BCST Board Members


David Bem, PPG Industries

Joan Brennecke, NAE, Notre Dame University



Héctor D. Abruña, Cornell University

Mark Barteau, NAE, University of Michigan

Michelle V. Buchanan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Jennifer Sinclair Curtis, University of California, Davis

Richard Eisenberg, NAS, University of Rochester

Samuel H. Gellman, NAS, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sharon C. Glotzer, NAS, University of Michigan

Miriam E. John, Sandia National Laboratories (Ret.)

Frances S. Ligler, NAE, UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University

Joseph B. Powell, Shell

Peter J. Rossky, NAS, Rice University

Timothy Swager, NAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Board Members Biographies


David Bem, (co-chair), is Vice President, Science & Technology and Chief Technology Officer-Elect at PPG Industries, Inc. Bem began his career at UOP, a Honeywell Company, where his work was centered on the synthesis and applications of zeolites and microporous materials.  In 2000, he became R&D director of Torial, a subsidiary of UOP, and developed and commercialized high throughput tools for heterogeneous catalysis. In 2002, Bem joined Celanese Corporation as R&D director for acetyls, oxygenates, and acetone derivatives, where he was responsible for advancements in acetic acid and vinyl acetate technologies. In 2005, he became a member of the Celanese Corporate Executive Committee and R&D director for Engineering Polymers/Ticona. In 2007, Bem joined Dow Chemical as the R&D leader for Hydrocarbons & Energy, Alternative Feedstocks and Basic Chemicals, and moved a year later to R&D director for Dow Automotive. He then became R&D director for Core R&D, leading early-stage exploration of disruptive technologies and development of new businesses. Bem then went on to become vice president of R&D for Dow’s Advanced Materials business and eventually named vice president, R&D Consumer Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions. In November 2015, he joined PPG. Bem holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from West Virginia University and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bem is active with many industry organizations. He is a member of the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) of the National Academy of Sciences, the Pennsylvania State University Materials and Research Institute Advisory Board. He holds nine U.S. patents and has authored more than 20 publications.


Joan F. Brennecke, NAE, is the Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and was the founding Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame.   She joined Notre Dame after completing her Ph.D. and M.S. (1989 and 1987) degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her B. S. at the University of Texas at Austin (1984).  Her research interests are primarily in the development of less environmentally harmful solvents.  These include supercritical fluids and ionic liquids. In developing these solvents, Dr. Brennecke's primary interests are in the measurement and modeling of thermodynamics, thermophysical properties, phase behavior and separations.  Major awards include 2001 Ipatieff Prize from the American Chemical Society, the 2006 Professional Progress Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the J. M. Prausnitz Award at the Eleventh International Conference on Properties and Phase Equilibria in Greece in May, 2007, the 2008 Stieglitz Award from the American Chemical Society, the 2009 E. O. Lawrence Award from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the 2014 E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.  She serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data.  Her 130+ research publications have garnered over 11,000 citations.  She was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2012.



Héctor D. Abruña, Émile M. Chamot Professor of Chemistry, completed his graduate studies with Royce W. Murray and Thomas J. Meyer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Allen J. Bard at the University of Texas at Austin. After a brief stay at the University of Puerto Rico, he moved to Cornell in 1983. Professor Abruña is an AAAS Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a recipient of a Presidential Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship, the Tajima Prize of the International Society of Electrochemistry, and a J. W. Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship. Dr. Abruña's research focuses on the development and characterization of new materials using a wide variety of techniques for fuel cells, batteries, and molecular assemblies for molecular electronics. 


Mark A. Barteau, NAE, is the DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research and Director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Before joining the University of Michigan in 2012, he served as the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Delaware, where he held appointments as the Robert L. Pigford Endowed Chair of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry.  He received his BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and his MS and PhD from Stanford, working with Professor Robert J. Madix.  He joined the University of Delaware faculty as an assistant professor of chemical engineering and associate director of the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology in 1982.  Dr. Barteau's research, presented in more than 240 publications and a similar number of invited lectures, focuses on chemical reactions at solid surfaces, and their applications in heterogeneous catalysis for energy and chemical processes. Dr. Barteau was named in 2008 as one of the "100 Engineers of the Modern Era" by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2001 Alpha Chi Sigma Award and the 1991 Allan P. Colburn Award, presented by AIChE; the 1998 International Catalysis Award, presented by the International Association of Catalysis Societies; the 1995 Ipatieff Prize from the American Chemical Society; the Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis, given by the North American Catalysis Society, and the 1993 Canadian Catalysis Lecture Tour Award of the Catalysis Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada.  He has served as associate editor of the AIChE Journal and WIRES Energy and Environment, and on the editorial boards of a number of other journals, including Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research and the Journal of Catalysis. Dr. Barteau was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006.



