Engineering Professors Inducted as Fellows to American Chemical Society

Two professors at The University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering have been named Fellows at the American Chemical Society (ACS), an honor bestowed upon distinguished scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to the world's largest scientific society.

Nicholas Peppas, chair of the school’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Benny Freeman, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, were among the 213 scientists who will be inducted into the society during its 242nd National Meeting and Exposition in Denver Aug. 29.

Dr. Nicholas Peppas

Dr. Nicholas Peppas

"ACS is especially proud to honor these chemists during the 2011 International Year of Chemistry," said ACS President Nancy B. Jackson. "The work they are doing will improve all of our lives as they unleash the power of chemistry to solve global challenges like providing clean water, sufficient food, new energy sources and cures for disease. But that's not all. They're also organizing scientific conferences for their peers, doing outreach with scouts and schools, and being mentors to the next generation of scientists."

Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School, said that the induction by ACS is a testament to research and teaching contributions made by Peppas and Freeman.

"These two leading scientists have improved many aspects of our lives from drug delivery to water purification," Fenves said. "There's no area of the chemical or biomedical engineering fields that they have not impacted, and I'm proud to see them both recognized with this prestigious honor."

Peppas, the Fletcher Stuckey Pratt Chair in Engineering, holds appointments in the school's Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is recognized as the father of modern drug delivery and has pioneered work on sustained and controlled release systems and delivery of drugs and proteins in the body. Peppas has invented several drug delivery systems and devices, some of which have been licensed to pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

Dr. Benny Freeman

Dr. Benny Freeman

Freeman, the Kenneth A. Kobe and Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek & American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professor of Chemical Engineering, has led groundbreaking research on water purification and gas and liquid separations using polymer and polymer-based membranes.

Both professors have been recognized for their work with major national and international awards.

The ACS Fellows Program was created in December 2008 "to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to Science, the Profession, and the Society." Fellows come from academe, industry and government.