SERMACS Industrial Innovation Award

To recognize, encourage, and stimulate industrial innovation in the Southeastern Region.  The award celebrates the successful innovations of industrial chemists and chemical engineers that contribute to the health of their local and regional economy and the corporate leadership for its advancement of a healthy economy.  Awards are given to individuals and teams whose creative innovations have contributed to the commercial success of their institution and, consequently, to the good of the community and society.
Since 2012 the award has been administered and sponsored by SERMACS.  It was previously known as the “ACS Southeastern Regional Award for Industrial Innovation”, administered by the ACS Regional Industrial Innovation Awards Program (RIIA) and sponsored by the ACS Corporation Associates


The award consists of a plaque and reasonable travel reimbursement to the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS).  The Award winner will be expected to attend the award event and give a short presentation (10-20 min). 

Eligibility and Application Procedures

Who May Nominate?  Any ACS member within the ACS Southeastern Region may submit nominations.  Local Sections within the Region are especially encouraged to submit nominations for the award.
Who is Eligible?  Any industrial chemist, chemical engineer, or organization located in the Southeastern Region of the American Chemical Society is eligible, except a member of the award selection committee.  Team awards are permitted and are encouraged.
Criteria for the Award.  The invention or innovation must have resulted in a commercial product, or a new or improved process for making a commercial product.  Ideally a patent should have been awarded for the product or processes.  Some commercial process innovations may also qualify if care is taken to explain the nature of the innovation.  Creative application of analytical methods for process control may also qualify if they are of major importance to a commercial process.  The work should have been done in the Southeastern Region.  Alternately, if the nominee did the work elsewhere, he or she must reside in the Southeastern Region.  The key requirement is that there must be a plant or other facility using or developing the technology in the ACS Southeastern Region.
Awards Event.  The award will be presented during the next SERMACS.
Nomination Form and Deadline
Industrial Innovation Award Questions:  Please contact the Awards Chair for the upcoming SERMACS.

Prior Recipients


Cary, NC

George Adjabeng founder and CEO of Ecodyst

Memphis, TN

Abdou Lachgar, Chinmay Deshmane, Marcus Wright, and Brian Hanson. For improving catalysts used in the production of biodiesel at the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability at Wake Forest University.

Nashville, TN

David Thomas, Jamal El-Hibri, Chantal Louis, Scott Harding, Vijay Gopalakrishnan, Dan Malone, Bianca Shemper, Nick Malkovich, Russ Slater, Bill Gandy, Suresh Sriram, and Fred Larsen. For discovering and developing PrimoSpire® SRP polyphenylene at Solvay Specialty Polymers in Augusta, GA.

Atlanta, GA

Amogh Boloor, Mui Cheung, Philip Harris, Kevin Hinkle, Jeffrey A. Stafford, and James Veal. For discovering and developing the cancer treatment drug Votrient® in their research at GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Raleigh, NC

Christian Melander.  For discovering the first class of small molecule that will both inhibit and disperse bacterial biofilms across order, class, and phylum in his research at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Richmond, VA

No Award.

New Orleans, LA

No Award.

San Juan, PR

Carlos Lopez. For technical innovations in pharmaceutical manufacturing at Bristol-MyersSquibb in Puerto Rico.

Nashville, TN

No Award.

Greenville, SC

Karen Lackey. For discovering and developing the cancer treatment drug Tykerb® in her research at GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Augusta, GA

Thomas Ellison. For Dry Paint Film: An Automotive Finishing Innovation.

Memphis, TN

Thomas Puckette. For improving hydroformyulation processes and the invention of numerous phosphorus ligands for the low pressure oxo processin in his research at Eastman Chemical Company in
Longview, TX

Johnny Reynolds, James Swanson, Walter Meisner, Randy Cush, John Hott, William Itterly, Elray Roper, Leah Rosenheck, Clay Scherer, Ian Shirley, Thomas Truncellito, Philip Wege, Karen Westcott, Michael Bean, and Melvin Witcher. For developing of The Impasse™ Termite Product which is designed to improve pest management practices and to provide a new line of products for the protection of building materials in their research at Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. in Greensboro, NC.

