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Casey O'Brien

Casey O'Brien

Email: cobrie23@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-5706

Office: 240D McCourtney Hall

Education

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006

Biography

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame (2017-present)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory (2014-2017)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical Physics Department, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society (2011-2014)

Summary of Activities/Interests

The O'Brien group is primarily focused on reducing the environmental impact of the chemical industry by developing catalytic materials that promote desirable reaction pathways and block reaction pathways that lead to environmentally harmful byproducts. Our general approach to developing environmentally-friendly catalysts involves (1) synthesizing catalytic materials, (2) using in-situ/operando spectroscopic characterization to elucidate reaction mechanisms, and (3) systematically changing the structure and composition of catalysts to obtain detailed structure-function relationships. Within this general approach, our main expertise is in using in-situ/operando vibrational spectroscopy to understand how the structure and composition of catalytic surfaces influences their reaction mechanisms. In addition to developing catalytic materials, the O'Brien group also develops new spectroscopic tools that couple in-situ spectroscopic characterization of membrane materials and measurement of trans-membrane gas permeation rates simultaneously (operando membrane spectroscopy).

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