Texas A&M chemist Hongcai Joe Zhou is an international expert in the design of framework materials -- very small, precisely arranged and highly porous polymer-based structures that hold promise in a variety of energy and environment-related areas and applications.


Hongcai Joe Zhou, professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been recognized as a 2016 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Zhou is one of five Texas A&M professors who are among the 391 AAAS members honored by their peers with the prestigious distinction this year for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. He joins Karen-Beth Goldberg Scholthof and Bir Bahadur Singh in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Jyotsna Vaid in the College of Liberal Arts and Renyi Zhang in the College of Geosciences who also holds a joint appointment in chemistry as the university's most recent inductees. Zhou is the 22nd current or former Texas A&M Science faculty member to earn the prestigious honor, according to combined college and AAAS records.

This year's AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the "AAAS News & Notes" section of the Nov. 25 edition of the journal Science. In addition, each will be presented with an official certificate and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pins in a Saturday, February 18 ceremony at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

Zhou, an inorganic chemist and holder of a Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry in 2008. He 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 AAAS "for distinguished contributions in developing novel synthetic methodologies to prepare ultra-stable metal-organic frameworks that perform unique catalytic functions or exhibit desirable properties for clean energy-related applications."

"I am delighted that Joe has been recognized for his scientific leadership, particularly in the field of metal-organic frameworks, by being selected as a Fellow of the AAAS," said Dr. Simon W. North, professor and head of Texas A&M Chemistry.

Zhou, who was named a fellow of both the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry this past summer, earned his doctorate in chemistry from Texas A&M in 2000 under the guidance of legendary Texas A&M inorganic chemist F. Albert Cotton. He 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 in 2008.

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 has been listed as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 and 2016).

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

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association's 24 sections, or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members -- so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee's institution -- or by the AAAS chief executive officer.

To learn more about the American Association for the Advancement of Science, visit www.aaas.org.

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About the American Association for the Advancement of Science: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news website, a service of AAAS.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Hongcai Joe Zhou

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