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News Release 13-180

'National Chemistry Week' celebrates sustainable resources

NSF announces more than $49 million in sustainable chemistry, engineering and materials science awards

images of two scientists in a lab

These inaugural SusChEM awards involve an investment of $49M to 101 groups of scientists/engineers.

October 25, 2013

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

From waste prevention to energy-efficient design to safer manufacturing processes and substitutes for rare natural resources, sustainability considerations are key to meeting projected global needs and encouraging a safer tomorrow.

It is likely then that National Chemistry Week 2013 would choose a theme of "Energy: Now and Forever! Exploring chemistry and energy with a focus on sustainable resources." This is a good opportunity for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to announce its inaugural awards for the Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering and Materials (SusChEM) initiative that invests $49 million in 101 groups of scientists and engineers.

Started in 2012 as an interdisciplinary initiative, SusChEM focuses on aspects of chemistry, engineering and materials in sustainable research and aims to support the discovery of new science and engineering that will provide humanity with a safe, stable and sustainable supply of chemicals and materials sufficient to meet future global demand. While NSF has historically supported this kind of research, the SusChEM initiative elevates this interest to a high priority.

"NSF is proud to be able to support these investigators who not only propose cutting-edge science but also portray a strong commitment to preparing a diverse STEM workforce dedicated to addressing critical needs in global sustainability," said Jackie Gervay-Hague, director of the Chemistry Division in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. "These are the scientists who will endeavor to make the world a better place for future generations."

SusChEM is a program under the umbrella of NSF-wide Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) that the agency created in 2010 as an initiative to support the discovery of new knowledge to help solve global sustainability issues.

In particular, SEES has promoted an integrated, interdisciplinary approach for sustainability challenges involving social, economic and environmental aspects. SusChEM was created in partial response to the mandate of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which states that NSF should establish a "Green Chemistry Basic Research program" to provide "sustained support" for "research into green and sustainable chemistry which will lead to safe, clean, and economical alternatives to traditional chemical products and practices" as well as green chemistry education and technology transfer. After workshops, webinars and meetings with the scientific community, the SusChEM initiative was born and announced to the community on June 26, 2012, through a "Dear Colleague Letter."

The following is a list of the lead investigators for the SusChEM awards. For more information on these awards, visit the NSF Award Abstracts Database, and enter 'SusChEM' in the "Search Award for" field.



Paul Anastas

Yale University

Largus Angenent

Cornell University

Eray Aydil

University of Minnesota

Jillian Banfield

University of California-Berkeley

Veronica Barone

Central Michigan University

Christopher Bielawski

University of Texas at Austin

Joseph Biernacki

Tennessee Technological University

Janet Bluemel

Texas A&M University

Andrew Bocarsly

Princeton University

Shannon Boettcher

University of Oregon Eugene

Stephen Bradforth

University of Southern California

Christopher Bradley

Mount St. Mary's University, Md.

David Cann

Oregon State University

Burjor Captain

University of Miami

John Caradonna

Trustees of Boston University

Yves Chabal

University of Texas at Dallas

Eugene Chen

Colorado State University

Shaowei Chen

University of California-Santa Cruz

Xi Chen

University of California-Davis

Paul Chirik

Princeton University

Phillip Christopher

University of California-Riverside

Silas Cook

Indiana University

Dennis Curran

University of Pittsburgh

Marcetta Darensbourg

Texas A&M University

Michael Doherty

University of California-Santa Barbara

Guangbin Dong

University of Texas at Austin

John Dorgan

Colorado School of Mines

Marc Edwards

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

William Evans

University of California-Irvine

Matthew Fields

Montana State University

Alison Flatau

University of Maryland College Park

John Gilbertson

Western Washington University

Martin Green

Materials Research Society, Pa.

Christopher Hartley

Miami University, Ohio

Gregory Hillhouse

University of Chicago

Eric Hoek

University of California-Los Angeles

Liangbing Hu

University of Maryland College Park

Frieder Jaekle

Rutgers University Newark

Elizabeth Jarvo

University of California-Irvine

David Jenkins

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Li Jia

University of Akron

Christopher Jones

Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Matthew Kanan

Stanford University

Erdogan Kiran

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Brian Korgel

University of Texas at Austin

Robert Lad

University of Maine

Brian Laird

University of Kansas Center for Research Inc

Gojko Lalic

University of Washington

M. Tyler Ley

Oklahoma State University

Peter Lovine

University of San Diego

Janet Macdonald

Vanderbilt University

Frederick MacDonnell

University of Texas at Arlington

Jakob Magolan

University of Idaho

E. Neil Marsh

University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Mark Mascal

University of California-Davis

Robert Mathers

Pennsylvania State University

Jeanne McHale

Washington State University

Jennifer McIntosh

University of Arizona

Jose Menendez

Arizona State University

Stephen Miller

University of Florida

Liviu Mirica

Washington University

John Montgomery

University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Janet Morrow

SUNY at Buffalo

Alexandra Navrotsky

University of California-Davis

Christopher Nomura

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Aaron Odom

Michigan State University

Paul Van Patten

Middle Tennessee State University

Christie Peebles

Colorado State University

Jeanne Pemberton

University of Arizona

Hrvoje Petek

University of Pittsburgh

Jeffrey Pyun

University of Arizona

Anthony Rappe

Colorado State University

Jonathan Rochford

University of Massachusetts Boston

Ashaki Rouff

CUNY Queens College

Chang Ryu

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, N.Y.

Daniel Seidel

Rutgers University New Brunswick

Randall Snurr

Northwestern University, Ill.

Ponisseril Somasundaran

Columbia University

Nancy Sottos

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Christopher Stanton

University of Florida

Susanne Striegler

University of Arkansas

Bala Subramaniam

University of Kansas Center for Research Inc

Meng Tao

Arizona State University

T. Don Tilley

University of California-Berkeley

Adam Veige

University of Florida

Israel Wachs

Lehigh University, Pa.

Timothy Warren

Georgetown University

Rory Waterman

University of Vermont & State Agricultural College

Robert Waymouth

Stanford University

Steven Wheeler

Texas A&M University Main Campus

Ruqian Wu

University of California-Irvine

Judith Yang

University of Pittsburgh

Yuan Yao

Purdue University

Huiming Yin

Columbia University

Zhanping You

Michigan Technological University

Michael Zdilla

Temple University

Qiming Zhang

University of Texas at Arlington

Yong Zhang

Stevens Institute of Technology

Viktor Zhdankin

University of Minnesota Duluth

Nan Zheng

University of Arkansas

Julie Zilles

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Media Contacts
Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, (703) 292-8796, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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