July 31, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

Karthikeyan Ramasamy, Yuyan Shao Named Fellows of the American Chemical Society

PNNL scientists recognized by prestigious society for crucial research and strong leadership

Yuyan Shao and Karthikeyan Ramasamy

Yuyan Shao and Karthikeyan Ramasamy.

(Composite photo by Shannon Colson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Two researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have been named fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS): Karthikeyan Ramasamy, a chemical engineer, laboratory relationship manager, and team leader in the Chemical & Biological Processing Group, and Yuyan Shao, an electrochemist and team leader in the Battery Materials & Systems Group.

Karthikeyan Ramasamy

The ACS recognized Ramasamy for his groundbreaking research connecting core chemistry principles with practical industrial implementation to advance renewable fuels and chemicals. His contributions have been especially key to industry partnerships to develop sustainable aviation fuel from renewable feedstocks. 

Ramasamy’s fellowship cites his impactful contributions to these sectors, which are particularly difficult to decarbonize.

“Karthi’s pioneering work has enabled the production of sustainable biofuels and chemicals from renewable and low-cost feedstocks,” said Ram Devanathan, Director of the Energy Processes & Materials Division in PNNL’s Energy & Environment Directorate. “He has a remarkable ability to design unconventional approaches to tackle the challenge of decarbonizing aviation. His rigor, passion for science, and creativity make him an inspiring role model.”

Ramasamy joined PNNL in 2009 and joined ACS soon after. Since joining ACS, he has held several roles within the society’s Catalysis Science & Technology (CATL) Division, including treasurer, program chair, and alternate councilor. As program chair, he organized multiple symposia and sought to include early-career researchers in the organizing process. Ramasamy also established a partnership between ACS’ CATL division and the Department of Energy’s Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy (ChemCatBio) consortium to support a bi-annual student travel award. His fellowship lauds his dedication to the division across his multiple board roles and his steadfast commitment to supporting early-career members of the ACS community.

Ramasamy earned his PhD in chemical engineering from Washington State University, his MS in environmental engineering from University of Central Florida, and his BS in chemical engineering from Bharathiar University, India.

Yuyan Shao

Shao’s work illuminates the electrochemical processes behind energy storage and conversion to enable better batteries, fuel cells, and clean hydrogen technologies for electric vehicles and the grid. Shao aims to closely link fundamental research on energy materials and processes with these cutting-edge applications.

Shao’s ACS fellowship recognizes him for these research accomplishments, specifically citing his “groundbreaking discovery” of new mechanisms in energy storage and conversion using Earth-abundant materials.

In recent years, Shao has expanded his research to include the recovery, recycling, reuse, and refurbishment of clean hydrogen technologies, supported by a recent Energy & Environment Directorate mission seed Laboratory-Directed Research & Development investment. “Yuyan is a tremendously creative scientist who is deeply respected across the DOE complex for the innovations he brings to the advancement of next-generation clean energy technologies,” said Cindy Powell, Chief Science and Technology Officer at the Energy & Environment Directorate. “He is also a model of servant-leadership for all of us, giving back to his profession through active engagement with ACS and other professional societies. I predict that this will be just one of many national and international awards that Yuyan will accrue over the course of his research career.”

Shao joined PNNL in 2007 and became an ACS member shortly after. He has continuously supported the scientific community in clean energy technology throughout the past decade, frequently organizing successful ACS symposia on clean energy topics in the Energy & Fuels (ENFL) Division and broadly working to spotlight the importance of electrochemistry in the society. Last year, Shao was chair of ACS’ ENFL Division; before that, he served as program co-chair for the division. The fellowship cites his strong record of service in the society, highlighting the innovation and inclusivity he demonstrated in his scientific research and leadership roles.

Shao earned his PhD in chemical engineering and electrochemistry (as well as his BS in chemical engineering) from the Harbin Institute of Technology.

Both of PNNL’s new ACS fellows will be honored at the August 13–17 ACS Fall National meeting in San Francisco. The full list of 2023 fellows is available in the July issue of Chemical & Engineering News.