Texas A&M chemist Hongcai Joe Zhou is the 13th chemist to be recognized as an American Chemical Society Fellow while at Texas A&M University. (Credit: American Chemical Society.)


Texas A&M University Professor of Chemistry Hongcai Joe Zhou has been named a 2016 Fellow of the American Chemical Society in recognition of his outstanding achievements in chemistry and contributions to science, the profession and the society.

Zhou, an inorganic chemist who joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry in 2008, is one of 57 international chemists selected this year to the prestigious fellows program, established in 2009. Zhou will be honored along with his fellow Class of 2016 inductees -- announced in the July 18 issue of Chemical & Engineering News -- with a lapel pin and certificate during an August 22 ceremony and reception in conjunction with the society's 252nd National Meeting & Exposition in Philadelphia.

"While the ACS Fellows designation is a great honor for the recipients, it is a small measure of our gratitude for their dedicated service to chemistry," said ACS President Donna Nelson.

Zhou, holder of a Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, is an expert in the design of framework materials -- very small, precisely arranged and highly porous polymer-based structures that have the highest internal surface area known to man and represent a rapidly developing field of materials chemistry. With just a tweak of their crystalline structure and properties, these frameworks can be tailored to adsorb a variety of different types of molecules, resulting in porous, grid-like materials with broad applications in fuel storage, emissions controls and drug delivery.

Zhou is cited by the ACS for "his significant contribution in developing novel synthetic routes to prepare ultra-stable metal-organic frameworks and porous polymer networks that demonstrate unique catalytic activities or exhibit desirable properties for clean-energy-related applications." He is also recognized for his leadership and distinguished services as an associate editor of the ACS journal Inorganic Chemistry, a guest editor of Chemical Reviews, chair of the Texas A&M Local Section and an "ACS Ambassador," delivering plenary and keynote talks in 14 countries and regions.

"I am delighted that Joe has received this well-deserved recognition for his scientific contributions to the field and his role in the promoting chemistry through his work with the ACS," said Dr. Simon W. North, professor and interim head of Texas A&M Chemistry. "His research productivity is remarkable, and the impact of his work will be significant and far-reaching."

Zhou earned his doctorate in chemistry from Texas A&M in 2000 under the guidance of legendary Texas A&M inorganic chemist F. Albert Cotton, then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and was an associate professor at Miami University prior to returning to Texas A&M.

Zhou's research focuses on sustainable energy and the use of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and porous polymer networks (PPNs) as carbon dioxide sorbents to develop state-of-the-art concepts and materials to facilitate hydrogen production and storage, efficient conversion of biofuels, economic production of solar energy and other renewable energy resources. A member of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, he has served since 2011 as chief scientific advisor for framergy® Inc., a Texas-based startup company that oversees the commercialization of groundbreaking MOF innovations for industrial uses.

In addition to nine individual U.S. Department of Energy grants, each exceeding $1 million, Zhou has received many awards recognizing his pioneering research, including the Research Innovation Award and the Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Miami University Distinguished Scholar-Young Investigator Award and the 2007 Faculty Excellence Award from Air Products and Chemicals Inc. In 2014, he was awarded a prestigious Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship and was listed as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher for both 2014 and 2015.

Zhou joins 12 Department of Chemistry colleagues previously recognized while at Texas A&M as ACS Fellows: David E. Bergbreiter, Paul S. Cremer, Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, Kim R. Dunbar, John P. Fackler Jr., François P. Gabbaï, John A. Gladysz, D. Wayne Goodman, Joseph B. Natowitz, Frank M. Raushel, Vickie M. Williamson and Sherry J. Yennello.

Click here for more information on the ACS Fellows program and a complete list of all previous honorees.

To learn more about Zhou's research, go to http://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/zhou/.

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About the American Chemical Society: The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. For more information, go to http://www.acs.org/.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Hongcai Joe Zhou, (979) 845-4034 or zhou@chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Hongcai Joe Zhou

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