Peter H. Given Lectureship in Coal Science

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The Given Lectureship brings a nationally or internationally known researcher in coal science to Penn State to give a short series of open lectures on current research issues in the area of coal science. The lectureship was established in 1989 by faculty of Penn State’s former fuel science program in memory of Dr. Peter H. Given, professor emeritus and first program chair of fuel science.

The lecture is held each spring. Please check back for details.

Past Lectures

View list of past lectures >>


Dr. Peter H. Given contributed to many areas of coal science during his long and productive career. Early studies focused on the chemistry of phenols, surface and catalytic properties of carbon blacks, and electrochemistry of organic compounds. He became a major contributor to research on coal structure and direct liquefaction. He also had a strong interest in the organic geochemistry of coals and related peats. Peter Hervey Given was born in 1918. He was educated at Oxford University, receiving a B.A., M.A., and D. Phil. in chemistry. He joined the British Coal Utilization Research Association in 1945 and served as the head of the organic chemistry section from 1950 to 1960.

In 1961 he joined the faculty of Penn State as associate professor of fuel technology. In the late 60's Fuel Technology became the Fuel Science Program of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; he became the first program chair and served until 1969. In 1984, Dr. Given became the first non-American to receive the Henry H. Storch Award for outstanding research in fuel chemistry. He retired in 1985 with the rank of professor emeritus and returned to England. He died on April 2, 1988, in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.