2013 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 24th, 2013 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 October 4th, 2013, to Alejandra Rivas at rivasa01@jmusa.com.

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.

Daniel Resasco is the recipient of the 2013 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

Daniel_ResascoThe Catalysis Club of Philadelphia is pleased to announce Dr. Daniel Resasco as the recipient of the 2013 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award, in recognition of his many contributions related to supported metal and solid acid catalysis, hydrocarbon conversion, nanotube synthesis, and biomass-derived compound upgrading.

Prof. Resasco obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from Yale University in 1983 under the direction of Gary Haller. While at Yale, he co-authored a seminal work explaining strong metal-support interactions on Rh/TiO2 catalysts that subsequently became a Current Contents Citation Classic. After graduation from Yale, he joined the chemical engineering department of the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina, eventually serving as department chair. In 1991 he returned to the US as Senior Scientist at the Sun Company, and in 1993 he joined the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering at the University of Oklahoma where he is now the George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Douglas & Hilda Bourne Chair of Chemical Engineering.

Prof. Resasco’s research in heterogeneous catalysis has always aimed at important applications, but has been strongly grounded in fundamentals of structure-property relationships and characterization of catalysts and mechanisms. Initially, his research program examined strong solid acid catalysis and supported metal catalysis for hydrocarbon processing. In the late 90s, Resasco’s group began investigation of heterogeneous catalytic synthesis of single-wall carbon nanotubes, discovering that careful control of the catalyst nanostructure enabled unprecedented chiral selectivity in the nanotubes.

Their work led to the patented CoMoCat process, capable of scaleup to industrial production, and a spinoff company, SouthWest NanoTechnologies. More recently, Resasco’s work on upgrading of biomass-derived compounds led to the development of Janus nanoparticle catalysts which simultaneously stabilize high interfacial area emulsions and carry out upgrading reactions in both the aqueous and organic phases. This work was initially reported in Science in January, 2010.

Prof. Resasco has authored well over 200 archival journal articles which have been cited over 8,000 times, 32 industrialpatents, and over 120 invited lectures. From 2001 – 2007 Resasco also served as associate editor of the Journal of Catalysis.

Prof. Resasco will be honored with a plaque an honorarium ($1000) during his award presentation at the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia’s monthly meetings in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.

Catalysis Club of Philadelphia – Announcement of Election Results

The elections for the 2013-2014 season of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia (CCP) were held on April 18, 2013.

The newly elected officers to the CCP Executive Committee are:

  • Chair-Elect: Vladimiros Nikolakis
  • Treasurer: Steve Harris
  • NACS Representative: Anne Gaffney
  • Directors
    • Yaritza Lopez
    • Parag Shah
    • Alejandra Rivas-Cardona

The proposal to amend BY–LAW IV — Officers, section 5 to include the position of Webmaster among the appointed positions was approved. The complete CCP by-laws are available at catalysisclubphilly.org/about/by-laws.

Seventh World Congress on Oxidation Catalysis

7WCOCAdvThe 7th World Congress on Oxidation Catalysis aims to focus on the understanding of catalytic oxidation phenomena across time and length scales, taking together the fundamental phenomena that is most often the focus of academia with the processes and applications that drive industry. The session titled From Fundamentals to Application includes existing and nascent topics that bridge fundamental understanding to current and emerging technologies. For example, materials/catalyst preparation and design topics address the multifunctional nature inherent in oxidation process catalysts. Emerging alternative or “green” oxidants can be used in both heterogeneous and homogeneous processes to benefit selectivity. Chemical looping processes promise to eliminate the primary source of nitrogen oxides.

A new session format is included with the goal of presenting new ideas and methodologies for decoding the complexity inherent in catalysis and catalytic processes. Presenters are encouraged to discuss exciting combinations of theory and experiment and the combination of multiple experimental techniques. Presentations will be scheduled early in the program with a discussion workshop to generate consensus on the current state and direction of the field.

The oxidative catalytic applications important to industry in a great sense drive the fundamental work discussed above. The petrochemical processes focused on syngas generation/conversion, combustion, partial and selective oxidation, amines and C1 chemistry, along with processes for biomass conversion to fuels will be presented. Fine chemical and pharmaceutical production that generally employ homogeneous oxidations are covered among the subtopics of olefin and aromatic oxidation, epoxidation and the chemistry of radical species. Finally, the contribution of catalysis to environmental technologies such as VOC oxidation, wastewater treatment and autoexhaust catalysis will be presented.

The Congress begins with a full day on Sunday, June 9th, and lasts through Wednesday June 12th. It will be held in Saint Louis, Missouri on the campus of Washington University. With Washington University acting as host the Congress is made quite economical and many will find the registration prices coupled with the availability of campus housing a pleasant surprise. The Congress dinner will be on Tuesday, June 11 and a group excursion to the top of the Gateway Arch will take place on Wednesday, June 12. For more information about the 7th World Congress, visit www.7wcoc.org.

