Wenzhen Li and Jean-Philippe Tessonnier shown in lab photos
Wenzhen Li (left) and Jean-Philippe Tessonnier have become part of an elite group of scientific advocates in the Royal Society of Chemistry

Two members of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) faculty have been recently named Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Herbert L. Stiles Faculty Fellow Wenzhen Li and Richard C. Seagrave Professor Jean-Philippe Tessonnier have both received this important honor.

Royal Society of Chemistry logo

Founded in 1841, RSC is the largest organization in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. Members include doctors, academics, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs. Dialysis inventor Thomas Graham served as its first President and Queen Victoria later granted a Royal Charter to the Society, confirming its purpose of “the general advancement of Chemical Science.” RSC partners with industry and academia, advises governments on policy, and promotes talent, collaboration, innovation, information and ideas. The designation of Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of chemical science. The names of newly elected Fellows are published each year in The Times of London.

Tessonnier, together with his graduate and undergraduate students, develops technologies for a greener and more sustainable chemical industry. Their work combines innovations in biomass utilization, catalyst design, electrosynthesis, advanced manufacturing and performance materials. He is the co-inventor on 22 invention disclosures that have produced 14 patents, some of which have been licensed. His research has been cited more than 7,000 times and has been published in such journals as ACS Catalysis, ACS Sustainable Chemical Engineering, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Energy & Environmental Science, and Chemical Reviews. He joined the Iowa State CBE faculty in 2012.

Li and his research group also strive for enhanced sustainability in agricultural and environmental interests in areas such as CO2 conversion, green ammonia, select oxidation, direct alcohol fuel cell technology, and electrocatalyst synthesis. Li holds more than 120 peer-reviewed journal papers with more than 17,000 citations. His work has seen publication in Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nature Catalysis, Energy & Environmental Science, ACS Catalysis, and others. He has been part of Iowa State’s CBE faculty since 2014.


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