Chemists group honors UCR professor

Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
March 4, 2019

Francisco Zaera, a distinguished professor of chemistry, has been named the inaugural winner of an award from the Catalysis Science and Technology Division of the American Chemical Society, or ACS, to recognize his “Exceptional Achievements in Catalysis.” The award “acknowledges excellence and scientific leadership in catalysis science and technology by an individual, emphasizing the impact of a researcher's work in the broad field of catalytic chemistry and catalytic materials or molecules.”


The award distinguishes “individuals who have demonstrated pioneering research accomplishments in the design or synthesis of catalysts and/or chemical or mechanistic characterization of catalysts leading to recognized advancements in our understanding and application of catalysis.”


Catalysis is a process in which a substance, the catalyst, influences the rate and/or the outcome of the reaction, but is not consumed during the reaction. At UCR, Zaera’s lab seeks to understand the mechanism of surface reactions at the molecular level. One of the lab’s main projects focuses on the surface reactions of hydrocarbon species involved in catalytic reforming.


The new honor adds to a long list of Zaera’s awards.  He is a fellow of the ACS, American Vacuum Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a recipient of the Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry and the George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry from ACS; Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientist; and North American Catalysis Society Paul H. Emmett Award.