News | September 22, 2006

Young ExxonMobil Researcher Receives Prestigious Award For Innovation

Novel Lubricant Additive Now Used in More Than 25 Percent of Passenger Vehicles

Annandale, NJ - A young scientist with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE), Jonathan McConnachie, was recognized with the prestigious Society of Chemical Industry's 2006 Gordon E. Moore Medal for excellence in innovation in industry. He received this award for his work in automotive lubricant research during his early career assignment at Exxon Chemical's additives division, now part of Infineum.

Jonathan's leading edge research in friction modification for automotive lubricants is the first major breakthrough in nearly 30 years. The invention was taken by EMRE and Infineum in just a few years from conception to commercial readiness and is now used in more than one out of four passenger vehicles in the United States of America. A major benefit of reduced friction in an engine is greater fuel economy.

Jonathan is an advanced research associate with EMRE. He joined Exxon in 1993 after receiving his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Northwestern University. In his early years with Exxon, he was assigned to Exxon Chemical's additives division as a member of the team that worked on the technology for which he's being recognized. He has conducted research in the direct conversion of methane and light hydrocarbons into liquid products, the development of new trinuclear molybdenum additives for passenger car motor oils to improve engine life and fuel economy, and has led ExxonMobil's effort to develop new processes and catalysts for the production of ultra-low-sulfur fuels to lower truck and auto emissions and improve air quality. Jonathan is also a co-author on a dozen patents and has given numerous presentations at American Chemical Society meetings and Gordon conferences.

"I am very honored to receive this prestigious award and would like to thank the SCI and my fellow researchers, without whom this breakthrough would not have been possible. This new lubricant additive that we created is not only a step change in friction reduction, but of superior quality because it also provides anti-wear and anti-oxidant benefits, demonstrating improved oil life and fuel economy which are so important to drivers," Jonathan said.

He added: "Modern additives contain various elements that may, over time, enter the exhaust and impact the efficiency of catalytic converters in our cars. This new additive has allowed us to significantly reduce use of other anti-wear components, which should help maintain catalytic converter performance and decrease emissions."

The SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal, named after the co-founder of Intel Corporation and author of Moore's Law, recognizes a significant innovation made by an industrial scientist under 45 years old. The award recognizes success in innovation, as reflected both in market impact and improvement to quality of life. By highlighting extraordinary individuals and their work, the SCI aims to promote public understanding of research and development in modern chemical industries, enhance the interest of students in applied chemistry by providing role models, and emphasize the role of creative research in the global economy.

SOURCE: ExxonMobil