Research Triangle Park, NC

Brian Looney. For a method for supplying a volatile, nontoxic, nonflammable vapor-phase organic phosphate as a nutrient to contaminated soil for in situ bioremediation in his research at Savannah River Technology Center in Aiken, SC

Ben Yerxa. For identifying the role that P2Y2 receptors play in tear secretion, designing and synthesizing P2Y2 receptor agonists, including INS365 Ophthalmic, for the treatment of dry eye, and leading the development of this program through to its current stage in his research at Inspire Pharmaceuticals in Durham, NC.

Atlanta, GA

Saul Furstein at Georgia-Pacific Corp. in Atlanta, GA and Israel Wachs at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, for developing a catalyst and process to convert pulp mill gases into valuable products.

Charleston, SC

Clair Claiborne. For inventing and developing BIOTEMP® - a vegetable based electrical insulation fluid for use in transformers to replace mineral based insulation fluids in his research at ABB Inc. in
Raleigh, NC.

Neal Boaz. For creativity and leadership in the discovery and development of BoPhoz™ - ligands for asymmetric reactions in his research at Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN.

Savannah, GA

Brian L. Bray. For creating innovative chemical synthesis technologies for large-scale commercial manufacturing of complex peptides, such as T-20, a 36-amino acid peptide used to treat HIV-positive patients in his research at Trimeris, Inc. in Durham, NC.

Shawn Marie Dougherty and Sharon D. DeBord. For developing an improved process for the preparation of dialkyl aromatic hydroxyl compounds that unexpectedly demonstrated that the use of these catalysts in combination provides significantly better performance than the use of either catalyst alone in their research at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN.

Charles R. Morgan, William P. Roberts, and Drew V. Speer. For pioneering work on controlled initiation technology for polymer-based oxygen scavenging systems, which have been introduced commercially for packaging applications in their research at Cryovac Food Packaging and Food Solutions in Duncan, SC.

Joseph R. Webster. For enhancing processing and stabilization of natural and pigmented thermoplastic polyesters for end-use applications that involve high temperature and exposure to UV and high-energy photon radiation in his research at Clariant Corp. in Charlotte, NC.

New Orleans, LA

Susan M. Daluge. For synthetic contributions and inventions that contributed significantly to the development of the anti-HIV drug Ziagen® in her research at Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. in Research Triangle Park, NC.

James R. Hall, III (retired). For contributing to the science and technology of making EPDM synthetic rubbers in his research at DSM Elastomers Americas in Addis, LA.

Donald Wm. Kelemen. For Development of the bioreactor (the PetroLiminator™), a pollution prevention device used to protect the marine environment in his research at Ensolve Biosystems, Inc. in Raleigh, NC.

Clifford G. Venier and Edward W. Casserly. For developing a new class of hydrocarbon lubricating fluids called multiply alkylated cyclopentanes (MACs) in their research at Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. in The Woodlands, TX.

Knoxville, TN

  No Award.

Research Triangle Park, NC

John Monnier. For discovery of a silver-catalyzed process to convert the chemical compound butadiene to the compound epoxybutene, using oxygen at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN.

Andrew Bleadon, Brian Failon, and Bob Gabriel. For development and commercialization of a new class of corrosion inhibitors, phosphonocarboxylate mixture (PCM) at Albright & Wilson Americas in Richmond, VA.

Donald Wm. Kelemen. For Development of the bioreactor (the PetroLiminator™), a pollution prevention device used to protect the marine environment in his research at Ensolve Biosystems, Inc. in Raleigh, NC.

Melanie Brown, Mike Costello, Lamberto Crescentini, Ed Duffy, John Hermes, Ted Jenczewski, Alan Levy, Stylios Sifniades, and Susan Van Ness. For Work on a novel process to recover a high-quality monomer, the basic building block of many plastic-based products, from post-consumer waste nylon carpet. at AlliedSignal in Petersburg, VA.