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Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis: John E. Bercaw

by Linda Wang
January 2, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 1

John E. Bercaw
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Credit: Bob Paz

Credit: Bob Paz


Sponsor: Gabor A. & Judith K. Somorjai Endowment Fund

Citation: For the elucidation of detailed mechanisms of organometallic reactions that comprise catalytic cycles.

Current position: Centennial Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Education: B.S., chemistry, North Carolina State University; Ph.D., chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Bercaw on his scientific role model: “Harry Gray is one of my scientific role models. In addition to watching with amazement his scientific accomplishments, I have marveled at his enthusiasm, modesty, generosity, and love of interacting with students. He is truly a great man.”

What his colleagues say: “Bercaw has made path-breaking contributions to developing and elucidating new homogenous catalytic reactions. His fundamental work in olefin polymerization catalysis and catalytic alkane oxidation is without equal.”—Maurice Brookhart, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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