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Events & Announcements:

Man standing in front of presentation screen

George Giannakakis voted Best Presenter
On April 5, 2019, George Giannakakis delivered his 4th-year Ph.D. Research Seminar presentation on his thesis work. He was voted Best Presenter of the 2019 4th Year Doctoral Student Research Symposium.

Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos delivers the 2019 William Schwarz Lecture at Johns Hopkins University
On March 14, 2019, Prof. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos delivered the William H. Schwatz Lecture at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her lecture was titled: "Single Metal Atoms as Game-Changers in Heterogeneous Catalysis."

Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos gives the Ensor Lecture at Washington State University
On February 25, 2019, Prof. Flytzani-Stephanpoulos delivered Washington State University's 2019 Ensor Lecture. Her lecture was titled "The Changing Landscape of Heterogeneous Catalysts: Single Metal Atoms as Game-Changers."

Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos wins 2019 American Chemical Society Catalysis Lectureship Award
In February 2019, the American Chemical Society announced that Profs. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos and Charlie Sykes are the winners of the 2019 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science. This award recognizes their pioneering work in developing single-atom alloy materials as catalysts. The two awardees will be honored in a special symposium at the 258th ACS National Meeting & Expo in San Diego, CA, in August 2019.

Ten people posing for a photo in front of a stage

Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos gives invited lecture at AIChE annual meeting
On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Professor Stephanopoulos spoke at the twentieth anniversary gathering of the Women's Initiative Committee (WIC) at the annual chemical engineering conference, in Pittsburgh, PA.
The full-day symposium highlighted significant contributions of women to chemical engineering, and Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos delivered a lecture on "Heterogeneous Catalyst Design at the Single Atom Limit for Efficient Chemicals Production."

Three people posing for a photo with a plaque

Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos gives invited lectures at UW-Madison
Professor Stephanopoulos was the 2018 Hougen Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During the week of October 22, 2018 she delivered two lectures attended by students, faculty, alumni, and the public. The lecture series is named for the late Professor Olaf Hougen, who taught for many years at UW-Madison and is recognized as one of the founders of modern chemical engineering. In the photo, Maria is shown with the current chair of the department, Prof. Regina Murphy, and the former chair, Prof. Manos Mavrikakis at the reception held by the department in her honor.

Congratulations, George Giannakakis
Georgios Giannakakis was selected to attend the first Catalysis Gordon's Research Seminar (June 23-24, 2018), and the Catalysis Gordon's Research Conference (June 24-29, 2018), hosted at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, where he was invited to present his poster on "NiAu single-atom alloys for the non-oxidative ethanol dehydrogenation towards acetaldehyde and hydrogen."
During the GRS, Georgios was awarded the "Outstanding Poster Award, Catalysis Gordon's Research Seminar", a recognition given to the top 3 presenters among the participating doctoral students, postdocs and Assistant Professors.

Jilei Liu and family

Congratulations to Jilei Liu, Ph.D.
Congratulations to our newest doctor, Jilei Liu.
Pictured right is Jilei, with Prof. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos and his family, including his wife, Jin Guo, also a 2018 Ph.D. graduate of the ChBE department.

Paper published in Nature: 'Mild oxidation of methane to methanol or acetic acid on supported isolated rhodium catalysts'
JunJun Shan, Mengwei Li, and Prof. Stephanopoulos publish a paper in Nature, on their new process that converts methane to methanol or acetic acid on single-site isolated Rh atom catalysts.
Learn more >

Professor Stephanopoulos is named Honorary Professor of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and delivers a plenary lecture at the IGCES
Beijing Honor
Beijing Honor
During a recent visit to Beijing to attend the biennial Sino-U.S. Joint Conference of Chemical Engineers (SUCE 2017, October 15-19, 2017), Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos was a plenary speaker at the IGCES (International Green Chemical Engineering Summit) organized by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT). On October 19th, she visited BUCT, where she was awarded the title of Honorary Professor in a ceremony attended by school administrators, faculty and students. This is the highest distinction offered to foreign academics and Professor Stephanopoulos discussed ways to expand collaborations and closer interaction with colleagues and students at Tufts and BUCT in her acceptance speech.

Mengwi Li receives AIChE Student Travel Award
17AIChE in Minneapolis
Mengwei Li was a Student Travel Awardee of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) division of the AIChE at the 2017 AIChE meeting in Minneapolis. He received the award at the CRE division dinner on Monday, October 30th. Our group was there in good numbers to celebrate the event. Mengwei presented his research findings on the Selective oxidation of methane to methanol or acetic acid on rhodium single-site catalysts at mild conditions, which was well received by the audience on November 1st.

