Graduate 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, November 17, 2011 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 4727 Concord Pike (Rt. 202) in Wilmington, DE. To enter, please submit a short abstract of your proposed entry before November 7, 2011 to Michael A. Smith (

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; however, this year a select 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 May 2012.

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 2011-2012 Season

Dear Colleagues:

The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia would like to announce the opening of our upcoming season on September 22nd, 2011 at the Doubletree Hotel in Wilmington, DE. For over 50 years, the Catalysis ClubCatalysis Club of Philadelphia award, Professor Chunshan Song from Penn State University. Prof. Song was recognized at the 2011 Spring Symposium for his accomplishments to the field of catalysis on sulfur removal from hydrocarbon mixtures and hydrocarbon conversion for energy oriented processes. His award seminar will be titled “Oxygen Enhanced Water Gas Shift Over Bimetallic Catalysts for More Efficient Hydrogen Production”. Our program will then continue on October 13th and will feature Roy Periana from the Scripps Research Institute and in April will feature the Burwell Award winner Johannes Lercher from TU Müchen. Be sure to check our website for the full schedule in September.

Also in October, we will hold our annual student poster competition, coordinated by Michael Smith of Villanova University, an announcement will follow shortly with the call for abstracts. As in the past, the poster competition will be open to all undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral studies with the top graduate student poster speaking at the Spring Symposium.

This year we have already experienced two significant changes to our monthly meetings. The first is a change in venue. Meetings will now be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Wilmington, DE off of US202 North. Directions to the location are in a separate attachment and will be provided with each meeting notification this year. By moving, we have been able to maintain our meal costs. Dinner will be $35.00 for members, $20.00 for students/retirees and will include one drink during the social hour. Walk-ins and non-members dinner fees will be $40.00. We strongly encourage advance reservations for the meetings.

Additionally, the National Club has increased standard club dues for this season. For club members, dues will increase to $25.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $20.00 to the national club). Dues for students will increase to $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 (Steve Harris), or at the monthly meetings. A list of representatives is available at

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 Agnes Kovacs,, or your company representative.

The strength of our club has always revolved around our members and our monthly meetings. Your participation in our monthly meetings is essential, so I hope to see you all there on September 22nd to kick off another great year.

Joe Fedeyko

Election of Club Officers for the 2011-2012 Season

Elections of new officers will be held on Thursday April 14, 2011. This year candidates for Chair-Elect are Bjorn Moden and Chuck Coe; Treasurer are Istvan Halasz and Stephen Harris; and Directors are Agnes Kovacs, Raul Lobo, Michael Smith, Ivan Baldychev and Erich Weigert. Their biographical sketches are listed below.

Bjorn Moden – Bjorn Moden is currently a Senior Research Engineer at Zeolyst International at the PQ Corporation R&D center in Conshohocken, PA, where he is working on zeolite development for environmental applications. He received his Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley under the direction of Enrique Iglesia in 2006 and his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm in 2000. Bjorn is currently the Sponsorship Director of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia and was the Secretary for the club from 2007 to 2010.

Chuck Coe – 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.

Istvan Halasz – Born, educated, and started teaching/research carrier in Hungary. Obtained Ph. D. from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Has 12 years academic and 21 years industrial research experience, mainly related to product and process development for petrochemical and fine chemical industry, materials characterization, heterogeneous catalysis, and solid state chemistry. Author of 101 papers, 9 patents, and 60 conference presentations. ACS and North American Catalysis Society member since 1990. Held various board positions at CCP including chair.

Stephen Harris – Stephen Harris received a BS in chemistry from Muhlenberg College and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the University of Rochester. His interests are in process design and optimization. He has been Treasurer, Arrangements Chair, and Membership Director for the CCP.

Agi Kovacs – Agnes Derecskei-Kovacs was born and raised in Hungary. She graduated from the Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen, Hungary majoring in Physics and earned her PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics while working for the Department of Theoretical Physics at the same university. With her husband and daughter, she came to the US in 1990 and earned a second degree in Mathematical Sciences/Chemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington. After a year of postdoc, she worked for the University of Vermont as a visiting assistant professor and for the Texas A&M University as the Manager of the Laboratory for Molecular Simulations. She started her industrial carrier at Millennium Chemicals in the Baltimore area in 2000 as a molecular modeler and started to attend the Philadelphia Catalysis Club meetings regularly when her company became part of Lyondell (now LyondellBasell). Agnes joined Air Products a year ago working for the Computational Modeling Center as a Research Associate. In this role, she is responsible for the computational chemistry support globally for all Air Products businesses. She is going to be the company’s representative in the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia next month. Agnes is married, her husband Bela is also a regular attendee at the Club’s meetings. They have a daughter, Eva, currently working on her residency in Family Medicine. Agnes enjoys reading, gardening and exercising when her busy schedule allows.

Raul Lobo – Not available at this time.

Michael Smith – 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, 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 his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2004. Since he has work as a research scientist for an SBIR startup, and has been at Villanova since 2005. Dr Smith’s research interests include the synthesis and characterization of novel nano-structured materials made using colloidal self-assembly and sol-gel techniques; heterogeneous catalysis and chemical kinetics.

Ivan Baldychev – Ivan Baldychev is a Research Engineer at DuPont Company and is involved in developing new processes for production of fluoroproducts. In 2011 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. Ivan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He has been a member of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia since 2006.

Erich Weigert – Erich completed his graduate work at the University of Delaware in the department of Materials Science and Engineering. His thesis work was a study of tungsten mono-carbides as alternative electrocatalysts for direct methanol fuel cells. After graduating in 2007, Erich joined Johnson Matthey as a product development scientist. His initial work focused on the design of SCR catalysts for diesel applications. In 2008 Erich joined the light duty diesel applications group in JM to continue development work for light duty diesel on-road vehicles. Still presently in this role, he is involved with the design, scale up, and testing of a variety of light duty diesel after treatment catalyst technologies.

