Catalysis Club of Philadelphia’s Annual Student Poster Contest

This is the first call for posters for the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia’s annual Student Poster Contest to be held Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 4727 Concord Pike (Rt. 202) in Wilmington, DE. To enter, please submit a short abstract of your proposed entry before October 5th, 2012, to Vladimiros Nikolakis.

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 years past Catalysis Club members and guests will cast their votes for favorite poster and a last year 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 2013.

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.

Welcome to the 2012-13 Season of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the 64th season of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia. Since the club was founded in 1949, we continue the tradition 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 broad range of talks that have been arranged for this season.

The speaker lineup for our monthly meetings has been coordinated by Yaritza Lopez of Johnson Matthey. As has been our recent tradition, the first meeting of the season will be the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award Lecture. We are pleased to have the 2012 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award winner Rostam Madon of BASF present his work on September 20, 2012. Below is the speaker schedule for the 2012-13 season along with any special event that will occur throughout the year.

  • 9/20/12 – Rostam Madon, BASF – CCP Award Lecture
  • 10/18/12 – Israel Wachs, Lehigh University
  • 10/18/12 – Poster Session
  • 11/15/12 – To be announced
  • 1/17/13 – Stuart Soled, ExxonMobil
  • 2/21/13 – Anne Gaffney, INVISTA
  • 2/21/13 – Officer Nominations
  • 3/21/13 – Jim Miller, Carnegie Mellon
  • 4/18/13 – John Kitchin, Carnegie Mellon
  • 4/18/13 – Officer Elections
  • May 13 – CCP Spring Symposium

Our annual student poster competition will take place in October and will be coordinated by Vladimiris Nikolakis 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. The nominations of CCP officers for the 2013-14 season will take place in February with elections scheduled for April. Carl Menning of DuPont will organize the CCP Spring Symposium in May. We will also continue to have a brief presentation by a local graduate student prior to the main lecture at some of the monthly meetings.

The monthly meetings will again 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 2012-13 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 pay your dues to your company representative, to our treasurer Hai-Ying Chen of Johnson Matthey, or at the monthly meetings. A list of company representatives is available in our website.

Please visit our website at to receive latest information on monthly meetings. If you would like to receive our monthly announcements or need to update your contact information, please contact our Membership Director, Parag Shah of PQ Corporation at

The strength of our club has always revolved around our members and 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 20 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.

Bjorn Moden

Rostam Madon is the recipient of the 2012 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia is pleased to announce Dr. Rostam Madon as the recipient of the 2012 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the fields of Fischer-Tropsch and fluid catalytic cracking catalysts.

Rostam obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Rostam helped develop the Madon-Boudart criterion for identifying mass-transfer, heat transfer, and poisoning effects on catalytic rates. The criterion is used today in academic and industrial laboratories worldwide.

After post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin, Rostam started his industrial career at Exxon where he discovered the importance of support oxide structures in controlling the overall reaction rates for Fischer-Tropsch catalytic chemistry. This finding led to the development of a specific oxide support enabling Exxon’s Advanced Gas Conversion 21th (AGC21) process and catalysts and was cited by Exxon’s Corporate Research during its 30th Anniversary as a key development during that period. His work and collaborations on Fischer-Tropsch catalysts, also led to important contributions on the impact of sulfur on activity patterns and modeling chain growth reaction pathways.

In 1986, Rostam transitioned to Engelhard (now BASF) and began to focus on fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts. His study of FCC catalysts has led to many important insights. In particular, Rostam led the development of the Reduxion-Maxol® suite of catalysts which were the result of understanding the interplay between of the matrix and zeolite Y and have been used in over 100 refineries worldwide. Furthermore, he explained the role of ZSM-5 as a co-catalyst in FCC units and the role of rare earth oxides in increasing the rates of hydride transfer during hydrocarbon cracking reactions. Rostam has authored 43 technical papers and been awarded 9 US patents. Additionally in 2009, Rostam was awarded the AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Practice Award.

Please join us in congratulating Rostam on receiving the 2012 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia award.

Catalysis Club of Philadelphia 2012 Spring Symposium

The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia held its annual Spring Symposium at the Doubletree Hotel in Wilmington, DE on May 17, 2012. It was a successful event with 87 attendees from industry and academia. The speakers presenting their work at the symposium were: Matt Neurock (University of Virginia), Enrique Iglesia (University of California, Berkeley), Raul Lobo (University of Delaware), David Johnson (Lucite International), Tewodros Asefa (Rutgers University), Istvan Halasz (PQ Corporation), Michael Janik (Pennsylvania State University), Alan Allgeier (DuPont) and Yadan Tang (Lehigh University).

2012 Catalysis Gordon Conference

I am pleased to announce the 2012 Catalysis Gordon Conference to be held June 24-29, 2012 at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. As in previous years the Catalysis GRC promises to be an exciting conference in the normal GRC format focusing on highlighting and discussing the latest often unpublished results in the hottest areas of catalysis.