Flytzani-Stephanopoulos was named Honorary Professor of Tianjin University

At an honors ceremony that took place during the opening ceremony of the EECAT-II conference in Tianjin, October 11-14, 2016, which featured Prof. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos as a plenary lecturer, she and two more foreign colleagues were named Honorary Professors of Tianjin University. Shown in the picture with the honorees are the Chairman of Tianjin University, the Dean of the School of Chemical Engineering, and Prof. Yongdan Li, also of the School of Chemical Engineering.

A visit to a traditional Chinese restaurant in Beijing during the ICC.
Professor Stephanopoulos delivers plenary lectures at International Conferences in China and Australia

Prof. Stephanopoulos travelled to China and Australia last month to participate at three international conferences. In China, she gave a Plenary lecture at the International Symposium on Single-Atom Catalysis in Dalian, June 30-July 2; and was a Keynote speaker at the 16th ICC (International Congress on Catalysis), in Beijing, July 3-8, 2016. In Australia, she was a Plenary speaker at the 9th ICEC (International Conference on Environmental Catalysis), Newcastle, NSW, July 10-14, 2016. In her presentations, she emphasized the unique properties of heterogeneous single-atom catalysts stabilized on various oxide and other supports by novel approaches. Pictured in the photo are (from left to right): Former Ph.D. members of the group Nan Yi and Yanping Zhai, Prof. Stephanopoulos, and colleagues from Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Profs. Runduo Zhang and Fubo Gu.

Professor Stephanopoulos receives the IPMI Carol Tyler Award

The Carol Tyler Award of the IPMI (International Precious Metals Institute) was given to Professor Stephanopoulos this year in recognition of her major contributions in precious metals research. The award was presented to her at IPMI's 40th Annual International Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, June 11 -14, 2016.

NanoCEL alumni at the 2016 ChBE Alumni Reception

We were delighted to welcome many on our alumni last May. We look forward to seeing more alumni at future events. Shown from the left are: Dr. Zhijiang Li, Dr. Chongyang Wang, Dr. Svetlana Kudriavtseva, Ms. Alketa Gjoka, Prof. Stephanopoulos, Dr. Ioannis Valsamakis, Dr. Ming Yang and his wife LingXi, and Mr. Peter Kracke.

Congratulations to our new doctors

Congratulations to our new doctors: Ming Yang and Chongyang Wang. Here, shown with immediate family and Prof. Stephanopoulos on Commencement Day are the happy graduates.

Remembering Howard Saltsburg (1928-2016), Research Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
We are saddened at the passing of Research Professor Howard Saltsburg on February 11, 2016.
Howard was a long-time member of our department, working as a Research Professor since 1998, and served as Acting Chair from 2001-2002.
Prof. Saltsburg received his PhD degree in Physical Chemistry from Boston University in 1955. After working as a scientist in both private industry and national laboratories, he was a professor of chemical engineering at University of Rochester for more than 20 years.
While at Tufts, Howard was a valuable member of our group and co-advised more than 10 doctoral students.
If you wish to leave a remembrance of Prof. Saltsburg, please send an email to and we will forward the collected responses to his family. We will also post them on our site here.

Prof. Stephanopoulos is the 2015 L. K. Doraiswamy Honor Lecturer
Prof. Stephanopoulos delivered the first of the two Doraiswamy lectures at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University, on December 10, 2015. The second lecture is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2016 at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India. Learn more >

Mini-reunion of NanoCEL Members
At the 2015 AIChE meeting in Salt Lake City. From left , standing: Dr. JunJun Shan, Jilei Liu, Dr. Matt Boucher (Ph.D. 2013), Dr. Mengwei Li. Sitting: Dr. Wei Liu (Ph.D. 1995, MIT), Prof. Stephanopoulos, Dr. Branko Zugic (Ph.D. 2013).

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Named Distinguished Professor
Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos has been named Distinguished Professor of Tufts University, an appointment reserved for senior faculty members who have made exceptional contributions to their disciplines, their students and the university as teachers and scholars who exemplify the best of Tufts. The appointment takes effect on Sept. 1, 2015. Learn more >

Prof. Stephanopoulos delivers two Keynote lectures at the 250th ACS Meeting in Boston
At the recent ACS Meeting in Boston, Aug. 16-20, 2015, Prof. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos delivered two Keynote lectures, the first at the symposium on Single Atom Catalysts, and the second at the symposium Honoring Gary Haller.

Congratulations to Nan Yi
Nan Yi, Ph.D. EG12, has accepted a position as a tenure-track Assistant Professor, in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. His research interests focus on catalysis, energy and the environment, and STEM education. For his Ph.D. thesis, he worked with Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos on the design and development of atomically dispersed supported gold and other metal catalysts for the conversion of methanol to hydrogen and value-added chemicals. He recently taught undergraduate/graduate courses at Tufts, Yale and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Nan will start his academic career at UNH September 2015.

