Jeffrey S. Beck | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 21 | p. 39 | Obituaries
Issue Date: May 21, 2012

Jeffrey S. Beck

Department: ACS News
Keywords: Jeffrey S. Beck

Jeffrey S. Beck, 49, global polyethylene marketing manager at ExxonMobil Chemical, died on April 7.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Beck earned a B.S. in chemistry from the State University of New York, Binghamton, in 1984, and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989.

Beck then joined Mobil and rapidly progressed through a series of technical assignments to become manager of Reforming & Isomerization in 1998. After the merger of Mobil and Exxon in 1999, he assumed the position of manager of Catalyst Technology for ExxonMobil Research & Engineering (EMRE). He became technical manager of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply’s Baytown Refinery in 2004 and manager of Corporate Strategic Research for EMRE in 2006. He was named global polyethylene marketing manager in 2010.

Credited with 63 U.S. patents and 46 publications, Beck made outstanding contributions to the discovery and commercialization of novel catalysts and processes for the production of petrochemicals and clean fuels. His groundbreaking research on liquid-crystal templating was key to the discovery of a new class of tunable mesoporous materials. His efforts in microporous catalyst modification revolutionized the production of several petrochemicals, including p-xylene.

Beck received the Donald W. Breck Award in 1994, the Thomas Alva Edison Award in both 2003 and 2008, the ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award in 2007, and the Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis in 2009. Beck was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and was a member of ACS.

He enjoyed spending time with his dogs, Pharaoh and Monty, and collecting fine art and furniture.

Beck is survived by his wife, Lisa; parents, Irwin and Leila; sister, Shari; and brother, Richard.


Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.

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