In his new role as president of the American Chemical Society for 2021, alumnus H.N. Cheng (PhD, ’74, Gutowsky) is featured on the cover of the Jan. 4, 2021, issue of C&EN. In the Q&A profile, he discusses harnessing collaboration to strengthen the chemistry enterprise.
A research chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Cheng was elected in October as the 2020 American Chemical Society president-elect by members of the ACS. Cheng will serve as president of the society in 2021 and immediate past president in 2022; he will also serve on the board of directors from 2020 through 2022.
Cheng obtained his BS from UCLA, followed by a PhD at the University of Illinois in 1974, under the direction of Herb Gutowsky. He is currently a research chemist at USDA Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, where he has been active in developing and promoting green polymer chemistry as a platform to produce eco-friendly and sustainable products. He is also known for his work on the NMR spectroscopy of polymers.