Harold Kung to Receive Gabor A. Somorjai Award

Harold Kung, professor of chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, will receive the 2011 Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis from the American Chemical Society.

The award recognizes outstanding theoretical, experimental, or developmental research resulting in the advancement of understanding or application of catalysis, and the list of winners includes the greatest researchers in the field of catalysis.

Kung is a world leader in the field of heterogeneous catalysis research and the development of novel materials and processes. He applies his expertise to the critical areas of sustainability, renewable energy and environmental chemistry.

Currently Kung and his research group are focused on the synthesis of novel nanomaterials for catalytic applications to minimize energy consumption and environmental impact and on new lithium-ion battery technologies, such as new forms of electrodes for improved electrical energy storage.

During his career Kung has made significant contributions in various areas of heterogeneous catalysis, starting with seminal work that demonstrated the relationship between surface atomic structures of an oxide and its chemical and catalytic properties. He has led the field in studying oxide-based catalysts for the removal of the atmospheric pollutant nitric oxide by reduction with hydrocarbons in an oxidizing atmosphere. More recently, Kung became the first to synthesize an internally functionalized hollow nanosphere that can be used to trap and bind molecules and metal complexes.

The award will be presented at the spring meeting of the ACS in 2011.