Douglas Clark, Dean of the College of Chemistry, and Gilbert Newton Lewis Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley, has been awarded the prestigious D.I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering for 2019 from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The award will be presented during Clark's D.I.C. Wang Award Lecture at the AIChE Annual Meeting in November. This award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the field and to the practice of biochemical engineering through their position in industry or academia as exemplified by Professor Wang in his 50+ years of contributions.
Clark's research is focused in the field of biochemical engineering, with particular emphasis on enzyme technology, biomaterials, and bioenergy. Underlying these general topics is a longstanding interest in extremophiles and extremophilic enzymes. His work in biocatalyst engineering has created new opportunities for the application of enzymes in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and agrochemical industries, and his development of protein and cellular arrays has enabled high-throughput biosynthesis and activity/toxicity screening of potential drugs.
About the award
The D.I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering is given in appreciation of Prof. Daniel I.C. Wang's contributions to education and research in biochemical engineering, as well as his technological innovations in bioprocessing. The award was established by the Society for Biological Engineering and is presented to a distinguished biochemical engineer and biotechnologist by the Biochemical Technology Division of the American Chemical Society and by the Food, Pharmaceuticals and Bioengineering Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Biological Engineering.
Founded in1908, AIChE was started by chemical engineering professionals as the specialty was slowly emerging from its roots in the chemistry industry. AIChE was established to support the chemical engineering profession being independent from chemists (responsible for designing reactions) and mechanical engineers (responsible for designing reactors).
As of 2018, AIChE had over 60,000 members, including members from over 110 countries worldwide. Student chapters at various universities around the world have also been established throughout its history. The student chapters generally focus on providing networking opportunities in both academia and in industry as well as increasing student involvement locally and nationally.