Lin named director of Iowa State's Center for Catalysis

AMES, Iowa--Victor S.-Y. Lin has been appointed director of the Center for Catalysis at Iowa State University. Lin, who also is a professor of chemistry at Iowa State, replaces George Kraus, who was recently named director of Iowa State's Institute for Physical Research and Technology.

"We could not have found a better director for the center than Victor Lin," Kraus said. Victor is one of the world's experts in the basic science of catalysis as well as the application of catalysts in agriculture, industry and even medicine."

Lin has done research at the center, which is a member of IPRT, since its inception in 2001. He also is the associate director of the Chemical and Biological Sciences Program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

"I hope to build on the excellent foundation laid down by George Kraus," said Lin, adding that the Center for Catalysis will continue to explore and develop innovative catalysts, which are substances that speed up chemical reactions.

"Although catalysts are already widely used in industry, I believe we have only started to tap their potential to make all kinds of processes more efficient and environmentally friendly," he said. "Catalysts are also the key to making biorenewable energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels."

Lin received his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. After working as a Skaggs postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, he joined the faculty at Iowa State in 1999. His research focuses on the design of novel materials for biotechnological and biomedical applications, such as biosensor design and drug delivery. Lin's research group specializes in the synthesis of catalysts for various reactions such as biodiesel production and other biorenewable applications.

Lin has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Technology Development Award from the U.S. Federal Laboratory Consortium; the LAS Award for Early Achievement in Research Creativity from Iowa State; the National Science Foundation CAREER Award; and the John C. Miller Award for Most Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Lin is on the editorial board for Advanced Functional Materials.

In addition to his research and academic achievements, Lin recently founded a company called Catilin Inc. to commercialize catalysts aimed at making biodiesel production cheaper, faster and less toxic.

The Center for Catalysis is dedicated to the development of useful, practical catalysts and sustainable green chemistry methods. The center is part of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, a network of scientific research centers at Iowa State. In addition to performing world-class scientific research, IPRT provides technical assistance and contract research services to Iowa companies.