Gabor A. Somorjai


University of California at Berkeley Gabor A. Somorjai was born in Budapest, Hungary, on May 4, 1935. He was a fourth year student of Chemical Engineering at the Technical University in Budapest in 1956 at the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution. He left Hungary and emigrated to the United States, where he received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960. He became a U.S. citizen in 1962. After graduation, he joined the IBM research staff in Yorktown Heights, New York, where he remained until 1964. At that time, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1967, he was named Associate Professor, and in 1972 promoted to Professor. Concurrent with his faculty appointment, he is also a Faculty Senior Scientist in the Materials Sciences Division, and Group Leader of the Surface Science and Catalysis Program at the Center for Advanced Materials, at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Professor Somorjai has been a leader in the field of catalysis for more than 45 years. He has educated more than 130 Ph.D. students and 200 postdoctoral fellows. He is the author of more than 1100 scientific papers in the fields of surface chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, and solid state chemistry. He has written four textbooks, Principles of Surface Chemistry, Prentice Hall, 1972; Chemistry in Two Dimensions: Surfaces, Cornell University Press, 1981; and Introduction to Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Wiley-Interscience, 1994 and the Second Edition in 2010; as well as a monograph, Adsorbed Monolayers on Solid Surfaces, Springer-Verlag, 1979.