Chunshan Song to receive 2011 Faculty Scholar Medal

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Chunshan Song
February 24, 2011

University Park, Pa. -- Chunshan Song has been selected to receive a 2011 Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement. Established by the University in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. The contribution may be original basic research in any area of science; may represent application of knowledge in the creation of a process or device useful to society; or may be in any area of the arts or humanities. A committee of faculty peers reviews nominations and selects candidates.

Song is a distinguished professor of fuel science in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and director of the EMS Energy Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He is also professor of chemical engineering (courtesy) and Associate Director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment.

Song is internationally known for his original and innovative contributions to clean fuels, catalysis, and CO2 capture and utilization research. He has designed shape-selective alkylation catalysts for synthesis of advanced polymers from naphthalene; and developed a new method for hydrothermal synthesis of nano-sized ultra-high-surface sulfide catalysts, both of which have been patented and licensed to industry. For ultra-clean fuels and fuel cells, he devised an innovative approach to removing sulfur by selective adsorption from hydrocarbon fuels over solid surface without using hydrogen, which has also been licensed to industry. His group recently developed a novel approach to CO2 capture by "molecular-basket sorbents" consisting of nanoporous matrix and functional polymers with superior capacity and selectivity. In addition, his group developed sulfur-tolerant and carbon-resistant bimetallic and trimetallic catalysts for low-temperature steam reforming of liquid fuels and non-pyrophoric catalysts for oxygen-assisted water gas shift. He recently proposed a new design concept of sulfur-tolerant noble metal catalysts for low-temperature hydrotreating and dearomatization.

A prolific author of many high-impact publications, Song has delivered 45 plenary or keynote lectures at international conferences and over 200 invited lectures worldwide. He has 175 refereed journal articles (which received over 4000 citations), 6 refereed books, 11 special journal issues, 22 patents and patent applications, and over 280 conference papers. Song has won many prestigious awards including the Herman Pines Award for Outstanding Research in Catalysis from Catalysis Society of Chicago; the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar from US-UK; the Chang Jiang Scholar from the Ministry of Education of China; Most Cited Authors in Catalysis from Elsevier; Outstanding Scholar Overseas from the Chinese Academy of Sciences; the Distinguished Catalysis Researcher Lectureship from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; the Robinson Distinguished Lectureship from University of Alberta, Canada; the NEDO Fellowship and AIST Fellowship Awards from Japan; Outstanding Service Awards from the American Chemical Society’s Fuel Chemistry and Petroleum Chemistry Divisions, and from the International Pittsburgh Coal Conference; and the Wilson Award for Excellence in Research, the Faculty Mentoring Award, Inventor Incentive Awards and the Materials Science & Engineering Service Award from various areas within the Pennsylvania State University.

Song has cultivated a great respect for his dedicated and tireless efforts as an active leader in clean fuels and catalysis research and has been elected as Chair of the Fuel Chemistry and the Petroleum Chemistry Divisions of American Chemical Society, as well as Chair of the Advisory Board for the International Pittsburgh Coal Conference. He has also served as chair and/or co-chair of over 35 international symposia, and is currently on eight research journal advisory boards, including Energy & Fuels, Catalysis Today, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, RSC Catalysis series, Research on Chemical Intermediates, Journal of Fuel Chemistry and Technology, Acta Petrolei Sinica, and Coal Conversion. In addition, Song has held visiting professorships with Imperial College London, University of Paris VI, Tsinghua University, Dalian University of Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Taiyuan University of Technology, and Tianjin University.

In addition to his research accomplishments, Song has made major contributions to teaching, advising and service at Penn State. He has taught many classes and advised over 35 graduate students at Ph.D. and M.S. level. Song has served the university effectively in various committees at the department, college and university levels. He has played a major role in developing the collaborative partnerships between Penn State and Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and National Energy Technology Laboratory of US DOE, and most recently he has been leading the Penn State efforts in developing an international joint energy research center.

He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Dalian University of Technology in 1982, China, and his Ph.D. in applied chemistry from Osaka University, Japan in 1989. He worked at the Research Center of Osaka Gas Company in Japan prior to joining Penn State in 1989.

Distinguished professors at Penn State are recognized as a select group of faculty who have achieved exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and service. They are acknowledged leaders in their fields of research; demonstrate significant leadership in raising the University standards with respect to teaching, research and service; and demonstrate excellent teaching skills and contribute significantly to the education of students who subsequently have achieved recognition of excellence in their fields.