About the Award

Established by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society is awarded biennially for contributions to chemistry, either in fundamental science or its application, that clearly satisfy a societal need. The award is given in alternate years to chemists working in industry and to those in academia, government, and nonprofit organizations. The award is presented with a $20,000 prize.

Hye Kyung Timken, Chevron Technical Center, received the 2023 NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society.

Timken’s groundbreaking work on innovative catalysts has been instrumental in making oil refineries safer, and fossil fuels more environmentally friendly.

Timken has been instrumental in leading the development and commercialization of Chevron’s ionic liquid-based ISOALKYTM Technology, which can be used by hundreds of oil refineries worldwide to improve process safety and reduce environmental impacts of fuel production. This technology has substantially decreased risks associated with gasoline production while providing more efficient conversion of petroleum to fuels.

Watch Timken’s acceptance speech.

Award History

Since 1991 the award has recognized the profound benefits of chemistry to society and how advances in chemistry have led to greater economic wealth and a better quality of life. Previous recipients of the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Five recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science, one recipient has received a Lasker Award, and one recipient has received a Nobel Prize in Medicine (Lauterbur 2003).

Most Recent Recipient
Hye Kyung Timken, 2023 NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society
Hye Kyung Timken
Call for Nominations

Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including biophysics, astronomy, microbiology, medical sciences, and more.

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Award Types

Previous Award Recipients

Susan Solomon
John C. Martin
Leroy E. Hood
Bruce D. Roth
Edward C. Taylor
Paul J. Reider