Wednesday, March 18, 2009 Meeting
Public Affairs Lecture
Public Affairs Lecturer —
George R. Lester

President, George Lester, Inc.
Adjunct Professor, Center for Catalysis and Surface Science, Northwestern University
Dr. George  R. Lester

"Wha’cha Gonna Do When the Oil is Gone? Energy Sources for the Twenty-First Century"

Date:  March 18, 2009              
Location:    Café La Cave
2777 Mannheim Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018

Cost:  $32.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $34.00 for non-members,
     $20 for students or unemployed

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091), email (, or web by noon on Monday, March 16.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all dinner orders.  No-shows will be billed.


5:15 - 6:15  PM Job Club
5:30 - 6:30   PM Social Hour:  Complimentary Hors D'oeuvres served butler style. Cash Bar
6:30  PM Dinner
7:30  PM Public Affairs Award Program

Topic: "Wha’cha Gonna Do When the Oil is Gone? Energy Sources for the Twenty-First Century"

Abstract: The practical life of known energy sources which are likely to be used in the nascent century and over the next five some billion years will be considered. Also, the likely sequence in which different transportation fuels and automotive power plants will provide for our mobility over the next fifty-plus years will be posited and discussed. The myths surrounding the use of biologically-derived fuels to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and global warming will also be examined.

The relative energy requirements to move a mass of vehicle for a given distance at a specific speed will be estimated using conventional and hybrid gasoline or diesel engines, hydrogen/fuel cell motors, plugin-hybrids, or electric battery power systems.  Finally, a clean and failsafe technology for generating electric power from uranium and thorium, which was initially developed in this country but is now being pursued mainly in Europe and Asia, will be discussed and advocated.  Accelerator Driven Transmutation Technology (ADTT) in one application could be used to convert the current long-life nuclear waste to electricity with very little remaining short life waste.

Biography:  George R. Lester, President of George Lester, Inc., is a consultant on catalysts in environmental and energy conservation applications. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

He is a 1954 graduate of Berea College, and received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physical Chemistry from the University of Kentucky in 1956 and 1958, respectively.

Dr. Lester retired in 1996 as Senior Research Fellow at AlliedSignal after almost thirty-eight years with AlliedSignal, Signal Companies, UOP, and Universal Oil Products Company. He is known internationally for his contributions to heterogeneous catalysis - most notably for his involvement in the development of the original automotive exhaust catalysts and for extensions of that technology to create new business opportunities in environmental, air purification, and energy-conservation applications. He holds 45 US Patents and has authored over 50 technical publications. He represented AlliedSignal on the White House Policy Dialogue Committee to Reduce Automobile Greenhouse Emissions in 1994-5. He was awarded the 2002 E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry by the American Chemical in April, 2002.

Dr. Lester was a pioneer in the development of catalysts designed to destroy all three of the noxious auto exhaust pollutants (carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides), and developed one of the earliest catalysts (LEANOX™) for destruction of nitrogen oxides in the exhaust of fuel-lean automotive and stationary engines. He was a key player in programs leading to catalysts for protection against chemical warfare attack, and is one of the inventors of the very lightweight catalytic converter that is being used for removal of ozone from the cabin pressurization air on the Boeing 777 and other airliners. During his final years at AlliedSignal, he was involved in the development of catalytic combustors for very clean and highly efficient gas turbine engines for hybrid electric autos. These catalysts were developed by AlliedSignal in programs supported by several US and European government agencies and auto makers, including DOE/Ford and a consortium including Renault, Peugeot, Volvo and the French and Swedish governments (AGATA).

Map and Directions

Parking:   Go directly to the parking lot for self-parking.  Valet parking is also available.


Updated 3/9/09