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Trotter Distinguished Lecturer

Picture of Troy C. TrotterTroy C. Trotter Distinguished Lectureship Endowment in Chemical Engineering was established by the Trotter Family to provide the College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering with the opportunity to annually invite a nationally recognized expert in an area of interest to the field of chemical engineering to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for the benefit of students, faculty, and the local professional community. The series recognizes and honors Troy C. Trotter, who received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the College of Engineering in 1947.

Upon graduating from the college, Mr. Trotter worked for several local contractors before being employed by the Oak Ridge Y-12 plant in 1950 and in 1951, by Union Carbide Corporation. For the next 35 years, Mr. Trotter’s strong work ethic, maintenance experience gained during military service in World War II, and engineering expertise propelled him through many assignments in maintenance, operations, and engineering. Among his career achievements, Mr. Trotter served as Engineering Department Head for Y-12 and Engineering Division Superintendent for Y-12 and K-25 Engineering Support Services. He also coordinated the effort to plan, estimate, schedule, and initiate procurement contracts for upgrading and expanding the uranium enrichment production facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Paducah, Kentucky; and Portsmouth, Ohio and subsequently, became manager of the Capacity Expansion Management Team for the three plants. This assignment included being responsible for two major expansion projects involving an expenditure of $1.56 billion starting in 1971 and ending in 1983, on schedule and $78 million under authorized cost. During this time, Mr. Trotter was promoted yet again and served as manager of project and site engineering for K-25, Y-12, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from 1980-1986. Mr. Trotter enjoyed a productive early retirement until his death in 2014.

Past Events

    David Sholl, Ph.D.

    Picture of Matthew Neurock

    David Sholl, Ph.D.

    School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Atlanta, GA, USA




    Dr. David Sholl is the Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Chair, GRA Eminent Scholar in Energy Sustainability, and Department Chair of the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. He has held this position since January 2008. Prior to his appointment at Georgia Tech, Dr. Sholl was on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University for 10 years. Dr. Sholl’s research uses computational materials modeling to accelerate development
    of new materials for energy-related applications, including generation and storage of gaseous and liquid fuels and carbon dioxide mitigation. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers. He has also written a textbook on Density Functional Theory, a quantum chemistry method that is
    widely applied through the physical sciences and engineering. Dr. Sholl is a Senior Editor of the ACS journal Langmuir, and is an Associate Director of Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute. More information on Dr. Sholl’s research group is available from



    “Using High Throughput Computation to Accelerate Development of Materials for Scalable Energy Technologies”

    Computational modeling of materials can be a powerful complement to experimental methods when models with useful levels of predictive ability can be deployed more rapidly than experiments. Achieving this goal involves judicious choices about the level of modeling that is used and the key physical properties of the materials of interest that control performance
    in practical applications. Dr. Scholl will discuss two examples of using high throughput computations to identify new materials for scalable energy applications: the use of metal-organic frameworks in membranes and gas storage and the selection of metal hydrides for high temperature nuclear applications. These examples highlight the challenges of generating su ciently comprehensive material libraries and the potential advantages and di culties of using computational methods to examine large libraries of materials.

    10/28/2014 - 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    Matthew Neurock, Ph.D.

    Picture of Matthew Neurock

    Mathew Neurock, Ph.D.

    Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    University of Minnesota




    Matt Neurock is the Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1992.  He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands from 1992-1993 and subsequently as Visiting Scientist in the Corporate Catalysis Center at DuPont from 1993-1994. He joined the faculty in Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia in 1995 where he held joint appointments in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. In 2014 he moved to the University of Minnesota and is currently on the faculty in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.  He has made seminal advances to development and application of computational methods toward understanding catalytic and electrocatalytic reaction mechanisms, and the sites and environments that carry out reactions under working conditions. He has received various awards for his research in computational catalysis and molecular reaction engineering including the Robert Burwell Lectureship from the North American Catalysis Society, the R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis from the North American Catalysis Society. He has co-authored over 250 papers, two patents and two books. He serves on numerous other editorial and advisory boards and served as an editor for the Journal of Catalysis for 10 years.



    “Engineering Molecular Transformations Over Supported Catalysts for Sustainable Energy Conversion”

    Future strategies for energy production will undoubtedly require processes and materials that can efficiently convert sustainable resources into fuels and chemicals.   While nature’s enzymes elegantly integrate highly active centers together with adaptive nanoscale environments in order to exquisitely control the catalytic transformation involved in such processes, they are difficult to incorporate at an industrial scale and limited in terms of their stability.  The design of more robust heterogeneous catalytic materials that can mimic catalytic behavior of enzymes, however, has been hindered by our limited understanding of how such transformations proceed over inorganic materials.  The tremendous advances in ab initio theoretical methods, molecular simulations and high performance computing that have occurred over the past two decades provide unprecedented ability to track these molecular transformations and how they proceed at specific sites and within particular environments.  This information together with the unique abilities to follow such transformations spectroscopically is enabling the design of unique atomic surface ensembles and nanoscale reaction environment that can efficiently catalyze specific molecular transformations. We present recent advances in computational catalysis and their application to engineering molecular transformations for energy conversion and chemical synthesis.


    We discuss the sites and nanoscale reaction environments necessary to carry out specific bond-making and breaking reactions as well as proton and electron transfer processes important in the catalytic reduction and oxidation processes that control the catalytic conversion of biomass to chemicals as well as the electrocatalytic transformations of fuels to energy. More specifically, we discuss the heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenation of oxygenates to value-added chemicals and the electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen and carbon dioxide to water and CO, respectively.  We draw direct analogies between the elementary processes that govern these seemingly different systems and explore the design of 3D environments that can control these transformations.

    09/26/2017 - 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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