Michelle V. Buchanan, Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences, oversees four Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) research divisions: the Center for Nanophase Materials Science, Chemical Sciences, Materials Science and Technology, and Physics. She is responsible for two offices in the Department of Energy Office of Science Program: Basic Energy Sciences and Nuclear Physics.  Prior to assuming her current position, she served as Director of the ORNL Chemical Sciences Division from October 2000 to November 2004. She served as Associate Director of the Life Sciences Division from January 1999 to September 2000. She initiated the Center for Structural Molecular Biology at ORNL, serving as its director from 1999 to 2003, and led the Organic and Biological Mass Spectrometry Group in the Chemical and Analytical Sciences Division (now the Chemical Sciences Division) from 1986 to 1999. She joined ORNL in 1978 after earning a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.


Dr. Buchanan is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific publications and reports, holds two patents, and was editor of a book on Fourier transform mass spectrometry.  She was North American editor of Biological Mass Spectrometry and has served on the editorial boards of Analytical Chemistry, Organic Mass Spectrometry, Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Biological and Environmental Mass Spectrometry, and Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry. She received an R&D 100 Award in 1986; ORNL Technical Achievement Awards in 1985, 1989, and 1993; UT-Battelle awards for R&D Leadership in 2000 and 2002; and the Knoxville YWCA Tribute to Women award in science and technology in 2003.


Dr. Buchanan is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and currently serves as a Councilor for the Division of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) and as a member of the Divisional Activities Committee of the ACS.  She has served as a member of the International Activities Committee for ACS, treasurer for DAC ACS, treasurer for the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and chair of the East Tennessee Section of the ACS. She also served on numerous advisory boards of universities and for major research centers. Current board memberships include Vanderbilt University, the University of North Carolina, Cornell University Boston University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Tennessee. Over the past decade she has worked at the national level helping define basic research needs in a number of key energy-related areas.


Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering at University of California, Davis.  She is a Fellow of AAAS, AIChE and ASEE. Professor Curtis is a recipient of a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, AIChE's Thomas-Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems, the AIChE’s Fluidization Lectureship Award, AIChE’s van Antwerpen Award, the American Society of Engineering Education's Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, the Eminent Overseas Lectureship Award by the Institution of Engineers in Australia, and ASEE's Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering, and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She has served on the National Academy of Engineering's Committee on Engineering Education and has participated in two NAE Frontiers of Research Symposia (2003 and 2008).  Professor Curtis received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University (1983) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University (1989). Prior to joining UC Davis in 2015, she was Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Florida.  She has also served on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University and Purdue University.  At CMU she received the engineering college’s Ladd Research Award, and at Purdue she was named University Faculty Scholar.


Professor Curtis' research focuses on the development of multiphase CFD models and discrete element method models for particulate flow.  Her work has been applied to improve the design and optimization of chemical, energy, mining, pharmaceutical, and agricultural processes in which particulate processes are pervasive.  Her multiphase flow models, based on first principles granular kinetic theory, have been adopted by the software package ANSYS Fluent, the largest producer of simulation software used by 96 of the 100 biggest industrial companies and over 40,000 customers.  Her multiphase flow models are also included in the CFD Research Corporation’s multiphase flow CFD software package and the open-source CFD code (OpenFOAM).  



Richard Eisenberg, NAS, is Tracy Harris Professor Emeritus and Professor (Research) at the University of Rochester.  He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University, joined the faculty at Brown University in 1967 and moved to the University of Rochester in 1973. He served as Chair of the UR Chemistry Department from 1991-'94 and was named to the Harris Chair in 1996.  Eisenberg's research interests are in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, photochemistry relating to solar energy conversion, and catalysis.  Foremost among his activities in the chemistry community, Eisenberg was the Editor-in-Chief of Inorganic Chemistry for twelve years, stepping down at the end of 2012.  He has also served as Chair of the Inorganic Chemistry Division, and as a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallics and Accounts of Chemical Research.  He has been the recipient of a number of awards including the 2003 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry and shared the 2011 ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award in Graduate Education with his student Ping-wu Du.  In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Graduate Education from the University of Rochester.  Eisenberg was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and a Member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences in 2010. In 2012, he received the Fred Basolo Medal from the Chicago Section of the ACS, and in 2013, he was the recipient of the William H. Nichols Medal of the New York Section of the ACS and the Ralph Oesper Award of the Cincinnati Section of the ACS. He is an Associate Editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Eisenberg has taught chemistry at all levels including an innovative freshman year majors course based on Energy and the Environment and has mentored more than eighty Ph.D. and postdoctoral research students.



