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Kathryn C. Hach Award For Entrepreneurial Success: Scott D. Allen, Geoffrey W. Coates, and Anthony R. Eisenhut

by Linda Wang
January 4, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 1

Sponsor: Kathryn C. Hach Award Fund

Citation: For founding Novomer, a company commercializing a family of sustainable high-performance polymers and chemicals synthesized from waste gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

What their colleagues say: “Novomer’s process will positively impact the lives of people around the globe. Besides achieving up to 20–40% in cost savings compared to current production methods, Novomer’s technology allows for the use of feedstocks ranging from traditional crude oil to 100% biobased sources, which stands to substantially reduce its CO2 footprint.”—Bruce Ganem, Cornell University

Scott D. Allen

Current position: vice president for catalyst development, Novomer

Education: B.S., chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Ph.D., Cornell University

Allen on his current scientific goals: “One of the most exciting parts of my work is overcoming challenges using the catalysts and chemistries core to Novomer. Whether the challenges are aimed at introducing a product for a new application or addressing a scale-up issue, I hope that I can continue finding new and meaningful challenges that can be solved with chemistry.”

Geoffrey W. Coates

Current position: Tisch University Professor, Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Cornell University

Education: B.A., chemistry, Wabash College; Ph.D., organic chemistry, Stanford University

Coates on what inspires him:“One of the most fun parts of the day for me is meeting with a small group of students or collaborators in front of a clean whiteboard and brainstorming on a topic of importance. Breaking down complex problems and building up potential solutions with a talented team of scientists is one of the best ways I know of to come up with creative research projects.”

Anthony Eisenhut

Current position: chairman of the board, Novomer

Education: B.S., animal science, Cornell University

Eisenhut on his scientific role model: “Percy Julian was a world-class chemist, a successful entrepreneur, and an agent of social change. Today, scientists and entrepreneurs lament the challenges of funding in the current global economic environment. I am sure Dr. Julian dealt with all of these challenges and more in the glare of racism. It is motivating to see such accomplishments in the face of adversity, and it pushes me to be impactful with the opportunities I am presented with.”



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