Professor Jingguang Chen Wins ACS George Olah Award

Mar 31 2015 | By Holly Evarts | Eileen Barroso

Jingguang Chen, Thayer Lindsley Professor of Chemical Engineering, has won the 2015 George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry for his research on “experimental and theoretical investigations that have led to fundamental understanding and discovery of novel catalytic materials for hydrocarbon transformation reactions.” He was presented with the award on March 24 at the 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver, CO.

Professor Jingguang Chen

“I am honored to receive this prestigious recognition from the American Chemical Society,” says Chen, who holds a joint appointment as a senior chemist at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he is the cofounder and principle investigator of the Synchrotron Catalysis Consortium at the National Synchrontron Light Source. “I am excited to be working at Columbia Engineering where I can do fundamental research in catalysis and alternative energy.”

Chen has made pioneering contributions to the understanding and use of novel catalysts, combining the use of experimental and theoretical tools for the development of low-cost, earth-abundant catalytic materials with minimal or no precious metals. Catalysts are essential materials for many energy and chemical conversion processes, and are especially important for many clean energy technologies.

Before coming to Columbia Engineering in 2012, Chen was the Claire D. LeClaire Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware and previously worked for eight years at the Exxon Research and Engineering Company. During his career, Chen has published 300 journal publications and has been granted 20 patents relating to catalytic science and technology. He has advised over 50 PhD and postdoctoral students, and his research on the development of novel catalytic technologies has had significant impact on many technologies, including hydrocarbon transformations, fuel cells, biomass conversion, renewable H2 production, and more.

Originally established in 1948 as the ACS Award in Petroleum Chemistry to recognize, encourage, and stimulate outstanding research achievements in hydrocarbon or petroleum chemistry, the award was renamed in 1997 as the George Olah Award after the 1994 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.