Samuel H. Gellman, NAS, is the Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  His laboratory's contributions include insights on the origin of biopolymer folding preferences.  One focus has been the design of autonomously folding beta-sheets and their use to explore relationships among sequence, length and conformational stability.  In addition, Gellman's group has helped to pioneer the study of synthetic, protein-inspired oligomers that adopt defined shapes ("foldamers"). Elucidation of the folding behavior for these protein-mimetic systems has enabled the pursuit of biomedical applications.  The work from Gellman's laboratory has been recognized with a number of honors, including the ACS Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry and the ACS Breslow Award in Biomimetic Chemistry.  Gellman is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Gellman earned his A.B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Columbia University; he conducted post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology.



Sharon C. Glotzer, NAS, is the John Werner Cahn Distinguished University Professor of Engineering and the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is also a core member of the U-M Biointerfaces Institute and the U-M Center for the Study of Complex Systems. She is member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sharon received her PhD in Physics from Boston University in 1993 and her B.S. cum laude in Physics from UCLA in 1987. She was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Polymers Division from 1993-1995, and then held the positions of Physicist and Director, Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science, Materials Science & Engineering Lab, NIST from 1995-2000. Sharon moved to U-M in 2001 as Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics, with tenure. Her research on computational assembly science and engineering aims toward predictive materials design of colloidal and soft matter, with current emphasis on shape, packing, and assembly pathways and is sponsored by the NSF, DOE, DOD and Simons Foundation. She has published over 200 archival publications and presented over 300 invited and keynote talks.



Miriam John is serving in various consulting and board roles since her retirement as Vice President of Sandia's California Laboratory in Livermore, California. During her Sandia career, she worked on a wide variety of programs, including nuclear weapons, chemical and biological defense, missile defense, solar energy, and provided leadership for a number of the laboratory's energy, national security, and homeland security programs.


She is a member of the DoD's Defense Science Board (DSB) and Vice Chairman of its Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC). She is also a member of the AAAS Committee on Science and Engineering Public Policy (COSEPP) and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Hometown Security. She is the immediate past Chair of the National Research Council's Naval Studies Board, a member of its Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group and its Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology.


Dr. John is a member of the Board of Advisors for MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the Board of Directors for Draper Laboratory, and the Board of Directors of Leidos, Inc. (formerly SAIC). She has recently been recruited as a member of the Missions Committee of the combined Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories' Board, overseeing the technical programs of both laboratories. She is a Senior Fellow and immediate past Chair of the California Council on Science and Technology. Dr. John is a member of the Dean's advisory board for the School of Science and Engineering and chairs the Advisory Board for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University, where she has been recognized as an outstanding alumna. She is a member of the External Advisory Board of the DOE sponsored, UC Berkeley led National Science and Security Consortium.


She is a past member of the External Advisory Board of Savannah River National Laboratory, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the NRC's Board on Army Science and Technology, and the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Commission on Science and Security. She was appointed a National Associate of the National Academies of Science and Engineering and is the recipient of the Navy's Superior Public Service Award. She is the recently announced 2015 recipient of DoD's Eugene G. Fubini Award for her significant and sustained contributions in an advisory capacity to the Department.



