Phillip Christopher

Phillip Christopher

Professor and Vice Chair
Chemical Engineering
Mellichamp Cluster Chair, Sustainable Manufacturing

Chemical Engineering


(805) 893-2610
3335 Engineering II

University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080


Guiseppe Parravano Award for Excellence in Catalysis, Michigan Chapter of the North American Catalysis Society; Ipatieff Prize, American Chemical Society (ACS); Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division's Young Investigator Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE); ACS CATL Division Early Career in Catalysis Award; Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), U.S. Army Research Office; Early CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (NSF); U.S. Army Research Office's Young Investigator Award; Young Scientists Award from International Congress on Catalysis


Materials & Interfaces, Energy Efficiency & Sustainability

Catalytic processes are relied upon globally for trillions of dollars per year of industry. The conversion of oil to gasoline, transformation of natural gas and nitrogen into fertilizer, and conversion of un-burnt fuels into less harmful gasses in the tail pipes of cars all rely on solid state catalysts. Increasing demands for efficient, environmentally friendly chemical processes, in concert with the push to utilize emerging natural resources, rely on the development novel catalytic materials and processes. We use principles from chemical engineering, materials science, physical chemistry and solid-state physics to engineer catalytic reactions towards these goals. We develop molecular level insights into governing phenomena of catalytic reactions by coupling quantum chemical calculations with an array of experimental and characterization techniques. Mechanistic insights are utilized to guide the synthesis of catalysts with targeted geometries, compositions and architectures.


PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan (2011)  
MS Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan (2008)
BS Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara (2006)