Chemistry Professor Terry Collins Receives Distinguished Alumni Award From his Alma Mater, The University of Auckland-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chemistry Professor Terry Collins Receives Distinguished Alumni Award From his Alma Mater, The University of Auckland

Terry Collins, Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, The University of Auckland. The annual awards honor alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions, to their communities and to the nation. Collins is noted for his scientific contributions to green chemistry, his dedication to education and his public advocacy for use of green chemistry to achieve a sustainable civilization. Collins received the award at a dinner on February 23. He also delivered the public lecture, “Green Chemistry: Sustaining a High Technology Civilization,” two days earlier as part of the alumni event.

Collins earned his undergraduate (’74), master’s (’75), and doctoral (’78) degrees in chemistry from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In addition to being a distinguished alumnus, he is also an honorary professor at the University of Auckland.

Head of the Institute for Green Oxidation Chemistry at the Mellon College of Science, Collins is credited with creating a new class of oxidation catalysts with the potential for enormous, positive impact on the environment. These catalysts, called tetra-amido macrocyclic ligand (Fe-TAML®) activators, are the result of decades of Collins’s work to develop green, or environmentally friendly, processes for industry.

Experts worldwide believe that these systems can be used effectively to replace chlorine-based oxidants in large global technologies so that some of society’s most toxic chlorinated residuals are not produced by industry. The Fe-TAML activators can be used for pulp bleaching in the pulp and paper industry, for removal of textile dyeing mill pollutants, and for the easy destruction of dangerous pollutants including pesticides, nitrophenols, estrogenic compounds and chemical and biological warfare agents, and for use in products as commonplace as laundry detergent. Their greatest impact could lie in providing generalized water purification.

Collins and his research team have been awarded more than ten U.S patents and over 100 international patents covering Fe-TAML technology, and one license agreement has been issued for the development of products based on Fe-TAMLs. Over 100 companies worldwide have expressed interest in the catalysts, including companies in the chemical and laundry industries.

Collins has been recognized worldwide by professional organizations, educational institutions and industry. His honors include the Environmental Protection Agency's 1999 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and Japan's Society of Pure and Applied Coordination Chemistry Award.

By: Amy Pavlak