UW-Madison Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering assistant professors Matt Gebbie and Marcel Schreier have both earned named professorships, which began on July 1, 2020. Gebbie is now the Conway Assistant Professor and Schreier is Richard H. Soit Assistant Professor.
Gebbie’s research focuses on ionic liquids, which can be used to convert carbon dioxide into fuel and other chemicals and has the potential to replace flammable liquids and acids inside batteries.
For Gebbie, who joined the department in December 2019, the professorship will give him the means to expand and speed up his research. “The Conway resources allow us to explore risky concepts that promise to grow into larger initiatives,” he says. “Currently, we are designing ‘integrated electrochemical cells’ with a goal of enabling high throughput electrochemistry, targeting what used to be a thesis-worth of data in just weeks. Overall, we can be more creative in our pursuit of electrolytes for safe, sustainable energy.”
A gift from alumni Mike (BSChE ’78) and Ginny Conway established the professorship in 2019.
Marcel Schreier studies methods for using electrical energy streams to power chemical transformations. Most current chemical transformations are conducted using heat, which is usually generated via fossil fuels. Using clean electricity and new catalysts to perform conversions could make the energy-intensive production of chemicals and fuels more sustainable.
“The funds associated with the Soit Professorship will be used to investigate high risk–high reward approaches to address electrochemical scalability,” Schreier says. “We will target revolutionary reactor designs, tangential to the approaches presently pursued in this field, enabling the design of industrially viable electrochemical process and reactor concepts.”
The Soit professorship was established by the will of Frances M. Soit, who asked that the professorship be named after his brother Richard H. Soit (BSChE ’44).
Author: Jason Daley