The 2012 GRC has a theme of “Catalysis – From Fundamentals to Application” and seeks to build bridges between theory and experiment as well as low pressure spectroscopy and high pressure application. This year the conference will be held in the beautiful New London, New Hampshire at Colby Sawyer College in newly upgraded conference facilities.
Oral Presenters:

  • Avelino Corma – UPV
  • Bert Weckhuysen – Utrecht
  • Beatriz Roldan – Central Florida
  • Adriano Zecchina – Turin
  • Jens Norskov – Stanford
  • Karsten Reuter – TU Munich
  • Christophe Coperet – ETH
  • Justin Notestein – Northwestern
  • Edmund Carnahan – Dow
  • Fabio Ribeiro – Purdue
  • Manos Mavrikakis – Wisconsin
  • Jingguang Chen – Delaware
  • Abhya Datye – New Mexico
  • Stig Helveg – Haldor Topsoe
  • Jae Sung-Lee – Pohang
  • Kazunari Domen – Tokyo
  • Yang Shao-Horn – MIT
  • Daniel Resasco – Oklahoma
  • Chris Marshall – Argonne
  • Alexis Bell – Cal-Berkeley

Applications are now being accepted at Graduate students and post-docs are highly encouraged to apply and present posters. Questions about the conference and financial support can be addressed to the conference chairman at
Bruce Cook
Chairman, 2012 Catalysis GRC

Elections for the 2012-13 Season Executive Committee will be held on April 19, 2012

Chair-elect: Carl Menning, Vlad Nikolakis
Treasurer: Haiying Chen, Parag Shah
Directors: Yaritza Lopez, Chuck Coe
Biographical sketches of the candidates


Carl Menning is currently a Research Engineer at DuPont at the Corporate Research center in Wilmington, DE, where he is working on catalyst development for renewably-sourced materials. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2003. Following a short period in industry, he received his Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware under the guidance of Jingguang Chen in 2009 with a focus on bimetallic catalysts for PEM fuel cells. He has industrial experience in a variety of fields including consumer foods, petroleum-based products, inorganic pigments and renewably-sourced materials. Carl is currently the Program Chair of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia and was the Arrangements Chair from 2006 to 2008.

Dr. Vladimiros Nikolakis (Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001) joined the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation at University of Delaware as a Senior Research Associate in 2011. Before that 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, evaluation and development of novel characterization techniques. He has published more than 30 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.


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 Sectary, Program Chair, Director, and Chair.

Parag Shah is a Research Chemist at PQ Corporation and is involved in developing improved silica-based supports, new polyolefin catalysts 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 served as Secretary since 2010-2011 season.


Yaritza M. López is currently a Senior Application Engineer at Johnson Matthey in the Heavy Duty Diesel department in Audubon, PA. She is working on the technical applications of new catalysts for emission control for heavy duty diesel engines. 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.

Chuck Coe is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department of Villanova University. After obtaining his PhD in inorganic chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University, Chuck joined the Chemical Additives division of Air Products and Chemicals Early in Chuck’s career he transferred to the corporate research group at the company headquarters where he developed an extensive expertise in molecular sieve science. Before retiring from Air Products, Chuck was named a strategic technologist for the Corporation and provided internal consultation on a broad range of materials characterization issues involving catalysts and adsorbents. Chuck has been an active member of the Philadelphia and NY Catalysis Clubs for over thirty years. Earlier in his career he served as an officer in the Philadelphia Catalysis Club. He received the 2010 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award. Since retiring, Chuck has joined the Chemical Engineering faculty at Villanova as a Visiting Assistant Professor and is sharing his knowledge with the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Travel Grants for Participation in the 15th International Congress on Catalysis

The North American Catalysis Society will provide supplemental funding for support of attendance at the 15th International Congress on Catalysis (15th ICC) to be held in Munich, Germany, July 1-6, 2012.

Funding for this program has been provided by federal agencies (NSF, DOE) and industry (Dow Chemical Co., BASF, BP, SudChemie). These funds will be used to provide partial reimbursement of travel, lodging and registration expenses for attendees with priority given to:

  1. Faculty members in their first four years of appointment to ladder-rank positions and currently active in catalysis research at U.S. institutions.
  2. Postdoctoral and graduate student presenting oral or poster contributions at the 15th ICC.
  3. Invited chairs of session at the 15th ICC meeting.
  4. Other applicants, as funds permit.

Applications should be submitted to Professor Jingguang Chen (NACS Director-at-Large, and coordinator of this grant program) no later than March 30, 2012 in electronic form ( This application should be no longer than one page and include your qualifications in the context of items 1-3 listed above.

This one-page application should clearly state:

  1. Your position, including years in present position and activity in catalysis research since 2007 (publications and patents in the catalysis area). Please indicate if your academic research group is currently funded by DOE-BES or NSF
  2. Your accepted presentation in the 15th ICC (title, session, and oral or poster venue. Include acceptance letter as a second page).
  3. Sessions that you are chairing (include invitation to chair as a second page).
  4. Any other data that the selection panel should consider.

The panel decision will be communicated to all applicants no later than May 15, 2012 via email. Original receipts will be required for reimbursement and travel must be booked via U.S. carriers.