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Catalysis Cluster

Catalysis encompasses a broad range of technologies and science that facilitates discovery, development, and use of low-energy reaction pathways to change molecules.

Researchers in Catalysis Science & Engineering use a wide range of materials characterization tools, and Penn State’s Materials Research Institute provides access to one of the most well-equipped materials characterization facilities in the world.

Catalysis plays pivotal roles in many modern technologies, including:

  • energy conversion and storage
  • reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
  • pollution reduction
  • plastics recycling
  • production of industrial and pharmaceutical products
  • biotechnology
  • water treatment and purification

Related fields:

  • chemical engineering
  • chemistry
  • materials science
  • energy conversion and storage
  • environmental protection and greenhouse gas reduction
  • nanoscience
  • elecrochemistry
  • reaction engineering

Catalysis students learn:

  • materials synthesis and characterization
  • reaction kinetics
  • theory and modeling
  • thermodynamics
  • spectroscopy
  • reactor design and management
  • reaction networks
  • data management

Catalysis careers include:

  • industrial engineers
  • chemists
  • entrepreneurs
  • corporate leaders
  • patent lawyers
  • plant/production managers
  • researchers at national labs
  • scientists in federal agencies

Related Penn State units:

Chemical engineering faculty:

To see the full list of Penn State faculty involved in catalysis research, visit the Catalysis Science & Engineering list of researchers.

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Kostas Alexopoulos

Heterogeneous Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Multiscale Modeling

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Bert Chandler

Heterogeneous Catalysis, Energy Transport and Storage, Nanomaterials

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Ezra Clark

Heterogeneous Electrocatalysis and Sustainable Chemical Synthesis

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Michael Janik

Atomistic Modeling of Catalysis for Energy and Environment

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Gina Noh

Heterogeneous Catalysis and Kinetics

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Robert Rioux

Chemical Catalysts and Nanoscale Systems

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Phillip Savage

Kinetics, Catalysis, and Reaction Engineering for Sustainability

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Raymond Schaak

Synthetic Inorganic Nanochemistry

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Ezgi Toraman

Alternative Energy Resources, Biomass and Plastic Waste Pyrolysis

Catalysis Contact:

Research Clusters:

biotechnology link catalysis link computational and data science link materials engineering link sustainability energy and environment link


The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2574