Recently, BES has sponsored two kinds of workshops: those organized by BESAC and those of the Basic Research Needs (BRN) workshop series, which are organized by program managers in the various BES divisions (see Box 4-1). Individual research programs in BES have not typically held separate workshops. Of most relevance to the Catalysis Science Program is the 10th workshop in the BRN series, which focused on catalysis for energy and was held during the summer 2007.

According to BES staff, the chairs for all of the BRN workshops were chosen by the associate director of BES, who considered recommendations by the program and division managers. The primary selection criterion was that the chairs have substantial relevant expertise and seniority so that they would have the confidence of the university and the national laboratory communities. The chairs were charged with identifying panel chairs (subject to BES concurrence), who were typically pairs of university, industry, or national laboratory researchers.

The workshop session topics were selected as a result of discussions between BES and the workshop chairs. The session chairs, in turn, defined the scope and constituency of their panels with input from BES and the workshop chairs. The chairs were encouraged to consider a balanced mix of persons from academe, national laboratories, and industry and were not restricted as to expertise or prior funding from DOE. The total number of participants was limited to avoid unfocused sessions and to encourage maximum interaction among the panelists.

The affiliations of the participants in the BRN workshop on catalysis for energy are summarized in Table 4-1. Approximately 32 percent of the 127 participants were principal investigators funded by the Catalysis Science Program, and 56 percent were principal investigators or others who were not. A number of those outside the Catalysis Science Program had received grants from other BES programs (such as the Solar Photochemistry Program).

BESAC also has held workshops over the years. In 2002, BESAC held a workshop highly relevant to the Catalysis Science Program titled “Opportunities for Catalysis in the 21st Century,” which will be discussed later in this chapter.

The Catalysis Science Program also provides support for individual meetings and workshops, such as Gordon research conferences, primarily to support the participation of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Recent examples of catalysis-related Gordon conferences supported by the program are those on Catalysis (2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008), Organometallic Chemistry (2002 and 2003), Chemical Reactions at Surfaces (2003, 2005, and 2007), Inorganic Chemistry/Reaction Mechanisms (2004 and 2007), and Electrochemistry (2006 and 2007). The program also has supported other conferences and symposia (for example, the American Chemical Society and the North American Catalysis Society).

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