Prof. Jingguang Chen is the recipient of the 2011 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis

Prof. Jingguang Chen (Claire D. LeClaire Professor at the University of Delaware) is the recipient of Catalysis Club of Chicago’s 2011 Herman Pines Award. The Award is presented annually to recognize an individual who has made significant contribution to catalysis in either fundamental research or industrial processes. The award includes a plaque, an honorarium of $1000 and travel reimbursement as a plenary speaker at 2011 Catalysis Club of Chicago Spring Symposium. The award will be presented during the symposium at BP Research Center (Naperville, IL) on May 19, 2011.

Professor Jingguang Chen is a world leader in surface science studies of carbide and bimetallic catalysts and their industrial applications. He has made great leaps toward closing the long standing, well-known materials and pressure gaps in heterogeneous catalysis that are essential to convert fundamental surface science studies into industrial practice. This has been achieved by a unique combination of surface science, theoretical modeling, catalysis and in-situ reactor studies leading to the development of novel concepts and catalytic materials for a wide range of chemical reactions. In parallel, Prof. Chen has excelled in a variety of leadership roles to advance surface science and catalysis. He has published over 200 papers in various catalysis and surface science journals and written critical reviews for several leading review journals, including Chemical Reviews and Surface Science Reports. He is the inventor or co-inventor of 16 United States Patents. As an indication of his high visibility, he has given over two hundred invited and keynote lectures.

Call for Nominations for the 2011 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

Each year the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia recognizes an outstanding member of the catalysis community, who has made significant contributions to the advancement of Catalysis. Such advancement can be scientific, technological, or in organization leadership. The Award consists of a plaque and a $1000 cash prize.

We appreciate your help in submitting nominations. The entire nomination package, including a resume and recommendation letters, should not be more than 10 pages. The deadline for the receipt of nominations is April 15, 2010. Prior nomination packages sent in 2007 or later will automatically be considered for the 2010 Award.

Nomination letter along with supporting materials should be emailed to Michael Smith (Michael Smith).

Michael Smith
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Villanova University

Catalysis Club of Philadelphia: Winners of the 2010-2011 Student Poster Competition

The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia held the 2010-2011 Student Poster Competition October 21st, 2010 with 28 student entries, and one post-doctoral presenter. The four runners-up included, Kevin Doura (Lehigh University) with “Catalyst by Design: Tuning the Selective Oxidation of CH3OH to Dimethoxymethane over Supported V2O5 – WO3/TiO2/SiO2 with TiO2 Nanoligands”; Gholamreza Rostamikia (Pennsylvania State University, University Park) with “First Principles Design of Electrocatalysts for Direct Borohydride Oxidation”; Andrew Ferens (Villanova University) with “Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Ethanol to Acetaldehyde and Ethyl Acetate by Graphite Nanofibers”; and Xin Li (University of Delaware) with “Selective Oxidation of Propane to Acrylic Acid over Single Phase M1 MoVTeNbOx Catalysts”. Top honors went to Kevin Bakhmutsky from the University of Pennsylvania, with his poster titled “The Influence of Cobalt Loading on Oxidation of Supported Catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis”. Along with top honors, Kevin also received an invitation to present his research at the Catalysis Club’s Annual Spring Symposium to be held in May 2011 at Villanova University.

Christopher Jones, Ph.D. heads ACS Catalysis, new American Chemical Society Journal

BOSTON, Aug. 23, 2010 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Christopher W. Jones, Ph.D., as Editor-in-Chief of ACS Catalysis, the newest journal in ACS’s suite of highly cited, peer-reviewed journals.

ACS Catalysis will officially launch in January 2011 dedicated to publishing original research on and at the interfaces of heterogeneous catalysis, homogeneous catalysis and biocatalysis. Application coverage of ACS Catalysis will include life sciences, drug discovery & development, household products, polymer discovery & production, environmental protection and energy & fuels.

Darla Henderson, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Editorial Development in the ACS Journals Publishing Group expressed pleasure with having Jones on board as Editor-in Chief of ACS Catalysis. “Dr. Jones’ vision for ACS Catalysis encompasses outreach to the catalysis community in a significant sense. Dr. Jones’ research experience across several major research areas in the catalysis field overall, and collaborative work within the various aspects of catalysis provide a significant advantage to his service as the Inaugural Editor-in-Chief of ACS Catalysis.”

“As both a catalysis scientist and as the Editor-in-Chief of ACS Catalysis, I am very excited about the potential of this new journal,” Jones noted. “ACS Catalysis will offer a new forum for rapid and efficient dissemination of novel experimental or theoretical results in all areas of catalysis. The combination of breadth of topical coverage in catalysis, a fast and rigorous review of manuscripts, and the convenience and efficiency of the ACS Publications web platform uniquely position ACS Catalysis for success.”

Jones is the Professor and J. Carl and Sheila Pirkle Faculty Fellow at the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. His research interests are works in the broad areas of materials design and synthesis, catalysis and adsorption. His research group’s work on the rational design of molecularly engineered materials draws from a number of different disciplines to enable the development of functional materials with applications in areas such as catalysis and separations.

Jones received his BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, his MS in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and his PhD in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He is a member of the International Zeolite Association, the North American Catalysis Society, the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Chemical Society. He recently was awarded the 2010 Ipatieff Prize from ACS, recognizing outstanding chemical experimental work in the field of catalysis or high pressure, carried out by an individual of any nationality who is not over 40 years of age.