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Catalyzing excellence

Dr. Israel E. Wachs, the G. Whitney Snyder Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named to prestigious lifetime achievement awards in the field of chemical reaction engineering.


Read the full version of this story in the Lehigh Engineering News Center.

The director of Lehigh's Operando Molecular Spectroscopy and Catalysis Laboratory, Wachs' contributions over three decades have been integral to the development of cutting edge research, new technologies and emerging growth areas in chemical engineering. He has published more than 300 highly cited technical articles and holds more than three dozen patents.

Wachs formally accepted the R.H. Wilhelm Award during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the AIChE, the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 50,000 members from over 100 countries. The Wilhelm Award is considered the top award in chemical reaction engineering research.

“There can be nothing more central to our profession than reaction engineering,” says Mayuresh Kothare, chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Lehigh. “Witnessing Israel win the Wilhelm Award is, therefore, a very special moment for our department, and a fitting way to celebrate Israel’s 30 years of pioneering accomplishments in this core area of our discipline.”

In particular, Dr. Wachs was recognized for “seminal contributions towards development of innovative concepts for molecular chemical reaction engineering of mixed oxide catalyzed reactions by establishing fundamental catalyst molecular structure-activity kinetic relationships.”

Earlier in the year, Wachs’ contribution to research and education was recognized by the American Chemical Society at its Annual Meeting, which organized a symposium celebrating his three decades in academia.

According to Miguel A. Bañares, research professor at the Institute for Catalysis in Madrid, symposium contributions were provided by students, postdocs and colleagues to express gratitude for the positive impact that training and collaborating with Professor Wachs has had upon their lives.