Professor G. K. Surya Prakash

Professor Surya Prakash, Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Southern California, is also the Director and Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. He obtained his Ph. D. in chemistry in 1978 under the tutelage of late Professor Olah (1994 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) at the University of Southern California (USC).

His research encompasses superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic, organosilicon and organofluorine chemistry, with emphasis in the areas of catalysis, energy, greenhouse gas abatement, direct oxidation of methanol fuel cell and carbon dioxide capture and recycling (Methanol Economy Concept). He has trained more than 125 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars. He has ~ 800 peer-reviewed publications, over 100 patents and 14 books. Notably, the book “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy” that he co-authored has had worldwide attention and was translated into several languages. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, a Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Foreign Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. He also sits on Editorial Boards of several International Journals.

He has received many awards including those from ACS – 2004 Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, 2006 George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry, 2006 Richard C. Tolman Award and 2018 Arthur C. Cope Late Career Scholars Award, 2013 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation by the State of Israel (with Professor Olah), 2015 Henry Moissan International Prize, 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT, Madras and the 2010 CRSI Medal from the Chemical Research Society of India.