I²CNER Catalytic Concepts Symposium was a success

The I2CNER Catalytic Concepts for Energy Symposium was held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on Friday, September 13, 2013. The symposium featured a diverse group of both national and international researchers specializing in catalysis issues.  The topics covered included proton, oxygen, nitrate, and carbon dioxide reduction; non-platinum metal electrodes for catalysis; alloys and composite materials for catalysis; mass spectrometry; and electrochemical methods.

In the keynote lecture, Prof. Fraser Armstrong, University of Oxford, emphasized the importance of biomimetic concepts for catalysis issues.  The invited speakers included Dr. Vojislav Stamenkovic, Argonne National Laboratory; Prof. Naotoshi Nakashima, Kyushu University; Prof. Aleksandar Staykov, Kyushu University; Prof. Tom Jaramillo, Stanford University; Dr. Etsuko Fujita, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Prof. Dan Scherson, Case Western Reserve University;  Prof. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, UIUC; and Prof. Takahiro Matsumoto, Kyushu University.  The symposium was attended by many University of Illinois faculty and students, most notably, the Dean of the College of Engineering, Prof. Andreas Cangellaris, who gave remarks before the start of the afternoon session.

Not only did the Catalytic Concepts for Energy Symposium introduce I2CNER as a stakeholder in the field of catalysis to some of the experts in the field and vice versa, it also allowed all participants a unique opportunity to interface and explore possible new research directions.  In particular, the I2CNER hosts have reported that they used this event like a think tank to brainstorm about I2CNER’s present and future research efforts on catalysis.  I2CNER Director Petros Sofronis stated that the event was “an overall success.”

The symposium was sponsored by the I2CNER Satellite and organized by Prof. Tom Rauchfuss, Chemistry/I2CNER Satellite Faculty; Prof. Paul Kenis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering/I2CNER Satellite Faculty; and Prof. Andy Gewirth, Chemistry/I2CNER Principal Investigator.

In light of the success of the symposium, the organizers are planning to “establish/carry on the tradition” by hosting a subsequent symposium on catalysis issues at the Kyushu University campus in Japan.