Dr. James D. Batteas, professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University and associate dean for research in the College of Science, has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the D. Wayne Goodman Professorship in Chemistry, effective September 1, 2019.
A member of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty since 2005, Batteas is also the director of the Materials Characterization Facility, an affiliated faculty member in the Texas A&M Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a past chair of the Council of Principal Investigators. He has served as associate dean for research in Texas A&M Science since January 2017.
An expert in the fields of materials and surface chemistry as well as nanoscience, Batteas is a leader in exploring, understanding and controlling electron and energy transport in nanomaterials. He and his research group specialize in designing new materials for nanoparticle catalysis and organic electronics, based on their understanding and ability to control friction on the atomic scale as part of their broader goal to address one of society’s most daunting challenges–energy conservation.
The Goodman Professorship was established in January 2017 through the Texas A&M Foundation in collaboration with Sandra Goodman and additional donors to honor the late Texas A&M chemist Dr. D. Wayne Goodman, a distinguished and internationally recognized scientist whose many pioneering achievements helped revolutionize the fields of surface science and heterogeneous catalysis prior to his untimely death in 2012 at the age of 66. In addition to making significant contributions to his department, college and university during his 24-year Texas A&M career, Goodman was revered as a beloved colleague whose legacy fittingly includes Batteas as one of several bright young faculty attracted to Texas A&M in part because of Goodman and his world-changing work.
“I am honored and humbled to be the first faculty member appointed to the D. Wayne Goodman Professorship in Chemistry,” Batteas said. “Having ‘grown up’ in the field of surface science, Wayne’s pioneering work was instrumental to my formative time in graduate school and, once arriving at Texas A&M as a faculty member, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him. His advice on my own lab’s research was invaluable in helping shape many aspects of our current work. It is my sincere wish to honor his lasting legacy by continuing to advance surface science and physical chemistry at Texas A&M.”
A fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) since 2012 and a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Batteas has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and reviews and been highly cited, with more than 5,300 citations to date and a current h-index of 42. He has delivered numerous invited and contributed oral presentations on his research, which is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, The Welch Foundation and the Department of Energy, at international universities, prestigious national universities, national ACS meetings and international conferences.
Batteas’ past honors include the Society for Plastics Engineers Polymer Analysis Division’s Netzsch Instruments Frank Giblin Memorial Award in Polymer Analysis (2001), the CUNY Academy of Arts and Sciences Feliks Gross Endowment Award (2001) and the Research Corporation Research Innovation Award (1998). Equally accomplished in teaching and service, he has received the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at both the university (2017) and college levels (2013). A past chair of the local Texas A&M/ACS section, Batteas sits on the advisory and editorial boards of two research journals: ACS Central Science, the premier open-access journal of the ACS, and RSC Advances, the RSC’s first interdisciplinary research journal in the chemical sciences that he helped to develop and launch in 2011.
Since 2012, Batteas also has served as a faculty advisor for Texas A&M’s National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) chapter, earning a 2015 NOBCChE President’s Award for his service to the STEM community. For the past four years, he has co-taught a session on nanotechnology as part of Texas A&M’s Youth Adventure Program, a series of one-week summer courses designed to encourage career exploration in fields of interest for gifted and talented high school students.
“I think that James is the perfect individual to be the inaugural holder of the D. Wayne Goodman Professorship in Chemistry, both for his scientific impact and his contributions in the area of surface science, where Wayne was an internationally recognized leader,” said Dr. Simon W. North, professor and head of Texas A&M Chemistry.
As one of his first official steps in honoring Goodman’s memory, Batteas plans to use a portion of the professorship’s funds to resurrect a past Texas A&M event Goodman himself started: the Texas Surface Science Roundup, an annual meeting of surface scientists across the Lone Star State.
“As a conference that was dedicated entirely to career development for students, it was a way for the next generation of young scientists and engineers to come together to get to know each other, to foster diversity and inclusion, and to share their work,” Batteas said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in surface science across Texas to bring this program back.”
Batteas earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University (1995-1996) before starting his independent academic career as a chemistry faculty member at The City University of New York (1996-2002). He then spent three years as a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (2002-2005) prior to coming to Texas A&M.
For more information about Batteas and his teaching, research and service-related activities and accomplishments, visit https://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/batteas/.