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2023 Winners of the ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering Lectureship Awards

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By Dr. Sederra Ross, Associate, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

We are happy to announce the recipients of the 2023 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards. These awards honor the scientific accomplishments of scientists working in green chemistry, green engineering, and chemical enterprise sustainability who have finished their academic studies within the last ten years. The recipients of the lectureship awards are chosen from three regions: the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia/Pacific. The winners of the ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Award in 2023 are:


Professor Kevin Leonard of the University of Kansas (Kansas, USA), is being honored for his multiple contributions to the field of sustainable chemistry and engineering, including the production, at scale, of clean hydrogen and the development of CO2-expanded electrolytes that offer potential in the rapidly developing area of synthetic electrochemistry. (1-3) Professor Leonard's mission is to devise sustainable improvements and innovative solutions for fuel and chemical production. He is currently the principal investigator for a $3 million NFT grant in which his students use machine learning algorithms to generate novel catalyst combinations to build a catalysis database, significantly advancing the field of catalysis. At the University of Wisconsin, he received his BS in Chemical Engineering and Applied Mathematics and his MS and Ph.D. in Material Science.


Gyorgy-Szekely.pngProfessor Gyorgy Szekely of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia) is being honored for his thought leadership in sustainable separations via the synergistic combination of outstanding materials science and robust chemical engineering. (4-6) His multidisciplinary professional background covers supramolecular chemistry, molecular recognition, molecular imprinting, process development, sustainable separations, waste utilization, nanofiltration, and pharmaceutical purification giving him the intellectual toolbox to implement to lead research that investigates the potential of advanced membrane and imprinted for efficient purification and sustainable processing of fine chemical and water. He earned his MEng in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Budapest and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Technical University of Dortmund.

Xiaonan-Wang.pngProfessor Xiaonan Wang of Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), is being honored for her multiple contributions to the development of intelligent computational methods including multi-scale modeling, optimization, data analytics, and machine learning for applications in advanced materials, environmental, and energy systems all which support and underpin sustainable chemistry and engineering. (7-9) Professor Xiaonan Wang aims to lead the sustainability and smart systems research to implement practical societal advances. Her research team, in close collaboration with the renowned resilience brokers and Imperial College London, has built a systematic planning platform for smart city and engineering development that combines model-based and data-driven approaches to improve overall economic, environmental, and social advancements. Besides academic research and teaching, she has led an education series on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Science & Engineering to disseminate knowledge and public understanding. She has trained more than 1000 PG/UG students with machine learning and optimization techniques.

The winners will be recognized at a joint plenary session of the 27th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in their honor (June 13-15, 2023, and will act as keynote speakers for the GC&E conference. We thank the community of scientists devoted to sustainable chemistry and engineering for the response to our call for lectureship award nominations. Details of the next award cycle will be available in Summer 2023 or by sending inquiries to

Check out this Editorial on the Lectureship Awards and its winners: