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K-State Today

March 16, 2015

Lecture series to feature expert in heterogeneous catalysis

By Mary Rankin

Manos Mavrikakis, the Paul A. Elfers professor of chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present "Heterogeneous catalysis: from the nature of the active site to catalyst design" at the L.T. Fan Lecture Series at 2 p.m. Monday, March 30, in Fiedler Hall Auditorium.

By utilizing the example of formic acid, HCOOH, decomposition on late-transition metal surfaces, Mavrikakis will demonstrate how to determine the nature of the active site and what is on the catalyst's surface under reaction conditions through mean-field micro kinetic modeling. He also will introduce the notion of the self-consistent micro kinetic model.

Mavrikakis' primary research interests include elucidation of detailed reaction mechanisms for heterogeneously catalyzed reactions and identification of improved catalytic materials from first principles-based micro kinetic modeling. According to Thomson-Reuters, he was one of the top 100 chemists for the 2000-2010 decade.

He received a diploma in chemical engineering from National Technical University Athens, Greece; and a master's degree in applied math, and a doctorate in chemical engineering and scientific computing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Following postdoctoral work at the University of Delaware and the Technical University of Denmark, he joined the chemical engineering faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1999.

The L.T. Fan Lectureship in Chemical Engineering was established in 2000 to bring preeminent individuals in chemical engineering or related fields to speak at K-State. The late L.T. Fan was a university distinguished professor, served as head of the department of chemical engineering at K-State for 30 years, launched the doctoral program in the department and is credited with modernizing the chemical engineering curriculum.