Overview of the MSC Catalysis Group

The focus of the MSC catalysis group is the investigation, prediction and design of catalytic processes from first principles. The catalytic systems are normally of industrial interest, and range from homogeneous to heterogeneous to bio-organic (enzymatic) chemistry. Recent years has also seen a burgeoning interest in the catalysis of nanotube growth and other nano-scale materials.

Projects in the catalysis group are most often centered on mechanistic details, with the philosophy that a fundamental understanding of the underlying mechanism will enable the rational design of an improved system. In many cases the computational methodology necessary for a successful investigation has to first be developed in-house.

While the mechanisms discovered are based on first principles, verifications are based on experiments. Experimental data are either obtained through the literature or from experimental collaborators. These collaborators can be industrial (e.g. ChevronTexaco and General Motors) or academic (e.g. Prof. Roy Periana, Scripps Florida, and Prof. Brian Stoltz, Caltech).

Although the emphasis of the MSC catalysis group is on applied science, investigations often reveal unexpected discoveries. Members of the group are encouraged to explore fundamental science, and to communicate their results with the academic world.

More information on the various catalysis projects can be found in the projects section.