Young Scientist Award – International Congress on Catalysis

Sotoodeh_Farnaz_2012Congratulations to Dr. Farnaz Sotoodeh, postdoctoral fellow in Professor Kevin J. Smith’s group, for winning a “Young Scientist Award” at the 15th International Congress on Catalysis (ICC), held in Munich, Germany on July 1-6th, 2012. The ICC is held every four years and provides a high-profile scientific opportunity for discussion and exchange of new ideas in the field of catalysis from around the world. Catalysis is one of the key leading technologies in the synthesis of energy carriers and chemicals. The “Young Scientist Award” is awarded by the International Association of Catalysis Societies (IACS) to the most promising young scientists (age under 35) in recognition of their excellent scientific contributions in the field of catalysis.

The first International Congress on Catalysis was organized in Philadelphia in 1956 by the International Congress on Catalysis, Inc., a Pennsylvanian corporation ( The objective was to exchange new ideas and progress in catalysis science and technology. The congress was subsequently held in Paris in 1960, and Amsterdam in 1964. The name of the organization was changed later in 1996 to the International Association of Catalysis Societies, IACS. The International Congress on Catalysis with the theme “from fundamental understanding to catalyst design and novel processes”, discusses advances in catalysis from fundamental catalytic steps. Some of the topics of the conference include catalysis for clean fuels production, catalysis for green synthesis, advances in computational catalysis and catalysis for fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals ( ).

Farnaz Sotoodeh, who received her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering in the CHBE Catalysis group supervised by Professor Kevin J. Smith, presented her work describing a heterogeneous catalytic system for fast and efficient release of hydrogen from organic liquids for hydrogen-fuel utilizing systems. She used the density functional theory (DFT) technique to study the dehydrogenation reaction mechanism. Her research will contribute to the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel for vehicular applications and to the development of the hydrogen economy.

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