University of Cincinnati chemistry professor honored with prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship

CINCINNATI - A University of Cincinnati associate professor of chemistry is among 126 researchers in the United States and Canada to be honored with a 2013 Sloan Research Fellowship.

Hairong Guan is the only Ohio researcher to receive the $50,000 fellowship, which is awarded to young scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders.

"This award is truly an honor," Guan was quoted as saying in a press release from the University of Cincinnati. "It signifies the recognition of not only my work, but also the work of my graduate student researchers. I feel that my students are very talented and work very hard, and they made significant contributions to our research projects."

Guan received the honor for his work designing catalysts that speed up a chemical reaction – methods to make a chemical reaction run faster, cheaper and safer – for areas such as the pharmaceutical industry, the chemical industry and the energy industry.

"The Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow is an extraordinarily competitive award involving nominations of the very best young scientists from the United States and Canada," said William Heineman, head of the UC Department of Chemistry. "Professor Guan's selection from this exceptional group of nominees shows the high esteem in which his past work and future potential are held by the scholars who wrote letters in support of his nomination and the award selection committee. Professor Guan is to be congratulated for this high honor."

Guan previously received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2010 that resulted in $658,364 funding from the NSF through 2015 to study chemical processes to reduce carbon dioxide, a contributor to greenhouse gas, according to the UC press release.

Guan's research team has developed a catalytic hydrocarbon system to reduce CO2 by converting it into methanol, a liquid fuel and fuel additive.

"As the world evolves, there will always be new challenges presented, and we need chemists to address those issues," Guan said.

Guan joined the UC chemistry faculty as an assistant professor in 2007 and was appointed to associate professor in 2012 after receiving his doctoral degree from Columbia University in 2005. Guan also did post-doctoral research on the development of iron-catalyzed hydrogenation reactions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which was named in honor of former president and CEO of General Motors in 1934, is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution based in New York that makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. The fellowship was established in 1955.

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