Home > Conference > Awards > Professional Awards

Professional Awards

NOBCChE's prestigious professional awards honor eminent scientists and engineers for career accomplishments, service to society, and service to the organization. Use the links below to learn more about our prestigious awards. The deadline for submissions is July 31.

Dr. Joseph N. Cannon Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering: Dr. Joseph N. Cannon is a chemical engineer, Howard University professor, and one of the seven founders of NOBCChE. In 2013, NOBCChE established the Joseph N. Cannon Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering. This award recognizes an individual for excellent achievement in one or more aspects of chemical engineering, including teaching, research and development, management, leadership, publications, technology development, patents, engineering and construction, process operations and supply.

Submit a Nomination

Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teacher Award: Dr. Henry McBay was a renowned Chemist and educator who taught in the Atlanta University System (Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Atlanta University) for over 41 years and one of the seven founders of NOBCChE. One of his greatest professional hallmarks was his love and passion for educating students in STEM. Between 1936 and 1994, Henry McBay helped scores of African American gain their doctorates in Chemistry and then find suitable teaching positions at historically black colleagues and universities. The people Henry McBay helped in this manner constitute the Lion’s share of black chemists produced in the United States during those years, thus making McBay the so-called godfather of African American chemistry. In honor of his legacy, NOBCChE established the Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teacher Award to recognize STEM educators for demonstrating outstanding contributions to the education and mentoring of young scientists and engineers.

Nominations Closed

The Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award Dr. Lloyd N. Ferguson was a chemist, chemistry professor, and one of the seven founders of NOBCChE. Ferguson’s interest in chemistry began when he was a child. He built a shed in his backyard so that he could conduct experiments away from his house. Ferguson skipped two grades, and although an illness kept him out of school for a year, he was able to graduate from Oakland Tech High School in 1934, when he was just sixteen years old. In 1936, Ferguson became the first in his family to attend college.  He earned his B.S. degree with honors in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1940. Ferguson then earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1943, making him the first African American to do so. This award honors his legacy and his youthful curiosity by recognizing a young scientist or engineer (<15 years in career)  for technical excellence and documented contributions to their field. 

Nominations Closed

Winifred Burks-Houck Professional Leadership Award: Winifred Burks-Houck was the first female president of NOBCChE. In 2010, NOBCChE established the distinguished lecture, award, and symposium to honor Winifred A. Burks-Houck by highlighting the scientific achievements, creativity, leadership, and community service of a NOBCChE-affiliated professional woman and a NOBCChE undergraduate and graduate student working towards a degree in a STEM field. For NOBCChE, Burks-Houck was recognized for her efforts to actively establish the organization on the West Coast. She was the first chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter from 1984 to 1990 and organized numerous educational and professional development activities for the local community. In 1991, Burks-Houck was elected national vice-president of NOBCChE, a position she held until becoming president in 1993. She served as president for four consecutive terms until stepping down in 2001. During her tenure as president, Burks-Houck expanded the organization to include many new professional and student chapters. She also developed a strong relationship between NOBCChE and ACS that has enhanced both organizations' outreach programs for minority chemists. Recipients of the professional leadership award are women who have demonstrated professional excellence, community service and active assistance of women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Nominations Closed

Mentor on the Map: The NOBCChE Exemplary Student Mentorship Award  also known as the “Mentor on the Map” award honors an individual who has contributed significantly to the professional development of students at all levels. The NOBCChE Exemplary Student Mentorship Award is given through the Student Programs Committee to recognize and honor an individual who, through their actions, has exemplified the NOBCChE mission and purpose of student development.  Through their work, the recipient has established and provided ongoing support to programs encouraging the professional development of students at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to being honored, recipients of this award will be recognized as a “Mentor on the Map” where those interested will be able to easily see student development work that has been conducted by the award recipient

HBCU Pioneer award: This award was established to recognize commitment to scientific in our nation’s historical black colleges and universities.