Frances S. Ligler, NAE, is the Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University and School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an elected member, past chair of the Bioengineering Section, and Councillor of the National Academy of Engineering. She earned a B.S. from Furman University and both a D.Phil. and a D.Sc. from Oxford University. Currently working in the fields of biosensors and microfluidics, she has also performed research in biochemistry, immunology, and proteomics. She has over 375 full-length publications and patents, which have led to eleven commercial biosensor products and have been cited over 9000 times. She is the winner of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal, the National Drug Control Policy Technology Transfer Award, the Chemical Society Hillebrand Award, the Navy Merit Award, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Technology Transfer Award, three NRL Edison Awards for Patent of the Year, the Furman University Bell Tower and Distinguished Alumni of the 20th Century Awards, and the national Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Outstanding Achievement in Science Award. She serves as an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and on editorial/advisory boards for Biosensors & Bioelectronics, Analytical Bioanalytical Chemistry, Sensors, Open Optics, and Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Elected an SPIE Fellow in 2000, a Fellow of AIMBE in 2011, and a Fellow of AAAS in 2013, she also serves on the organizing committee for the World Biosensors Congress and the permanent steering committee for Europt(r)odes, the European Conference on Optical Sensors. In 2003, she was awarded the Homeland Security Award (Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Field) by the Christopher Columbus Foundation and the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Professional by President Obama. In 2014, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece.



Joseph B. Powell, Ph.D., is Shell's Chief Scientist - Chemical Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).  He joined the Process Development Department at what is now Shell Technology Center Houston in 1988, where he has led major R&D programs in new chemical processes, biofuels, and enhanced oil recovery, in addition to a Hunters innovation group.  Dr. Powell has been granted more than forty-eight U.S. patents (another 50+ pending) and several industry awards, including the A. D. Little Award for Chemical Engineering Innovation (AIChE 1998), R&D100 Award (R&D Magazine), American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award (2000), and a U. Wisconsin College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award (2009).  He is co-editor and chapter author for the book Sustainable Development in the Process Industries:  Cases and Impact, John Wiley & Sons, New York (2010), and has served AIChE in various roles including division and meeting programming chair, operating council, pilot plants area chair, and topical chair.  Dr. Powell obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984), following a B.S.in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia (1978).    



Peter J. Rossky obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University. After two years of postdoctoral study at SUNY-Stony Brook studying ionic solutions, in 1979 he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry (now Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin). He is now the George W. Watt Centennial Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry. Rossky has published approximately 150 papers in the fields of solution chemistry, computer simulation, and theoretical chemistry. His work has emphasized application of theory to elucidating the molecular-level description of solution chemistry, particularly aqueous solutions. Areas of application have included, first, biologically relevant solutions. Ionic interactions in DNA form a long standing interest. He has also been a major contributor in the area of biopolymer hydration, widely recognized for its significance to the stability of native biological structures. Similarly, technological interest for novel chemistry and for chemical waste disposal has motivated molecular level studies of supercritical fluids, specifically in the context of molecular solvation and reaction thermodynamics in supercritical water. His work on new computer simulation methodology for studying mechanisms of solution photochemistry has emphasized not only the chemistry, but also the interpretation of observable ultrafast transient spectroscopy. Rossky has served on the Editorial Boards of a number of leading chemistry journals, including "Accounts of Chemical Research," "Chemical Physics Letters," "The Journal of Chemical Physics," "The Journal of Physical Chemistry," "Theoretical Chemistry Accounts," and "PhysChemComm" (U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry).



Timothy Swager, NAS, is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A native of Montana, he received a BS from Montana State University in 1983 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1988.  After a postdoctoral appointment at MIT he was on the chemistry faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to MIT in of 1996 as a Professor of Chemistry and served as the Head of Chemistry from 2005-2010.  He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers and more than 50 issued/pending patents. Swager's honors include: Election to the National Academy of Sciences, an Honorary Doctorate from Montana State University, the Lemelson-MIT Award for Invention and Innovation, Election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention, The Christopher Columbus Foundation Homeland Security Award, and The Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (ACS). Swager's research interests are in design, synthesis, and study of organic-based electronic, sensory, high-strength and liquid crystalline materials.  His liquid crystal designs demonstrated shape complementarity to generate specific interactions between molecules and includes fundamental mechanisms for increasing liquid crystal order by a new mechanism referred to as minimization of free volume. Swager's research in electronic polymers has been mainly directed at the demonstration of new conceptual approaches to the construction of sensory materials.  These methods are the basis of the FidoTM explosives detectors (FLIR Systems Inc), which have the highest sensitivity of any explosives sensor.   Other areas actively investigated by the Swager group include radicals for dynamic nuclear polarization, applications of nano-carbon materials, organic photovoltaic materials, polymer actuators, and luminescent molecular probes for medical diagnostics.  He is the founder of 4 companies (DyNuPol, Iptyx, PolyJoule, and C­2 Sense) and has served on a number of corporate and government boards.



This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Award No. DE-FG02-07ER15872


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-0925448