Colleagues remember Professor D. Wayne Goodman
D. Wayne Goodman
D. W. (Wayne) Goodman passed away on Monday, February 27, 2012 at the age of 66, after a two-year battle with cancer which he fought with the same intensity as he brought to everything in his life. Those of us who knew him as a friend, scientific colleague and/or academic colleague greatly benefitted from that intensity, and are deeply saddened by this loss. His stellar research in unraveling the surface chemistry of catalysis has had a tremendous and lasting impact on this field.
Goodman made many seminal contributions to our understanding ofheterogeneous catalysis. His creative experiments used well-defined model catalysts to decisively identify numerous surface structure-function relationships in bimetallic catalysts and in oxide-supported metal nanoparticle catalysts and their underlying mechanistic explanations. His innovative approaches to establishing surface structure - function relationships in these areas have paved the way for many of the other groups who later became active in this arena. His papers and talks in this area eloquently outline how one could approach industrially-important yet fundamental questions in catalysis. Many researchers were stimulated by the excitement and clear-headed logic he projected, subsequently shifting their own research in the directions he had chosen.
One of Goodman's most important contributions has been in understanding oxide-supported metal nanoparticles and the relationships between their structure and catalytic activity, selectivity and sintering rates. Consider alone his 1998 Science paper where he and his students elegantly combined STM and reaction rate measurements to show that atomically cleanand well-definedgold nanoparticles, 2-3 nm in size, supportedon an ordered TiO2(110) surface, are exceedingly active as oxidation catalysts, whereas particles larger than 6 nm are completely dead. This, together with Haruta's earlier work in this area, led to the recent explosion in papers related to this subject. One can hardly open an issue of any of the major journals in catalysis or surface science which does not include at least one paper related to this topic. Goodman's paper alone has now received over 2000 citations.
In a similar manner, several other aspects of Goodman's research became the focus of much later research throughout the world. One cannot have a serious discussion about any single topic in bimetallic or alloy catalysis without citing some of Goodman's work that elucidated some fundamental feature of these systems. His most recent work in this area on PdAu alloy catalysts for vinyl acetate synthesis has elegantly established the atomic-level structure of the catalytically active site.
Goodman published ~500 papers, almost exclusively in the field of surface science, with 50 of these having more than 100 citations each. He currently receives ~1600 citations per year, with a career total of ~24,000 citations and a Hirsch index of 76.
Goodman's research has been recognized by numerous awards, most notably: elected Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the ACS, the AVS and the IOP; the Gabor A. Somorjai, Arthur W. Adamson and Colloid and Surface Chemistry Awards of the ACS; the Burwell Lecturer, Humboldt Research Prize, and Ipatieff Lecturer. He served on the editorial boards of this and many other journals, and served multiple officer roles in the Colloid and Surface Chemistry Division of the ACS all the way up from Treasurer to its Chairman.
Goodman received his PhD in Physical/Organic Chemistry in 1975 from the University of Texas in Austin, with his research directed by Prof. M.J.S. Dewar. This included some of the earliest measurements and full analyses of the photoelectron spectra of inorganic molecules. He then spent five years at the National Bureau of Standards (later NIST), working as an NRC Associate under the supervision one of us (JTY) and Ted Madey, before becoming a NBS staff member. At NBS he left photoelectron spectroscopy of molecules to become a prominent leader in the measurement of the kinetics of catalytic chemistry at high pressures on metal single crystals. He was very early in applying surface science measurement methods to model catalysts, looking for structure-reactivity relationships, and understanding poisoning. He then worked at Sandia National Lab. from 1980-88, as research scientist and then Division Head. He then moved to Texas A&M University as a Professor of Chemistry, where he remained until his death, when he was holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Robert A. Welch Chair.
On a personal level, Goodman was exceptionally likeable and fun to be with, exhibiting an unusual capacity to forge deep and lasting friendships with almost everyone. He was dedicated to his loving and beloved wife, Sandy, for 44 years, and his son, Jac. He possessed an infectious enthusiasm for science, life and people. He was a dedicated and beloved mentor to his students and postdocs, and extremely supportive of coworkers and senior colleagues alike. He possessed incredible skills with instrumentation, and was an amazing reader, with a superb memory for and grasp of the literature, both scientific and other. He enjoyed and thrived on competition and debate. He was an inspirational and eloquent speaker. He had unsurpassed humor and story-telling ability that captured eloquently the human condition, and most of his public lectures on scientific topics began with one or more humorous stories widely anticipated by the audience.As a younger man he was an outstanding athlete. He was an avid pilot of experimental airplanes, and crashed from the sky three times. He prided himself on his successful attempts to defy gravity in this way, and even jokingly referred to his confidence that he could beat cancer as just another metaphorical example. Indeed, he bought himself another plane just two months before his death to prove that point. Alas, it was not to be.
We speak for a large fraction of the readership in saying that this wonderfully humorous and likeable scientific powerhouse and friend will be sorely missed.
Charles T. Campbell
University of Washington
John T. Yates, Jr.
University of Virginia