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Graduate students shine at catalysis conference

Yadan Tang, second-place winner in the student poster competition of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia, is held up by fellow Lehigh graduate students (l-r) Julie Molinari, Soe Lwin, Chris Keturakis, Anna Pougin, Chip Roberts, and Peter Phivilay.

Graduate students in chemistry and in chemical engineering won three prizes recently at one of the premier conferences in the northeastern U.S. that is devoted to catalysis research.

Yadan Tang, Julie E. Molinari and Christopher J. Keturakis took top honors at the student poster competition held by the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia. A total of 28 students, from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, Princeton University, Villanova University and Lehigh, took part in the competition.

The event was attended by university professors and by professionals from the chemical, petroleum and pharmaceutical industries.

Tang, a graduate student in chemistry, tied for second place in the poster contest, while Molinari and Keturakis, graduate students in chemical engineering, were recognized as runners-up.

Tang’s poster presentation, titled “Formic Acid Decomposition on Bulk Metal Catalysts,” was coauthored by Charles A. Roberts, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering, and Israel E. Wachs, the G. Whitney Snyder Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Molinari’s presentation was titled “Bridging the Gap between Heterogeneous and Enzyme Catalysis: Spectroscopic and Kinetic Study of a Vanadium Bromoperoxidase Mimic.”

Keturakis’ presentation was titled “New Insights into the Water-Gas Shift Reaction over Bulk Cr2O3*Fe2O3 Mixed Oxide Catalysts: A Combined Operando Raman-IR-XAS-MS Investigation.”

Roberts presented a poster titled “In Situ ATR-FTIR Study of Photocatalytic Reactions over TiO2 and Supported TiOx Nanodomains.”

Other Lehigh chemical engineering students who presented posters included Somphonh Peter Phivilay, Soe Lwin and Anna Pougin, who is a visiting graduate student from Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany. Their posters were all coauthored by Wachs.

Steven McIntosh, assistant professor of chemical engineering, gave an invited keynote address titled “Solid Oxide Fuel Cells—Moving to Proton Conduction and Material Insights by Neutron Diffraction.”

Story by Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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