Professor William Curtis Conner of the Chemical Engineering Department, who was chosen as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, will teach and develop research collaborations there, starting in the spring of 2010 and continuing into 2011. The appointment is the most prestigious and selective of all the Fulbright Fellowships. Conner has over 150 publications, cited more than 2000 times. He has been a guest professor in France (three times), Denmark, and Austria, chair of two Gordon Conferences, foreign secretary of the Catalysis Society, and is editor of the Journal of Porous Materials.
Conner joined the College of Engineering in 1979, where his research has focused in several areas. His studies of the characterization and influence of catalyst morphology first were applied to olefin polymerization catalysts, later to nano-porous catalysts. His continuing studies of hydrogen on solids were associated with spillover and related phenomena. His energy related research includes the production of biofuels by heterogeneous catalysts. This also has included microwave enhanced processes, as it did in his studies of nanoporous catalyst syntheses, initiating the field of microwave reactor engineering. He has contributed to catalytic kinetic theory and the development of several in situ studies of catalysis. (January 2010)