Parr Lecture

Yushan Yan will deliver the 2023 Parr Lecture on "Electrochemical Engineering for Energy Transition: Green Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Carbon Capture"
Yushan Yan will deliver the 2023 Parr Lecture on "Electrochemical Engineering for Energy Transition: Green Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Carbon Capture"

2023 Parr Lecture

"Electrochemical Engineering for Energy Transition: Green Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Carbon Capture"

The 2023 Parr Lecture will be given by Yushan Yan, the Henry B. du Pont Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Founding Director of the Center for Clean Hydrogen at the University of Delaware, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, in 116 Roger Adams Laboratory, with a reception to follow in RAL's north ground-floor atrium.

His talk, entitled, “Electrochemical Engineering for Energy Transition: Green Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Carbon Capture,” will be at 3 p.m. Thursday, December 7, 2023, in 116 Roger Adams Laboratory.

Yan received his B.S. in Chemical Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He previously held the position of Founding Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware, Department Chair at the University of California Riverside, and Senior Staff Engineer and Project Leader at AlliedSignal. His research focuses on green hydrogen, fuel cells and carbon capture using polymer hydroxide exchange membranes.

His recognitions include the R. H. Wilhelm Award for Chemical Reaction Engineering, the Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering, and the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; the Carl Wagner Memorial Award and the Energy Technology Division Research Award from the Electrochemical Society; the Donald Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, and the Electrochemical Society. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science, and the Founder and CEO of Versogen and a Cofounder of RepAir.

History of the Parr Lecture

Samuel Parr
Samuel W. Parr

The Parr Lecture is named after Samuel Wilson Parr, the founder of chemical engineering at Illinois. A native of Granville, Illinois, Parr became professor of applied chemistry and head of industrial chemistry at Illinois in 1891.

Parr inaugurated the curriculum named “Chemical Engineering for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.” This curriculum was first listed in the University of Illinois Catalog for 1901-02 and has continued since. Under Parr’s leadership, the division of Chemical Engineering emerged, which later became the Department of Chemical Engineering.

He was a prolific author and made numerous discoveries. Parr developed an alloy—called Illium, made of nine different metals—that has powerful corrosion-resisting properties. He also invented the first simplified instrument for measuring the heating value of coal. The Parr Calorimeter and subsequent developments contributed significantly to the development of a market for the extensive reserves of bituminous coal in Illinois at a time when most believed that only eastern coal could be used for heating. The coking process for bituminous coal he developed was superior to any hitherto known. Responding to the interest in his new invention, Parr founded the Standard Calorimeter Company, later renamed the Parr Instrument Company. An early Parr Calorimeter can be viewed in the north lobby of Roger Adams Laboratory. The Parr Instrument Company, based in Moline, Illinois, continues its reputation for fine craftsmanship and outstanding engineering.

Thank you to the Parr Instrument Company, which sponsors the Parr Lecture.

Previous Parr Lecturers

2022: Kristi Anseth | Synthetic Hydrogels as Extracellular Matrix Mimics: Engineering Materials for 4D Cell Culture 

2019: Sharon Glotzer Engineering Entropy in Colloidal Matter

2018: David Sholl | Expanding the Chemical Palette for Reliable Adsorption-based Separations

2017: Keith Johnston (PhD ’81) | Helping Nanoparticles Reach Their Colloidal Potential

2016: Curtis W. Frank (PhD ’72) | Solid Matter at Interfaces

2015: Joan F. Brennecke  (PhD ’89) | Ionic Liquids for Post-Combustion CO2,” PhD

2014: Mark E. Davis | Fighting Cancer with Nanoparticle Medicines: The Nanoscale Matters!

2013: Nicholas A. Peppas | New Frontiers in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences: Advanced Intelligent Hydrogels for Protein Delivery

2011: William F. Banholzer (PhD ’83) | The Future of Fuels and Feedstocks: Addressing Hype, Limitations and Research Strategies

2009: Frances H. Arnold | In the Light of Directed Evolution: Pathways of Protein Adaptation

2008: Dennis M. Houston (BS ‘74) | The Energy Challenge

2006: Alice P. Gast | Proteins and Enzymes at Membrane Interfaces

2003: Robert A. Brown | Chemical Engineering in the 21st Century: Challenges for the Evolution of the Discipline

2002: Steven L. Miller (BS ’67) | The Crucible of Change