European Academy of Sciences
Member Profile

Surya Prakash


Surya Prakash
Year of Election
Chemistry Division
United States
Country/Region of working/living
United States
Los Angeles
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Professor Surya Prakash was born in 1953 in Bangalore, India. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from the Bangalore University and a M.Sc. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. He obtained his Ph. D. in chemistry under the tutelage of late Professor Olah (1994 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1978. He joined USC faculty in 1981 and is currently a Professor and Director holding the Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. He also serves as the Chairman of the Chemistry Department at USC. His research encompasses superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic, organosilicon and organofluorine chemistry, with particular emphasis in the areas of energy, greenhouse gas abatement and catalysis. He is a Co-Proponent of the Methanol Economy Concept based on carbon dioxide capture and recycling. He co-invented the direct oxidation methanol fuel cell. He has trained more than 120 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars. He is a prolific author with ~ 795 peer-reviewed publications holding > 100 patents. He has published 14 books. He has received many awards and recognitions including the American Chemical Society Awards: the 2004 Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, the 2006 George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry, the 2006 Richard C. Tolman Award (from the Southern California section of the American Chemical Society) and the 2018 Late Career Cope Scholar Award. He has also received the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT, Madras and the 2010 CRSI Medal from the Chemical Research Society of India. He has co-shared with the late Professor Olah, the inaugural $1 Million the 2013 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation by the State of Israel. In 2015, he won the Henri Moissan International Prize for excellence in Fluorine Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, a Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Foreign Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. He also sits on Editorial Boards of several International Journals. Professor Prakash’s book, co-authored with G. A. Olah and A. Goeppert, “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy” (Wiley-VCH, 2006 and 2nd Edition, 2009, 3rd Expanded Edition 2018, translated into Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese, Swedish and Russian) is getting worldwide attention.