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Siris O. Laursen

Siris Laursen.

Siris O. Laursen

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Siris Laursen.

  • Office Address: 319 Dougherty Engineering Building
  • Phone: 865-974-5786
  • E-mail:
Group Website


  • PhD, University of Michigan: Heterogeneous Catalyst Design; Fundamentals of Surface Chemical Reactivity; Non-precious Metal Catalysts; Electronic Structure of Materials; Photo- and Electro-catalysis.


Siris Laursen.

Siris Laursen earned his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2004 and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2009. His dissertation research focused upon building a fundamental understanding of the chemical physics that governed the heterogeneous catalysis of oxide supported gold nano-particles. Insights into the catalytic chemistry of gold were obtained with a combination of state-of-the-art experimentation and theoretical modeling.

Laursen's ever-growing toolbox includes model and non-model catalyst testing, surface science UHV experiments, advanced spectroscopies, quantum chemical calculations, and molecular dynamics. In 2010, he joined the Instituto de Tecnología Química in Valencia, Spain as a postdoctoral research fellow under the direction of Professor Avelino Corma. There he focused on applying the directed design approach to developing new and novel catalysts for fine chemical synthesis. In 2012, Laursen joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee. As a faculty member, he is further focusing on the directed design of catalytic materials, the fundamentals of surface science, and the fundamentals of chemical reaction thermodynamics and kinetics of molecules and materials.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2010: Postdoctoral Fellowship at Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ) in Valencia, Spain under the direction of Prof. Avelino Corma
  • 2007: Runner-up to best presentation at Michigan Catalysis Society (MCS) Annual Meeting
  • 2006: Best poster in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, Chemical Reaction Engineering Poster Session

Professional Service

  • Member of American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Member of American Institution of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • Member of The Electrochemical Society (ECS)
  • Member of The North American Catalysis Society (NACS)


Siris Laursen.

  • Biomass conversion to fuels and value-added chemicals
  • Catalytic upgrading of CO2 to reduced C1 molecules and carbonates
  • Fundamental surface science
  • Electronic structure of molecules and materials
  • Fundamentals of chemical kinetics and thermodynamics
  • Materials synthesis and rational design

Please visit Laursen's research website for an in-depth account of his research aims and projects.

Google Scholar


  • He, Yang; Song, Yuanjun; Laursen, Siris, “The Origin of the Special Surface and Catalytic Chemistry of Ga-Rich Ni3Ga in the Direct Dehydrogenation of Ethane,” ACS Catal. 9 (2019) 10464-10468
  • He, Yang; and Laursen, Siris, “Controlling the Surface Chemistry towards Unsaturated Carbon-Carbon Bonds over Non-oxide Transition Metal Ceramics: Trends in Adsorption and Distortion Energies and Adsorbate ‘activation’,”. Surface Science 686 (2019) 1. doi:10.1016/j.susc.2019.03.005
  • Song, Yuanjun; and Laursen, Siris, “Control of Surface Reactivity towards Unsaturated C–C Bonds and H over Ni-based Intermetallic Compounds in Semi-hydrogenation of Acetylene,” Journal of Catalysis 372 (2019) 151. doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2019.02.018
  • Poudyal, Samiksha; and Laursen, Siris, “Photocatalytic CO2 Reduction by H2O: Insights from Modeling Electronically Relaxed Mechanisms,” Catalysis Science & Technology 9 (2019) 1048. doi:10.1039/c8cy02046a
  • Poudyal, Samiksha; Parker, Morghan; and Laursen, Siris, “Control of Selectivity through a New Hydrogen-Transfer Mechanism in Photocatalytic Reduction Reactions: Electronically Relaxed Neutral H and the Role of Electron–Phonon Coupling,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 10 (2019) 4603. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b01614
  • He, Yang; and Laursen, Siris, “The Surface and Catalytic Chemistry of the First Row Transition Metal Phosphides in Deoxygenation,” Catalysis Science & Technology 8 (2018) 5302. doi:10.1039/c8cy01134f
  • Poudyal, Samiksha; and Laursen, Siris, “Insights into Elevated-Temperature Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2 by H2O,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122 (2018) 8045. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b12662
  • He, Yang; Song, Yuanjun; Cullen, David A; and Laursen, Siris, “Selective and Stable Non-Noble-Metal Intermetallic Compound Catalyst for the Direct Dehydrogenation of Propane to Propylene,” Journal of the American Chemical Society 140 (2018) 14010. doi:10.1021/jacs.8b05060/li>
  • He, Yang; and Laursen, Siris, “Trends in the Surface and Catalytic Chemistry of Transition-Metal Ceramics in the Deoxygenation of a Woody Biomass Pyrolysis Model Compound,” ACS Catalysis 7 (2017) 3169. doi:10.1021/acscatal.6b02806
  • He, Yang; Laursen, Siris, “Trends in the Surface and Catalytic Chemistry of Transition-Metal Ceramics in the Deoxygenation of a Woody Biomass Pyrolysis Model Compound,” ACS Catal. 7 (2017) 3169-3180