Wong named fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department chair honored for professional accomplishments and service

Michael Wong

By Patrick Kurp
Special to the Rice News

Rice University’s Michael Wong has been elected a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

AIChE, the world’s leading professional organization for chemical engineers, has more than 60,000 members, but fewer than 1,000 have earned the distinction of fellow, its highest level of membership. Wong earned the recognition for his professional accomplishments and outstanding service to the profession.

Michael Wong
Michael Wong (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Wong is the Tina and Sunit Patel Professor in Molecular Nanotechnology, a professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a professor of chemistry, materials science and nanoengineering and of civil and environmental engineering. He joined Rice’s faculty in 2001 and became department chair in 2014.

Wong directs the Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory, which probes fundamental molecular processes and develops new chemical techniques to design and synthesize nanomaterials that address global problems. His research lies at the interface of chemical engineering, chemistry and materials science. Using nanotechnology, his research group has worked to address problems related to clean water and the environment, green chemistry and sustainable chemicals production, and clean energy and hydrogen production from water.

Wong is the research thrust leader on multifunctional nanomaterials for the Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment Center, or NEWT Center, a National Science Foundation-supported Engineering Research Center based at Rice. He is also a past-chair of the AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum and the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Division of Catalysis Science and Technology, and a topic editor for the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Wong was elected a fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2018. His previous awards and honors include the Department of the Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Southwest Region ACS Award, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology TR35 Young Innovator Award and AIChE’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Young Investigator Award.

Wong will be formally inducted as a fellow at AIChE’s annual meeting in Phoenix Nov. 13-18. He joins other AIChE fellows on Rice’s engineering faculty, including Kenneth Cox, professor in the practice of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; and Clarence Miller, professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

– Patrick Kurp is a science writer in Rice's George R. Brown School of Engineering.