William F. Schneider awarded Notre Dame’s James A. Burns, C.S.C., Award for outstanding mentorship of doctoral students

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William F. Schneider is the recipient of the James A. Burns, C.S.C., Graduate School Award. The award showcases the outstanding mentorship of Notre Dame’s very best doctoral advisers.

Schneider is the Dorini Family Chair of Energy Studies and chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was recognized for exceptional mentoring sustained over the course of his career. In his 16 years at Notre Dame, he has advised 17 Ph.D. students and 18 postdoctoral researchers. Four of those students have won the University’s Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate Student Award for outstanding dissertation.

“Professor Schneider is an exceptional example of outstanding mentoring,” wrote Laura A. Carlson, vice president, associate provost, and dean of the Graduate School. “The success of his students speaks volumes.”

Schneider’s research program is known for its productivity and innovation on the theory and impact on the practice of heterogeneous catalysis. He integrates that top-flight research with professional development, which has guided his students toward successful careers in the academy, industry, and government labs.

Each graduate student comes with a unique set of strengths and development needs, so mentoring must be highly individualized, Schneider said. “In addition to the intense progression of technical and research skills, I emphasize professional growth — written and oral communication, networking, participation in professional organizations, collaboration, and internships.

“I’ve also been blessed with many excellent graduate students. It is their hard work that pushes our research program forward,” Schneider said. “It’s gratifying to see students mature and move on to successful professional careers.”

— Originally published by the College of Engineering on June 1, 2021