Registration Deadline for 2013 Spring Symposium

Dear Colleagues,
The deadline for advance registration for 2013 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Spring Symposium has been extended until Friday, May 3rd.

The registration for the Symposium can be conveniently done online.

Below you will find a link to an updated Symposium announcement and registration form. The Symposium is scheduled to be held on Thursday, May 9th at the DoubleTree Hotel in Wilmington, Delaware.

We have a strong program this year with a number of interesting talks. We hope to see you at the Symposium.

Download Registration »

Nicholas Delgass is the Winner of the 2013 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis

The Catalysis Club of Chicago is pleased to announce that Prof. W. Nicholas Delgass (Maxine Spencer Nichols Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University) is the recipient of the 2013 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis. This Award is given to recognize Prof. Delgass’ outstanding contributions to catalyst characterization, reaction and catalyst chemistry, and advanced catalyst design. Prof. Delgass first introduced the applications of Mössbauer spectra and XPS to the catalysis community.

Prof. Delgass has served on the editorial boards of leading catalysis journals such as Journal of Catalysis and as chairs for international catalysis conferences. He is a gifted teacher, winning the Purdue School of Chemical Engineering Teaching Awarding for seven times. Prof. Delgass has been invited to give more than 190 lectures on national and international scientific meetings. He has published over 160 publications.

The award includes an honorarium ($1,000) and a plaque. Prof. Delgass will receive this Award during the Catalysis Club of Chicago Spring Symposium on May 7, 2013 at BP Research Center (Naperville, IL). Prof. Delgass will deliver the Award address at the Symposium.
Previous 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)

Elections for the 2013-2014 CCP Season

Elections of officers and amendment to the by-laws

Candidates for the CCP Executive Committee

  • Chair-Elect: Vladimiros Nikolakis and Haiming Liu
  • Treasurer: Steve Harris and Hai-Ying Chen
  • NACS Representative: Anne Gaffney and Mike Smith
  • Directors: Yaritza Lopez, Joe Li, Alejandra Rivas-Cardona, Parag Shah, and Eric Zhang

Biographical sketches of the candidates


  • Dr. Vladimiros Nikolakis (Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001) is a Research Associate Director at the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI), University of Delaware. Before joining CCEI he was a Principal Researcher at the Institute of Chemical Engineering & High Temperature Chemical Processes (FORTH/ICE-HT), Greece. His current studies are focused in the field of heterogeneous catalysis for the conversion of biomass feedstocks to platform chemicals or fuels. His research interests also include the fields of zeolite crystallization; zeolite membrane synthesis and performance evaluation. He has published more than 40 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and he has more than 50 presentations in scientific conferences. He has served the professional community as a member of the organizing committee of several scientific conferences (once as a conference chair), and as reviewer of research articles or proposals. He served the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia as the Director of the Poster Session in 2012-2013.
  • Haiming Liu is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Arkema Inc at North America R&D Center in King of Prussia, PA. For the past ten years he works on characterization of organic and inorganic materials including polymers, small molecules, and catalysts, using primarily Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and expanding new instrumentation capability. He received his Ph. D. in chemistry from State University of New York at Stony Brook, and worked as a post-doc at University of Pennsylvania on synthesis, catalysis, and gas sorption/separation applications of molecular sieves including zeolites and porous metal-organic frameworks. He has been a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia for twelve years, and has served as Arrangements Chair, Membership Director, and Sponsorship Director in the past. He is also a member of American Chemical Society and North East Corridor Zeolite Association. ToC


  • Stephen Harris received his PhD in Organometallic Chemistry/Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Rochester. He worked 32 years for ARCO Chemical and its successors on organometallic olefin catalysis and plant implementation, product purification improvements, product technical service and new product development, and general organic process development and implementation. After a brief stint in the excellent city of Boston working on biomass transformations to commodity chemicals, he is working now at Renmatix on conversion of wood and other biomass substrates into fermentable sugars.
  • Dr. Hai-Ying Chen is a Product Development Manager at Johnson Matthey Inc., Emission Control Technologies, in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He is responsible for developing advanced catalysts for exhaust emission control. Hai-Ying Chen received his Ph. D. degree in Chemistry from Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He has been a member of the Philadelphia Catalysis Club since 2000, and served the club as Secretary, Program Chair, Director, Chair, and Treasurer. ToC