Ming Yang and Prof. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos win SOE 2015 Graduate Awards
Learn more >

Ming Yang and Prof. Stephanopoulos publish their latest findings on gold atom catalysts in Science
Learn more >

Professor Stephanopoulos was Plenary Speaker at the ISCRE 23 meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 710, 2014

Prof. Stephanopoulos delivers Keynote Lectures at TOCAT7 in Kyoto, Japan, June 2014 and 8th International Conference in Environmental Catalysis (ICEC 2014) in Asheville, NC, Aug. 2427, 2014

The School of Engineering and the ChBE Department honor Prof. Stephanopoulos for her election to the NAE
Dr. Linda Abriola, Dean of the School of Engineering, hosted a reception in honor of Prof. Stephanopoulos' election to the National Academy of Engineering on Friday, May 9, 2014. The reception was followed by dinner at Ballou Hall, hosted by the department's chair, Prof. Kyongbum Lee, and MC'd by Prof. Christos Georgakis. In attendance were faculty, alumni, other colleagues, current and former students, and family and friends of Prof. Stephanopoulos. Watch video of Dean Abriola's address >

Ming Yang Wins 2014 IPMI student award
PhD student Ming Yang is the recipient of an IPMI (International Precious Metals Institute) Student Award, recognizing his research in the precious metals. He will receive the award and cash prize at the 38th IPMI Conference in June 2014. Ming is a 4th year PhD candidate working in the Nano Catalysis & Energy Laboratory with Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos.

Professor Stephanopoulos was elected Director-at-Large of the North American Catalysis Society

Chongyang Wang wins Kokes Award
ChBE grad student Chongyang Wang won a 2013 Kokes Award from the North American Catalysis Society to support her participation at the 23rd North American Catalysis Society Meeting for oral presentation "Modified Nanoscale Zirconia as Gold Support for the Low-Temperature Methanol Steam Reforming Reaction", in Louisville, KY, next June. Chongyang is a 4th year PhD candidate in Professor Stephanopoulos' research group.

Professor Stephanopoulos wins the Giuseppe Parravano Memorial Award for Excellence in Catalysis Research
Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Michigan Catal-ysis Society Guiseppe Parravano Memorial Award for Excellence in Catalysis Research. She will give an Award Keynote Lecture at the 34th Annual Michigan Catalysis Society Spring Symposium, which will be held at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on May 7, 2013 in Dearborn, MI. Professor Stephanopoulos was chosen for distinguished contributions to the field of catalysis, particu-larly new insights into the activity of atomic-scale metals as catalysts for fuel conversion processes and "green" production of chemicals.

Professor Stephanopoulos gives a plenary lecture at the Natural Gas Conversion Symposium in Doha, Qatar (NGCS10_Doha)

Professor Stephanopoulos keynote speaker in Lyon
Professor Stephanopoulos gave a Keynote Lecture at the 7th International Conference on Environmental Catalysis, in Lyon, France, September 2-6, 2012. The lecture was titled "Atomically dispersed gold and platinum catalysts for hydrogen production at low temperatures". More on the topical session on Catalysis for Clean Energy can be found at the conference site.

Branko Zugic receives the Materion Graduate Student Award of the IPMI
Branko Zugic was honored by the International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) at the Institute's annual conference in Las Vegas, last June. He received the inaugural Materion Graduate Student Award including a cash prize and an internship for his work on platinum-based catalysts for sustainable energy applications.

Prof. Stephanopoulos Speaks at Texas A&M University
Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos was an ADVANCE speaker at Texas A&M University on April 20, 2012. She also gave a technical talk at TAMU's Chemical Engineering department during that visit. Read more.

Ming Yang receives Student Poster Award from New England Catalysis Society
Ming Yang, a second year Ph.D. student in Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos' group, received the Student Poster Award from the New England Catalysis Society (NECS) on April 28, 2012. This, the only student award given by NECS, is intended to honor and encourage graduate students who have distinguished themselves in research contributions and presentation qualities. Ming presented his work titled "Atomically dispersed Au-(OH)x species on titania catalyze the low-temperature water-gas shift reaction" at the 2012 NECS Spring Meeting held in Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The poster presents the fundamental evidence to support that atomically dispersed gold species associated with adjacent surface oxygen as –OH groups are the active sites for the water-gas shift (WGS) reaction. These serve as the active centers for the WGS reaction, regardless of the support oxide types (TiO2, CeO2, Fe2O3, La2O3 etc.). The new materials catalyze the low-temperature WGS reaction and are stable.

On April 11, 2012, Nan Yi receives the Silver Award from MRS President Bruce M. Clemens at the 2012 Spring Meeting in San Francisco..
Silver acknowledges Gold
Nan Yi, graduate student in Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos' group, received the Graduate Student Silver Award from the Materials Research Society (MRS). This prestigious graduate student award is "intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials research display a high level of excellence and distinction". The award is open to worldwide graduate student researchers in materials science: chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. Nan is the first Tufts graduate student to win this award, and is one of the few recipients in the field of chemical engineering since the award was established in 2004. Nan also presented his work titled "Catalytic hydrogen production from methanol and formic acid reactions over efficient and stable gold clusters on cerium oxide" at the 2012 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco.

