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Gregory Botsaris Lecture in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Dr. Bruce C. Gates

The Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering is pleased to announce the Gregory Botsaris Lecture in Chemical and Biological Engineering, to be held on Wednesday April 12, 2017. The lecture will be given by Dr. Bruce C. Gates, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Davis.

The lecture, entitled "Molecular Metal Complex and Metal Cluster Catalysts on Supports: Organometallic Chemistry Meets Surface Science," will take place at 12:00pm at Alumnae Hall, 40 Talbot Street, Medford. Parking is available in the Dowling Hall Parking Garage. This event is open to the public and will be followed by a reception at 1:15pm.
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Industrial catalysts range from the simple—molecules in solution—to the complex—the heterogeneous surfaces of robust solids. The underlying sciences, organometallic chemistry and surface chemistry, are now merging as researchers succeed in synthesizing and characterizing molecular species on surfaces. The best understood of these supported catalysts are highly uniform, being isolated on regular (crystalline) supports such as zeolites. Spectra, atomic-resolution electron microscopy images, and calculations at the level of density functional theory characterize the supported species and demonstrate their high degrees of uniformity. Hence, it is becoming evident how to design these site-isolated catalysts—the design variables are the metal, the number of metal atoms in a catalytic site, the support, and other ligands bonded to the metal. We illustrate some supported molecular catalysts with appealing properties, such as stability at high temperatures and high selectivity for challenging reactions such as hydrogenation of 1, 3-butadiene to give butenes.

Speaker Bio:
Bruce C. Gates is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Davis. He teaches in the Department of Chemical Engineering and formerly he taught at the University of Delaware and worked at Chevron. His research group is active in catalysis, with a focus on supported metal complex and metal cluster catalysts that are essentially molecular and lend themselves to design and in-depth characterization by spectroscopy and atomic-resolution microscopy. His group also works on catalysis of biomass conversion, with a focus on hydroprocessing. Gates wrote the textbook Catalytic Chemistry and coauthored the textbook Chemistry of Catalytic Processes. Until recently, he edited Advances in Catalysis. He serves on the U.S. Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee and the North American Catalysis Society's Board of Directors. His work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Alpha Chi Sigma, William H. Walker, and R. H. Wilhelm awards of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Award in Petroleum Chemistry and the Gabor Somorjai Award of the American Chemical Society, and awards from the Council for Chemical Research, and the North American Catalysis Society. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.