchemical devices for power generation, production of renewable fuels and chemicals, catalyst informatics, detailed and reduced kinetic model development, and process intensification. He is the corresponding author of more than 300 refereed publications and has given nearly 200 plenary lectures, keynote lectures, and other invited talks. He has served as an executive editor of the Chemical Engineering Science journal and has served or serves on the editorial advisory board of several journals (e.g., ACS Catal., Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research (I&ECR), Applied Catalysis A: General, The Combustion Institute, The Open Energy and Fuels Journal, the Journal of Nano Energy and Power Research, and J. Chem. Eng. & Proc. Tech.) ToC


  • Dr. Pranit Metkar is a Research Investigator in DuPont’s Central Research and Development at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE. He has been working with DuPont since June 2012. His main areas of expertise include experimental and computational catalysis and chemical reaction engineering. His current research at DuPont is focused on producing non-fuel chemicals from biomass. Before that, he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, TX under the guidance of Prof. Michael Harold and Prof. Vemuri Balakotaiah. His Ph.D. research involved experimental and modeling of Fe/Cu-zeolite-washcoated monolithic catalysts used for NOx reduction in diesel engine vehicles. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India. He has been an active member of Catalysis Club of Philadelphia since 2012. Pranit served as the Membership Director for the CCP during 2014-2015.
  • Dr. Eric R. Sacia is currently a Research Investigator at DuPont’s Central Research & Development in Wilmington, DE. In this position, his work focuses on selective oxidation catalysis and process development in the field of renewably-sourced chemicals and materials. Prior to working with DuPont, he received his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley with Prof. Alexis T. Bell, during which time he was recognized with a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and as a Kokes award winner for the North American Catalysis Society during the 23rd NAM. His thesis concentrated on the elucidation of new catalytic pathways from biomass-derived furanics and related derivatives to automobile lubricants as well as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. During the course of this work, Eric studied novel chemical pathways using heterogeneous acid, base, and selective hydrogenation catalysis through the framework of reaction kinetics and catalyst fundamentals. In addition to his published articles, patent applications, and presentations in the field of catalysis, he also has prior industrial experience with Marathon Petroleum. Eric has an extensive background in leadership roles, serving most recently as DuPont’s Safety Day Co-Chair along with roles in the Graduate Student Advisory Committee, Lab Committee, and Safety Committee at UC, Berkeley. He hopes to have the opportunity to serve the Philadelphia area catalysis community as a director of CCP.
  • Bingjun Xu is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of Delaware. Bingjun received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University in 2011. After finishing his postdoctoral research at Caltech, he joined University of Delaware in the fall of 2013. Bingjun’s research interest spans heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis and in-situ spectroscopy. Bingjun joined CCP in 2011, and has been an active member since. He organized the CCP annual poster competition in 2014, which was well-attended and had the highest number poster presentations.

In Memoriam: Theodore A. Koch (1925-2014)


Dr. Theodore A. Koch, 88, a retired DuPont research sci­en­tist passed away peace­fully at his home in Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware on Sep­tem­ber 13, 2014.

A native of upstate New York, Koch stud­ied chem­istry at St. Michael’s Col­lege in Burling­ton, VT and the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in Philadel­phia, PA, earn­ing his Ph.D. in chem­istry in 1952. He joined the DuPont Co. ulti­mately retir­ing from its Nylon busi­ness unit as a DuPont Fel­low after 48 years of ser­vice. An author­ity on het­ero­ge­neous cat­a­lysts, Koch spent his entire career devel­op­ing chem­i­cal processes and bring­ing them from the bench­top to com­mer­cial­iza­tion with marked cre­ativ­ity and tenacity.

Notable tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments in Koch’s career included devel­op­ing a new cat­a­lyst for nitrous oxide destruc­tion (an ozone-depletion byprod­uct from Nylon man­u­fac­ture), devel­op­ment of a new process for hydro­gen cyanide man­u­fac­ture and improve­ments to many poly­mer inter­me­di­ates processes. Koch received the award for Excel­lence in Cat­alytic Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy from the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia in 1994 and the Lavoisier Medal for Tech­ni­cal Excel­lence from the DuPont Co. in 1998. His exter­nal roles included adjunct Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware; pres­i­dent of the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia; and mem­ber­ship in the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers, the Organic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, and the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. He held 29 patents and co-authored 18 jour­nal arti­cles and one text­book on catal­y­sis enti­tled, “Cat­a­lyst Manufacture.”

Koch is sur­vived by his wife of 62 years, Anne, his five chil­dren, five grand­chil­dren and extended fam­ily. His mem­ory lives on through the Theodore A. Koch Fund that will rec­og­nize and reward Delaware Val­ley achieve­ments in catal­y­sis research. Char­i­ta­ble dona­tions may be made to the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia, Ted Koch Fund, c/o Stephen Har­ris, Trea­surer, Ren­matix, 660 Allen­dale Road, King of Prus­sia, PA 19406.

Welcome to the 2014-15 Season of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Officers, I would like to welcome you to our events for the 2014-15 season. Following our tradition, the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Awardee, Dr. Haiying Chen, will present his work on the first meeting of the season on September 18th, 2014. The speaker schedule for the 2014-15 season (put together under the coordination of Dan Slanac of DuPont), along with the special events, is listed below. We hope that you’ll join us and that you’ll enjoy the planned talks. So please mark your calendars.

