The award is given in recognition of young faculty members making an impact in their field.
Below is a brief glimpse into his project, including the educational outreach component required by NSF:
Developing inexpensive catalysts
- Catalysts enable the efficient valorization of low quality energy and chemical feedstocks, yet are commonly composed of expensive and scarce platinum group metals
- Laursen has developed methods to produce and explore the catalytic chemistry of a vast number of new and inexpensive catalytic materials called intermetallic compounds and the chemical transformations that occur on the surfaces of these materials that could allow substantial practical advancements in energy and chemical production
- The insights developed through Laursen’s research will impact established chemical industry as well as new and budding renewable energy and chemicals production
- A significant portion of the project aims to develop a series of educational tools that may be used to disseminate the cutting-edge scientific understanding produced in his research to the UT community and to the greater public through a series of advanced courses and YouTube videos aimed at helping the general public understand the work.