Chemist named National Academy of Inventors fellow

Geoffrey W. Coates, the Tisch University Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is one of 155 new members elected to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced Dec. 12. The 2017 NAI fellows will be inducted April 5, 2018, at the NAI annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Election as an NAI fellow is bestowed on academic inventors who have “demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and welfare of society,” according to NAI.

Coates’ teaching and research interests involve science at the interface of organic, inorganic and materials chemistry. The broader impacts of his research include benign polymers and chemical synthesis, the use of renewable resources, and economical energy storage and conversion. The Coates Research Group focuses on the development of new synthetic strategies for producing polymers of defined structure. His group’s recent work offers a new approach to recycling plastic.

Coates is co-founder of Novomer, which produces high-performance, cost-effective and environmentally responsible polymers and chemicals, and Ecolectro, which develops and manufactures enhanced polymers for clean energy, chemical and water applications. Both companies are founded on Coates’ Cornell-developed technologies.

Coates received his bachelor’s in chemistry from Wabash College in 1989 and his doctorate in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 1994. After postdoctoral studies at Caltech, he joined the Cornell faculty in 1997 and was appointed to the Tisch university professorship in 2008.

Earlier this year, Coates was elected to the National Academy of Sciences; he is also a member of the American Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous awards from the American Chemical Society, including the A.C. Cope Scholar Award and the Affordable Green Chemistry Award.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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		 Geoffrey W. Coates