Nov. 3, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The American Chemical Society’s Committee on Environmental Improvement (ACS-CEI) is honoring Illinois Wesleyan University’s Ram Mohan for his efforts to incorporate green chemistry principles and sustainability into chemistry education.
Mohan will receive the ACS-CEI Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education. The award recognizes individuals and organizations making exemplary contributions to the incorporation of sustainability into chemistry education.
The Wendell and Loretta Hess Professor of Chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan, Mohan’s commitment to incorporating green chemistry principles has included establishment of a strong undergraduate research program aimed at developing environmentally friendly, organic synthesis using nontoxic bismuth salts. This research, which has engaged 110 undergraduates ranging from sophomore to senior status, has resulted in 56 peer-reviewed publications, according to Mohan. He has also introduced a junior-level green chemistry course that culminates in a student-centered poster session open to the public, and he has introduced several green chemistry experiments into the sophomore-level organic chemistry lab course.
Mohan will give an invited talk on his work in green chemistry education at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition in April 2017, where he will formally receive the award.
A graduate of Hansraj College in Delhi, India, Mohan earned a master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Delhi and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Following that he conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In 2011, the Illinois Heartland Section of the American Chemical Society named Mohan Chemist of the Year. He received the distinguished alumni award from his alma mater UMBC in 2002, the Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar award in 2001, and the Pfizer Green Chemistry Award for promoting green chemistry at an undergraduate institution.
Mohan was named a Fulbright Specialist on Green Chemistry Education to Pondicherry University in India in 2015, and received a Fulbright-Nehru award to deliver lectures on the principles of green chemistry at several Indian colleges and universities during the 2012-2013 academic year. In summer 2016 Mohan delivered green chemistry workshops at Hong Kong University and at several universities in India. Locally, he has promoted green chemistry in the Bloomington-Normal community by participating in wellness expos.