NACS Representative

  • Anne Gaffney is currently an INVISTA™ R&D Leader working on Specialty Materials in Newark, DE. She has been a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia since 1982 and has held the following club positions: Chair (1986-87); Director (1989-1995); and NACS Representative (1996-2013). Anne received her BA in chemistry and mathematics from Mount Holyoke College and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Delaware. She has been working in industrial catalysis since 1981 at the following additional companies, ARCO Chemical, DuPont, Rohm and Haas, and Lummus Technology.
  • Dr. Michael A. Smith is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Villanova University. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College in 1980, then worked in a variety of assignments with the DuPont Company for 17 years. Dr. Smith returned to school to obtain a Masters at Villanova University, and obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2004 working with Prof Raul Lobo. Since he has work as a research scientist for an SBIR startup, and has been at Villanova since 2006, first as a Visiting Assistant Professor, then in a tenure track position since 2008. Dr. Smith’s research interests include the synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials made using colloidal self-assembly and sol-gel techniques, and heterogeneous catalysis with an emphasis on catalysis by metal oxides. ToC


  • Dr. Yaritza M. López is currently Technical Program Manager at Johnson Matthey Inc., Emission Control Technologies, in the Heavy Duty Diesel department in Audubon, PA. She is leading technical programs for direct application of advanced catalyst technology onto future engines/vehicles and development of new emissions control technology. She joined JM in September 2010, after finishing her Post-Doc at the University of South Carolina (USC), where she focused her research of NOx reduction catalysts for gasoline emissions. She obtained her PhD degree from USC in 2009, her dissertation was focused on the synthesis, characterization and kinetic evaluation of dendrimer-derived monometallic and bimetallic catalysts for hydrogenation and NOx reduction reactions. Yaritza was member of the Southeast Catalysis Society and she is an active member of the North American Catalysis Society (2007 – present). She has been part of several professional and graduate student committees. She was co-chair on fundamentals of catalysis session in AIChE and she participated as judge of AIChE undergraduate student poster (2010). She was also vice-president of the chemical engineer graduate organization at USC (2008-2009) and part of the graduate student recruiting committee at USC from 2005 to 2009.
  • Yejia (Joe) Li is a scientist in Arkema Inc. working in analysis of polymers using Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)/Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science from Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China. After a short period of industry experience, he studied in Tulane University for his PhD degree in synthesis, purification and characterization of polymers with various architectures, properties and applications. His current work involves method development of GPC, analysis of molecular weight and distribution of polymers.
  • Alejandra Rivas-Cardona is a Staff Scientist at Johnson Matthey Emission Control Technologies in the Product Development department. She is responsible for developing new catalysts for emission control applications and managing the Product Development research laboratory. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Celaya Institute of Technology, one of the top five Chemical Engineering programs in Mexico. Alejandra received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, where she worked in zeolite synthesis under the guidance of Professor Daniel Shantz. She was a member of the Southwest Catalysis Society where she participated in several Annual Spring Symposiums and has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 2010. She became a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia in November 2011 and has been attending its meetings and symposiums since then.
  • Parag Shah is a Senior Research Engineer at PQ Corporation and is involved in developing improved silica-based supports and process/product development for emerging catalyst technologies. In 2008 he received his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Prof. Raymond J. Gorte. His thesis work focused on investigating the thermodynamic properties of metal-oxide catalysts. Parag earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay (India), and subsequently did a Masters in Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente (The Netherlands), with emphasis on Process Development and Design. He has been a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia since 2004, and has served as Secretary (2010-2012), and Director (2012-2013).
  • Dr. Xiawei (Eric) Zhang received his B.S. in chemistry from Lanzhou University, China in 1995, and a M.S. in organometallic chemistry from the National University of Singapore in 2000, where he worked in the laboratory of Professor Pak-Hing Leung. He obtained his Ph.D. also in organometallic chemistry from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick in 2005 working with Professor Alan Goldman. He then did postdoctoral research in Professor Geoff Coates’ laboratory at Cornell University. Dr. Zhang started his career in industry in 2008. After about 5 years working in Arkema Inc., he joined the Philadelphia site of Honeywell as senior scientist in 2013. ToC

Proposed amendment to the CCP by-laws

We proposed to amend section 5 of BY–LAW IV — Officers, to include the position of Webmaster among the appointed positions. Additions are highlighted with an italic blue font on yel­low background and a dele­tions are strike-through. The complete CCP by-laws are available at catalysisclubphilly.org/about/by-laws.

Proposed text for section 5 of BY–LAW IV — Officers

The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Club, the immediate Past–Chairman, three elected Directors, a Representative to the Catalysis Society, and three four officers appointed by the Chairman: Arrangements Chair, Secretary (as amended – October 2000), and Program Chair, and Webmaster. Secretary (as amended – October 2000) shall include sending to members such notices as the business of the Club may require, notifying members of the time and place of meetings, keeping minutes of the business meetings, and taking care of such correspondence as the business of the Club requires (as amended – November 1994). They shall adopt and recommend to the Chairman for execution those policies and plan which will best further the achievement of the objectives of the Club. The Representative to The Catalysis Society shall serve on the Board of Directors of the Catalysis Society and shall be responsible to the Executive Committee of the Club (as amended – October, 1984). The Webmaster shall maintain the internet presence of the Club. ToC