William Schneider

Dorini Family Chair of Energy Studies and Department Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

"CISTAR: Creating the Bridge to a Fossil-free Energy Future"



Fossil fuels have been the mainstay of energy production since the industrial revolution. Fossil fuels are abundant, easy to extract, and high energy density. Their use does have deleterious impacts on the environment, and therefore society is in the early stages of a transition away from them. That transition can be aided by the development of new technologies that create hydrocarbon-based fuels and chemicals more cleanly and efficiently, with lower carbon footprint. CISTAR, and NSF Engineering Research Center, exists to fill that role, to develop the systems and technologies for fuels and chemicals based on light hydrocarbons now available from shale gas.


Bill Schneider’s expertise is in chemical applications of density functional theory (DFT) simulations. After receiving his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry in 1991 from the Ohio State University, he began his professional career in the Ford Motor Company Research Laboratory working on a variety of problems related to the environmental impacts of automobile emissions. At Ford he developed an interest in the catalytic chemistry of NOxfor diesel emissions control, and he has published extensively on the chemistry and mechanisms of NOxdecomposition, selective catalytic reduction, trapping, and oxidation catalysis. In 2004 he joined the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty at the University of Notre Dame as an Associate Professor. At Notre Dame he has continued his research into the theory and molecular simulation of heterogeneous catalysis, with particular emphasison reaction environment effects on catalytic materials and their implications for mechanism and reactivity. He was promoted to Professor in 2010 and awarded the H. Clifford and Evelyn A. Brosey Chair in the College of Engineering in 2016. He has co-authored more than 190 papers and book chapters, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is the Executive Editor of The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, and was the 2018 recipient of the Giuseppe Parravano Award of the Michigan Catalysis Society.