Nan Yi, Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, Yuan Wang, Branko Zugic, Matthew Boucher, and Ioannis Valsamakis at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
NanoCEL members attend Annual AIChE Meeting
Several group members attended the 2011 Annual AIChE meeting in Minneapolis, Oct. 16-21.
Prof. Stephanopoulos chaired three sessions at the meeting, and graduate students Branko Zugic, Matt Boucher, Yuan Wang, Nan Yi, and Ioannis Valsmakis made oral presentations in different sessions of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division.
At the CRE division dinner on Sunday, Oct. 16, Branko Zugic received a student travel award. Well done, Branko.
And congratulations to all the speakers for delivering great talks.


Professor Stephanopoulos delivers plenary speech at CHEMECA
Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos was a plenary speaker at the annual CHEMECA conference in Sydney, Australia. Her presentation, entitled "Nanocatalysis for Sustainable Energy", was delivered on the opening day of the conference Sept. 19, 2011.

Matthew Boucher wins IPMI Student Award
The International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) has selected doctoral student Matthew Boucher as recipient of the 2011 Johnson Matthey Student award for his work with precious metals as catalysts for the steam reforming of methanol reaction. Matthew will be presented with the award on June 14, 2011 at the annual IPMI conference in San Antonio, TX.

Matt Boucher and Joe Lessard sport their GSC 5K medals
NanoCEL group members do well in Tufts GSC 5K Race
NanoCEL group member Joe Lessard took 1st place in the Tufts Graduate Student Council 5K Race on Saturday, May 7, 2011. Matt Boucher, also a member of the NanoCEL group, took 3d place.

Nan Yi Named Outstanding Graduate Researcher
Nan Yi was honored as this year's Outstanding Graduate Researcher at the doctoral level at the Graduate Student Awards ceremony on April 29, 2011. A Ph.D. student in the Nano Catalysis and Energy Laboratory, Nan investigates the efficacy and practical application of a new generation of catalyst, namely precious metal clusters (gold, platinum and palladium), for hydrogen production in sustainable energy systems through methanol steam reforming and decomposition of formic acid, two processes that convert raw organic compounds into hydrogen for scalable fuel cells. Nan has published 16 journal papers and presented 12 meeting papers, and has received student awards from several academic societies, including the 2010 Johnson Matthey Student Award from the International Precious Metal Institute, the 2009 Kokes Award from the North American Catalysis Society, as well as competitive student travel awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Gordon Research Conferences. He was also one of the recipients of a Tufts Graduate Student Research Grants-in-Aid during Fall 2009.

Matt Boucher Wins Travel Award from AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division
Congratulations to Matt Boucher, a 3rd-year Ph.D. student in the Nano-CEL research group. He won a travel award from the AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division, to present his work on catalytic steam reforming of methanol over gold on zinc oxide nanoshapes at the upcoming AIChE annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Matt will be honored at the CRE Division dinner on Monday, November 8, 2010.

Branko Zugic Receives 2010-2011 Tufts Institute for the Environment Fellowship
Graduate student Branko Zugic was awarded a 2010-2011 Tufts Institute for the Environment (TIE) Fellowship for his research in the area of biomass-derived fuels and chemicals. The project, entitled "An Alternative Biofuel: LPG from Biomass Derived Organic Acids," couples fermentation with catalytic processing to selectively and renewably produce propane, as well as valuable chemical feedstocks such as propylene. The support from TIE this past summer allowed Branko to examine new catalyst formulations to improve the catalyst selectivity and stability.

Nan Yi wins IPMI Student Award
The International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) awarded graduate student Nan Yi the first Johnson Matthey Student Award for his work with precious metals as catalysts for hydrogen production processes. In this photo, courtesy of IPMI, Nan Yi receives the award from Martin Durney, President and General Manager of Chemicals & Catalysts at Johnson Matthey, Inc., at the annual IPMI conference in Tucson, AZ, on June 15, 2010.

Professor Stephanopoulos Named Haber Professor in Energy Sustainability

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos (center) was named the first Haber Professor through a gift from Robert J. Haber, E'79 (right) and his wife Marcy (left).
Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos has been named to the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professorship in Energy Sustainability at the School of Engineering. This endowed professorship was created through the generosity of Robert and Marcy Haber. A distinguished alumnus of our department, Bob Haber, E79, EG80, has been a member of the School of Engineering Board of Overseers since 2002. The Habers hope that establishing this professorship in energy sustainability will promote research in this area and help to lessen the world's dependence on oil in an environmentally sensitive manner.

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