Lars Grabow joined the University of Houston (UH) in 2011 as tenure-track Assistant Professor and is now the Dan Luss Professor in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Chemistry. He is also a principal investigator in the Texas Center for Superconductivity. He graduated with a Dipl.-Ing. degree from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 2003 based on his thesis work under Prof. Gerhart Eigenberger. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering under the tutelage of the 2009 Paul H. Emmett Awardee Manos Marvrikakis from the University of Wisconsin in 2008, followed by postdoctoral appointments at the Technical University of Denmark and Stanford University with Jens Nørskov. In 2019, Dr. Grabow spent a Sabbatical year at the University of Ghent, Belgium, with Profs. Guy Marin and Mark Saeys, followed by a visit with the group of Prof. Felix Studt at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.
Dr. Grabow’s expertise is the application of density functional theory, kinetic modeling, data science and transient kinetic characterization to provide molecular scale insight into fundamental questions related to reaction mechanisms and the nature of active sites in heterogeneous catalysis, surface science and electrochemical systems. His papers have been cited more than 3,500 times (Web of Science, h-index = 31) with annual citation rates quickly rising from ca. 200 citations/year in 2014 to ca. 600 citations/year in 2019. He was elected into the 2018 Class of Influential Researchers by Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (IE&C) Research and his most influential work has been on the identification of reaction mechanisms for (i) methanol synthesis, (ii) water-gas shift, and the (iii) CO oxidation reaction. For instance, his 2014 Science paper describing the critical role of water at the gold-titania interface for CO oxidation has amassed 300 citations and was recognized with the Best Fundamental Paper Award from the AIChE South Texas Section. In his independent career, he has given over 60 invited lectures at university seminars, industry and international conferences.
Dr. Grabow won the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award (2014), the NSF CAREER Award (2015), and the Excellence in Research Award at the assistant professor level from the University of Houston (2017). He serves the catalysis and surface science communities in leadership positions, such as Director (2014-2016), Secretary (2017) and (Vice-)Chair (since 2018) of the Southwest Catalysis Society (member of the North American Catalysis Society), or (Vice-)Chair (2016-2020) and Social Media Director (since 2019) for the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) division of AIChE. He is a thoughtful reviewer and has guest edited the special issue in Topics in Catalysis for the 2019 Somorjai Award and as of November 2020, he will serve as Editor for Surface Science, where he previously served on the Editorial Advisory Board. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of ChemCatChem, the Editorial Advisory Board of Applied Catalysis B, and a past member of the Early Career Advisory Board of ACS Catalysis.