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Stephen J. Paddison

Stephen Paddison.

Stephen J. Paddison

Gibson Endowed Chair in Engineering, Professor

Contact Information

Stephen Paddison.

  • Office Address: 321 Dougherty Engineering Building
  • Phone: 865-974-2026
  • E-mail:
Group Website


  • BSc (Honours), University of Calgary, Canada, - Chemical Physics
  • PhD, University of Calgary, Canada, Physical/Theoretical Chemistry


Stephen Paddison.

Stephen J. Paddison received a BSc (Honours) in Chemical Physics and a PhD (1996) in Physical/Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Calgary, Canada. He was, subsequently, a postdoctoral fellow and staff member in the Materials Science Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he undertook both experimental and theoretical investigations of sulfonic acid based polymer electrolyte membranes. This work was continued while he was part of Motorola’s Computational Materials Group in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

He joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in August of 2007. He was a Visiting Fellow of Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge, UK in 2003 and 2015; a guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart in 2004; and a Visiting Scientist at the University of Padova, Italy in 2013, 2015, and 2017.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), UK
  • 2015 Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, UK
  • 2013, 2014 Ferguson Faculty Fellowship, UT
  • 2012 Chancellor's Research & Creative Achievement Award, UT
  • 2011 Tom & Ruth Clark Award for Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Education, UT
  • 2010, 2011 College of Engineering Research Fellow Award, UT
  • 2009 Visiting Scholar, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2007 3M Untenured Faculty Award

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor of RSC Advances
  • Member of the American Chemical Society, Inc.
  • Member of The Electrochemical Society, Inc.
  • Member of the Materials Research Society
  • Member of the Board: Solid State Proton Conductors (SSPC)


Stephen Paddison.

During the past two decades, his research work has been primarily concerning with pursuing a fundamental molecular-level understanding of transport in ion containing polymer through a variety of multiscale modeling paradigms. He continues to utilize including density functional theory (DFT) electronic structure calculations, ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD), classical molecular dynamics, quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM), coarse grained dissipative particle dynamics, and equilibrium and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. Current collaborations include the group of Prof. Vito Di Noto at the University of Padova and Prof. Mark E. Tuckerman at New York University.

Google Scholar


  • Sepehr, F., Liu, H., Luo, X., Bae, C., Tuckerman, M. E., Hickner, M. A. Paddison, S. J. (2017). “Meso-Scale Simulations of Anion Exchange Membranes Based on Quaternary Ammonium Tethered Triblock Copolymers.” Macromolecules 50, 4397-4405.
  • Bertasi, F., Sepehr, F., Pagot, G., Paddison, S. J., M., Di Noto, V. (2016). “Toward a Magnesium-Iodine Battery.” Advanced Functional Materials 26, 4860-4865.
  • Liu, H., Paddison, S. J. (2016). “Direct Comparison of Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations and X-ray Scattering of Polymerized Ionic Liquids.” ACS Macro Letters 5, 537-543.
  • Bertasi, F., Hettige, C., Sepehr, F., Bogle, X., Pagot, G., Vezzù, K., Negro, E., Paddison, S. J., Greenbaum, S. G., Vittadello, M., Di Noto, V. (2015). “A Key Concept in Magnesium Secondary Battery Electrolytes.” ChemSusChem 8, 3069-3076.
  • Sepehr, F., Paddison, S. J. (2015). “The Effect of Sulfuric and Triflic Acids on the Hydration of Vanadium Cations: An ab initio Study." Journal of Physical Chemistry A 119, 5749-5761.
  • Wang, C., Paddison, S. J. (2014). “Mesoscale Modeling of Hydrated Morphologies of Sulfonated Polysulfone Ionomers.” Soft Matter 10, 819-830.
  • Clark II, J. K., Paddison, S. J. (2014). “Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of water and an excess proton in water confined in carbon nanotubes.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 16, 17756-17769.
  • Reiter, G. F., Deb, A., Sakurai, Y., Itou, M., Krishnan, V. G., Paddison, S. J. (2013). “Anomalous ground state of the electrons in nano-confined water.” Physical Review Letters 111, 036803.
  • Wang, C., Krishnan, V., Wu, D., Bledsoe, R., Paddison, S. J., Duscher, G. (2013). “Evaluation of the microstructure of dry and hydrated perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers: microscopy and simulations.” Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1, 938-944.
  • Vilciauskas, L., Tuckerman, M. E., Bester, G., Paddison, S. J., Kreuer, K. D. (2012). “The mechanism of proton conduction in phosphoric acid.” Nature Chemistry 4, 461-466.
  • Reiter, G. F., Kolesnikov, A., Paddison, S. J., Platzman, P. M., Moravsky, A. P., Adams, M., Mayers, J. (2012). “Evidence of a new quantum state of nano-confined water.” Physical Review B 85, 045403.
  • Elliott, J. A., Wu, D., Paddison, S. J., Moore, R. B. (2011). “A unified morphological description of Nafion membranes from SAXS and mesoscale simulations.” Soft Matter 7, 6820-6827.
  • Habenicht, B. F., Paddison, S. J., Tuckerman, M. E. (2010). “Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations investigating proton transfer in perfluorosulfonic acid functionalized carbon nanotubes.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 12, 8728-8732.
  • Wu, D., Paddison, S. J., Elliott, J. A. (2009). “Effect of Molecular Weight on Hydrated Morphologies of the Short-Side-Chain Perfluorosulfonic Acid Membrane.” Macromolecules 42, 3358-3367.
  • Wu, D., Paddison, S. J., Elliott, J. A. (2008). “A comparative study of the hydrated morphologies of perfluorosulfonic acid fuel cell membrane= s.” Energy and Environmental Science 1, 284-293.
  • Kreuer, K. D., Schuster, M., Obliers, B., Diat, O., Traub, U., Fuchs, A., Klock, U., Paddison, S. J., Maier, J. (2008). “Short-side-chain proton conducting perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers: Why they perform better in PEM fuel cells.” Journal of Power Sources 178, 499-509.
  • Elliott, J. A., Paddison. S. J. (2007). “Modelling of morphology & proton transport in PFSA membranes.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 9, 2602-2618.
  • Paddison, S. J., Kreuer, K. D., Maier J. (2006). “About the choice of the protogenic group in polymer electrolyte membranes: Ab initio modeling of sulfonic acid, phosphonic acid, and imidazole functionalized alkanes.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 8, 4530-4542.
  • Paddison. S. J., Elliott, J. A., (2006). “On the consequences of side chain flexibility and backbone conformation on hydration and proton dissociation in perfluorosulfonic acid membranes.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 8, 2193-2203.
  • Paddison. S. J., Elliott, J. A., (2005). “Molecular Modeling of the Short-Side-Chain Perfluorosulfonic Acid Membrane.” Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109, 7583-7593.
  • Kreuer, K. D., Paddison, S. J., Spohr, E., Schuster, M. (2004). “Transport in Proton Conductors for Fuel Cell Applications: Simulations, Elementary Reactions, and Phenomenology.” Chemical Reviews 104, 4637-4678.
  • Paddison. S. J. (2003). “Proton conduction mechanisms in Polymer Electrolyte Membranes at low degrees of hydration.” Annual Review of Materials Research 33, 289-319.
  • Paddison, S. J., Paul, R., Zawodzinski Jr., T. A. (2000). “A Statistical Mechanical Model of Proton and Water Transport in a Proton Exchange Membrane.” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 147, 617-626.


  • Hydrophilic Side-Chain Polymer Electrolyte Membranes”, S.J. Paddison – sole inventor, United States Patent 6,989,205, issued January 24th, 2006.