LAURELS: Gates engineering professor elected to the Academy of Inventors

LAURELS: Gates engineering professor elected to the Academy of Inventors


  • Bruce Gates, University of Engineering
  • Stephen Kowalczykowski, College of Biological Sciences
  • Anh-Vu Pham, University of Engineering
  • Cody Hawkins, Intercollegial Athletics

Distinguished Professor Bruce Gates: New member of the National Academy of Inventors.

The Department of Chemical Engineering Bruce Gates, world famous for his work with catalysts, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Inventors, or NAI. He is a member of the class of 2021, announced in December.

Gates, a distinguished professor, is the first member of his department to earn the honor. The NAI recognizes fellow academics whose outstanding inventions have had a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and well-being of society.

His other honors include election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017. Over his five-decade career, Gates has incorporated sophisticated catalyst synthesis methods and catalyst characterization and testing techniques to help improve radiation absorption spectroscopy. X and complementary methods to better understand the atomic-scale structures of catalytic materials and how they control the performance of the catalyst.

He is a pioneer in the field of structurally well-defined catalysts, which are increasingly finding technological application. His work on fossil fuel conversion led to the identification of sulfur-containing “bottleneck” compounds in oil that are more difficult to remove in processes for producing clean-burning (low-sulfur) fuels. The discovery helped dramatically improve air quality around the world by limiting sulfur oxide emissions from fuel combustion, leading to the near elimination of the term “acid rain” from our vocabularies.

“I particularly appreciate the way the NAI recognizes the advances in fundamental understanding that have paved the way, often years later, for new technologies,” said Gates. “The NAI encourages our engineering faculty to work with our research students to develop their core competencies and independence by taking a look at technology and looking to do something meaningful in the long term for the good of the people. and our environment “.

– Noah Pflueger-Peters, Content Specialist, College of Engineering

Stephen Kowalczykowski, left, and Anh-Vu Pham

New fellows from the Biophysical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE:

  • Stephen Kowalczykowski, distinguished professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, College of Biological Sciences – New member of the Biophysical Society, which attributes that status to members who have demonstrated excellence in science and contributed to the expansion of the field of biophysics. Kowalczykowski earned honor for seminal biophysical and biochemical studies, including the advancement of “visual biochemistry,” which contributed to our understanding of the complex protein-DNA interactions involved in DNA recombination and DNA replication.
  • Anh-Vu Pham, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering – Elevated to IEEE fellow in recognition of his outstanding contribution to organic packaging technologies for electronics. In this case, electronic packaging does not refer to the boxes used by manufacturers to ship consumer products, but to the physical structures on the devices that enclose the electronic circuits. The use of organic carbon-containing materials versus ceramics to package electronic circuits can allow for cheaper, lighter and smaller devices. Read more about Pham in this article on the website of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Cody Hawkins

Cody Hawkins is among 35 coaches selected by the American Football Coaches Association to attend its annual leadership institute for coaches under the age of 35. Hawkins has just completed his fifth season with Aggies and second as offensive coordinator.

He was among the more than 200 candidates for the 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute for 2022. The one-day program of ethics, influential responsibilities, career advancement and family balance.

Read more in this story on the Aggie Athletics website.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to


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