William F Schneider
Summary of Activities/Interests
Technical Specialist, Ford Motor Company (1991-1996)
Senior Technical Specialist, Ford Motor Company (1996-2001)
Staff Technical Specialist, Ford Motor Company (2001-2004)
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame (2004-2009)
Professor, University of Notre Dame (2009-present)
B.Sc. Chemistry, University of Michigan-Dearborn (1986)
Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio State University (1991)
The goal of research in the Schneider group is to develop molecular-level understanding, and ultimately to direct molecular-level design, of chemical reactivity at surfaces and interfaces. This heterogeneous chemistry is a key element of virtually every aspect of the energy enterprise, and is fundamental to environmental processes on the earth and in the atmosphere. Examples range from the preparation of clean fuels from crude oil or coal, to the transformation of chemical to electrical energy in fuel cells, to the remediation of exhaust from fossil fuel combustion, to even the sequestration of CO2 via mineralization. While the processes and technologies of interest are very different when viewed macroscopically, at the molecular level unifying chemical and physical phenomena emerge.
First-principles simulations based on density functional theory (DFT) allow this reactivity to be probed at the molecular scale, providing insight and guidance for the development of improved catalytic materials and processes. Understanding gained at the molecular level allows us to better control-and ultimately to tailor-chemical systems to perform functions more cleanly, efficiently, and durably. The problems we address cut across the traditional boundaries of chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and materials science, and our work both draws on and impacts all of these fields.