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2024 Turner J. Alfrey Lecture Series: Tobin J. Marks

May 7 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT

Tobin J. Marks2024 Turner J. Alfrey Visiting Professorship Lecture Series
Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: MSU St. Andrews lecture theater located at 1910 West St. Andrews, Midland, MI 48640
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Tobin J. Marks

Tobin Marks, Ph.D., of Northwestern University is the 2024 Turner J. Alfrey Visiting Professor.  

Research Area

Marks’ research focuses on sustainable and unsolved homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic transformations, single-site surface catalysts, exploratory organo-f-element and early-transition metal organometallic chemistry, novel polymer design and synthesis, flexible, stretchable, and printable electronics, metal oxide electronics, new solar energy materials, molecule-based photonic materials, superconductivity, metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, and biological aspects of transition metal chemistry. Research.com ranks Marks as the #3 Chemist in the US, and the #6 Chemist in the World, while also having published 1728 peer-reviewed articles and holds 278 issued U.S. patents. He has an ISI h-index of 175 and a Google Scholar h-index of 196. 

Education and Background 

Marks earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Currently, Marks serves as the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry and Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. 

Awards and Recognition 

Professor Marks has been recognized and named to multiple organizations and boards including U.S., German, Italian, European, and Indian National Academies of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Inventors. Honorary Fellow: the U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry, the MRS, the ACS, and the Chinese Chemical Society.  

Professor Marks has also earned honorary doctorate degrees from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of South Carolina, The Ohio State University, and the Technical University of Munich. He has received more than 250 other national and international awards, prizes, lectureships, and fellowships. 

Marks has also been a founder or co-founder for three start-up companies and has served on advisory boards of more than 15 major corporations and start-ups. 

Marks has received more than 250 other national and international awards, prizes, lectureships, and fellowships. Some of his notable awards include: 

  • U.S. National Medal of Science 
  • Spanish Principe de Asturias Prize 
  • MRS Von Hippel Award 
  • Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences 
  • NAS Award in Chemical Sciences 
  • ACS Joseph Priestley Medal 
  • Israel Harvey Prize 
  • German Chemical Society Karl Ziegler Prize

Accompanying Marks will be Yosi Kratish, Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Kratish earned his Ph.D. from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. After earning his Ph.D., he joined Northwestern University in 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow in the chemistry department and spent two years in this role before being promoted to Research Assistant Professor. Kratish’s focus areas are catalytic chemical recycling of plastics using supported single-site metal oxide and organometallics catalysts, homogeneous catalysts, and the study of molecular properties and reaction mechanisms using computational chemistry.

Kratish has authored 27 publications and holds 8 patents. Kratish is a Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy and the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) affiliated faculty. Kratish was recently recognized as a Querrey Entrepreneurial Fellow and received the McBride Postdoctoral Trainee Award. He has also been honored with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology Scholarship and the Miriam and Aaron Gutwirth Memorial Fellowship. Kratish also founded a startup company dedicated to reducing plastic waste through solventless catalytic technologies he developed. He also was involved in the formation of a second startup focused on commercializing catalytic technologies from Northwestern University.

Registration open now through Sunday, May 5, 2024. This is a free event. Please share this event with others that may be interested in attending. 


  • 9:15 a.m. – Lecture #1 – Surface Science Meets Homogeneous Catalysis. Surfaces as Exceptional Ligands & Activators for Polymer Chemistry – Presented by Tobin Marks, Ph.D.
  • 10:15 a.m. – Lecture #2 – At the Homogeneous – Heterogeneous Catalysis Interface.  Processes for Waste Polymer Deconstruction and Upcycling  in a Circular Economy – Presented by Tobin Marks, Ph.D.
  • 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 am Break
  • 11:30 a.m. – Lecture #3 – Selective and Solventless Lanthanide-Organic Catalyzed Depolymerization of Nylon-6 Plastics to ϵ-Caprolactam – Presented by Yosi Kratish, Ph.D.
  • 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch Break with food Provided by the American Chemical Society
  • 2:00 p.m. – Lecture #4 – Making Printable Mechanically Agile Electronics & Opto–Electronics a Reality—Polymers, Iontronics, and Amorphous Oxides – Presented by Tobin Marks, Ph.D.
  • 3:00 p.m – Lecture #5 – Disruptive Durable All-Polymer Solar Cells – Presented by Tobin Marks, Ph.D.

For event history, please visit the Turner J. Alfrey Visiting Professorship.


May 7
9:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT
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