Prof. Luis Echegoyen

  • Professor and Robert A. Welch Chair of Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Luis Echegoyen is a professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at El Paso since August, 2010 and was awarded The Robert A. Welch Chair for Chemistry. He was the Director of the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation from August, 2006 until August, 2010, where he was instrumental in establishing new funding programs and research centers. He was also a Professor of Chemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina, where he maintained a very active research program with interests in fullerene electrochemistry, monolayer films, supramolecular chemistry, and spectroscopy; endohedral fullerene chemistry and electrochemistry; and carbon nanoonions, synthesis, derivatization and fractionation. He served as Chair for the Department of Chemistry at Clemson from 2002 until his NSF appointment.

    Luis has published around 300 research articles and numerous book chapters. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003 and has been the recipient of many awards, including the 1996 Florida ACS Award, the 1997 University of Miami Provost Award for Excellence in Research, the 2007 Herty Medal Award from the ACS Georgia Section, the 2007 Clemson University Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, and the 2007 University of Puerto Rico Distinguished Alumnus Award. Luis is a coveted speaker who has to his record over 300 scientific invited lectures and presentations. 

    Luis was born in Havana, Cuba in 1951. His family moved to Puerto Rico in 1960, where he grew up and went to school. He received a BS in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Madison, Wisconsin, and a research scientist at Union Carbide Corporation in Bound Brook, New Jersey. Realizing that his vocation was in academic research and teaching, he returned as Assistant Professor to the University of Puerto Rico in 1977. Luis was invited to serve as Program Officer in the Chemical Dynamics Program at NSF in 1981, and he held a simultaneous Adjunct Associate Professor position at the University of Maryland, College Park. He moved to the University of Miami in 1982, where he served as Associate Professor and Professor for 18 years. While at Miami, he took two very rewarding sabbatical leaves: one to Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France in 1990, where he collaborated with Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, 1987 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, and a second one to the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland in 1997, where he worked with Professor Francois Diederich. Luis maintains active research collaborations with researchers in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, and all across the US. Luis has been continuously funded since the start of his academic career, and is proud to have directed the research of a very large number of undergraduate and graduate students in Puerto Rico, Miami, and Clemson, all of whom have gone on to successful academic, professional, and industrial careers.