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NETL Leader Receives Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Charles Diamandes

NETL’s Charles Damianides, Ph.D., has received a 2022 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Damianides serves as executive director of the Center for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals (CSFC), a technology incubation center that develops technical solutions for the U.S. chemicals industry to retool its products and operations to reach net-zero emissions.

Damianides earned his master’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He was one of eight Alumni Award winners recognized at this year’s Graduate and Alumni Awards Ceremony. Since the inception of the Alumni Awards program in 2019, the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department has recognized 36 Alumni Award winners.

“I am both honored and humbled to receive this honor and to be included in this accomplished and distinguished group of alumni who have taken the knowledge acquired at the university to make valuable contributions that address real-world issues,” Damianides said.

Under Damianides’ leadership, the CSFC is working with American industries to advance their decarbonization efforts in support of the country’s climate change agenda. The center is comprised of several facilities and equipment that are best-in-class for research and development for carbon management, energy conversion, hydrogen production, process optimization, process intensification and chemical recycling.

The center will also become an integral part of efforts to bring needed industry to economically depressed regions, where components of natural gas and opportunistic feedstocks such as biomass and waste plastics could be used to produce hydrogen and other useful chemicals to suit market needs.

Prior to joining NETL, Damianides served as senior vice president for sustainability, technology and licensing at BP Petrochemicals. He also serves as an advisory board member for the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.