  • Sept. 18, 2014: Dr. Haiying Chen, Johnson Matthey – CCP Award Lecture
  • Oct. 16, 2014:
    • Dr. Paul Barger, UOP – Ciapetta Award Lecture
    • Poster Session
  • Nov. 13, 2014: Prof. Xianqin Wang, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Jan. 22, 2015: Prof. Julia Valla, University of Connecticut
  • Feb. 19, 2015:
    • TBA
    • Officer Nominations
  • March 19, 2015:
    • Fuat Celik, Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity
    • Officer Nominations
  • April 16, 2015:
    • TBA
    • Officer Elections
  • May 2014: CCP Spring Symposium

The monthly meetings will continue to be held at the Doubletree Hotel on US-202 in Wilmington, DE. The cost of the dinner will remain at $35.00 for members, $20.00 for students/retirees and will include one drink during the social hour. The fees for walk-ins and non-members will be $40.00. In an attempt to facilitate registration process we plan to introduce credit card as an additional method of payment. Additional details will be announced in one of the forthcoming meetings. Until then we strongly encourage advance reservations for the meetings either using our online registration form in our webpage or by contacting our arrangements chair, Eyas Mahmoud (eyas@udel.edu), directly. Dues for the 2014-15 season will remain at $25.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $20.00 to the national club). Dues for students, postdocs and retirees will be $10.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $5.00 to the national club).

Our annual student poster competition (organized by Bingjun Xu of University of Delaware) will again be held in October. It provides an important forum for local students to disseminate their work and interact with fellow scientists from industry and academia. Furthermore, selected students from local universities will also be given the opportunity to brief presentation of their work at certain meetings.

Feel free to contact me or any other officers with any comments or concerns, and keep checking periodically our website (www.catalysisclubphilly.org) and our LinkedIn account for news or updates.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in September.
Best regards,
Vlad Nikolakis
C: 302-9818331; O: 302-8316204

2014 Annual Student Poster Competition

This is the first call for posters for the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia’s annual Student Poster Contest to be held Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at the Double Tree Hotel, 4727 Concord Pike (Rt. 202) in Wilmington, DE. To enter, please submit a short abstract of your proposed entry before September 28th, 2014, to Bingjun Xu at bxu@udel.edu.

The competition is restricted to graduate students only. Post-docs are welcome to present their posters but are not eligible for prizes. All poster presenters should be listed as the first author, and will be guests of the Catalysis Club for the evening. As in past years Catalysis Club members and guests will cast their votes for favorite poster and a panel of industrial judges will select the 5 best posters from the top 10 posters. Total prizes award of $550 will be distributed between the winners, $150 will go to the overall winner and $100 each to the 4 other winners. The one overall winner will be invited to present his or her work at the annual Catalysis Club symposium in Spring 2014.

The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia is very proud of this event and views it as one of the region’s premier opportunities for graduate students to showcase their work with the local chemical industry professionals. All graduate students whose work is either directly or indirectly related to catalysis science and technology are encouraged to submit entries. View the official announcement here.

Dr. Haiying Chen is the Winner of the 2014 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis

Haiying_ChenThe Catalysis Club of Chicago is pleased to announce that Dr. Haiying Chen (Johnson Matthey) is the recipient of the 2014 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis. This Award is given to recognize Dr. Chen’s significant contributions to the advancement of environment catalysis and technology. Dr. Chen’s research has led to the discovery and successful development and commercialization of (1) small pore molecular sieve supported transition metal catalysts for the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) of NOx with NH3; (2) NOx adsorber catalysts for heavy duty diesel emission control; and (3) sustainable technologies for the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from industrial processes. In addition, his research has led to the development of low temperature emission control technologies to meet future emission standards.

Dr. Chen has been invited to give lectures at various universities as well as on national and international scientific meetings. He has published 13 patents and over 50 publications. In addition, Dr. Chen has served the catalysis community in several leadership roles.

The award includes an honorarium ($1,000) and a plaque. Dr. Chen will receive this award and deliver the Award address at the Catalysis Club of Chicago Spring Symposium on May 13, 2014 at the BP Research Center in Naperville, IL.

List of past recipients of the Herman Pines Award

  • 1999 Harold Kung (Northwestern University)
  • 2000 John Monnier (Eastman Chemical)
  • 2001 Lanny Schmidt (University of Minnesota)
  • 2002 James Brazdil (BP)
  • 2003 James Dumesic (University of Wisconsin)
  • 2004 Alak Bhattacharyya (BP)
  • 2005 Israel Wachs (Lehigh University)
  • 2006 Jeffrey Miller (BP)
  • 2007 Chunshan Song (Pennsylvania State University)
  • 2008 Aleksey Yezerets (Cummins)
  • 2009 Tobin Marks (Northwestern University)
  • 2010 James Rekoske (UOP)
  • 2011 Jingguang Chen (University Delaware)
  • 2012 Stuart Soled (ExxonMobil)
  • 2013 W. Nicholas Delgass (Purdue University)