Dr. Bala Subramaniam

Dr. Bala Subramaniam
  • Professor
  • Director, Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC)
  • Dan F. Servey Distinguished Professor

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Learned Hall, Room 4156
1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
Wakarusa Research Facility, Room A110
Lawrence, KS 66045


Bala Subramaniam is the Dan F. Servey Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU) and Director of the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC), initiated in 2003 as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (NSF-ERC).  Subramaniam earned a B. Tech. degree from the University of Madras (A. C. College of Technology), India, and his Master’s/Ph. D. degrees from the University of Notre Dame (working under the late Professor Arvind Varma), all in chemical engineering. He has been at KU since 1985. He has held visiting professorships at the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom), Institute of Process Engineering, ETH, Zürich (Switzerland), University of California, Davis and at his alma mater. Subramaniam has also served as the chair of KU Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (C&PE) department. He also holds a courtesy professor appointment in the KU Department of Chemistry.

Subramaniam’s primary research interests are in catalysis and reactor engineering with emphasis on developing sustainable processes for fuels and chemicals from both traditional and renewable feedstocks. His research focuses simultaneously on all aspects of a catalytic process (novel catalytic materials, solvents with unique tunability of physical and transport properties, multifunctional reactors, and sustainability assessment), exploiting the synergies among these elements to develop alternative process concepts. He has authored 280+ publications, one textbook and 36 issued patents, edited two books, presented ~200 invited talks at universities, companies, and conferences. As principal/co-principal investigator, he has developed ~$56 M in research funding from federal, state and industry sources. Subramaniam has directed the research of 85 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, with many of them enjoying successful careers in industry and academia.

Subramaniam is the founding director of CEBC, whose mission is to develop novel, leading-edge technologies that bring about sustainable transformations in the chemical end energy industries. The CEBC has attracted nearly $75 million in support from federal, industry and state sources. In partnership with member companies (that have included ADM, BASF Catalysts, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron Phillips, DuPont, Eastman Chemicals, Evonik, ExxonMobil, Invista, Johnson Matthey, Procter&Gamble, Novozymes, SABIC, SI Group, UOP & Zeachem), the CEBC is developing and providing licensing opportunities for sustainable technologies related to fuels and chemicals.  An example is CEBC’s CO2-free ethylene oxide technology that was recognized by an ACS George W. Hancock Green Chemistry Award.  Subramaniam is also a co-founder of CritiTech, Inc., a pharmaceutical company commercializing the production and application of fine-particle compounds.

As Chair of KU C&PE Department, Subramaniam led the implementation of a strategic plan with major outcomes such as establishing the first NSF ERC in Kansas, addition of several faculty lines for interdisciplinary initiatives in catalysis and bioengineering, and the mentoring of several award-winning faculty in teaching and research. These successes transformed the department to attract outstanding faculty and student talent from around the world. Between 2003 and 2015, Subramaniam chaired search committees that recruited nine C&PE faculty members.

Subramaniam serves as Executive Editor of ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals including Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Chemical & Engineering Technology and Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. He has served on several national and regional technical panels including the National Academies’ Chemical Study Committee, NSF/EPA panels on environmentally benign processing, the Midwest Biomass Research & Development Roadmap, and Schmidt Futures’ Feedstocks of the Future for a Circular U.S. Bioeconomy. He has also been on the scientific and organizing committees of several international symposia in catalysis and reaction engineering, co-chairing the 18th International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE-18, Chicago, 2004), the 2nd North American Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (NASCRE-2, Houston, 2007), the 2nd and 3rd Joint India-U.S. Chemical Engineering Conference on Energy and Sustainability (Chandigarh, 2008; Mumbai, 2013) and the 2018 Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry (Castelldefels, Spain). Subramaniam served as the President of ISCRE, Inc. and the Great Plains Catalysis Society as well as on the Board of Directors of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society (ORCS), the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Advisory Committee and Dow’s Technical Advisory Board.

Subramaniam has received several awards and honors including the American Chemical Society (ACS) Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Fellows Award; Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE); a “Distinguished Catalyst Researcher” lectureship from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; “Chemcon Distinguished Speaker Award” from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers; and several from KU as follows: Henry Gould Award for Excellence in Engineering Education, Silver Anniversary Teaching Award, Miller Award for Research, Miller Award or Professional Service and a Higuchi Research Achievement Award, the highest research recognition in the State of Kansas. Subramaniam is a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).


Research Interests

Promoting decarbonization and sustainability in the chemical industry via catalysis and reactor engineering

Catalysis: metal exchanged silicates, solid acids, homogeneous metal complexes

Reactor Engineering:  reactions in tunable media, spray reactor, membrane reactors

Sustainability assessment:  Life cycle assessment-based process development

Applications:  Chemicals and materials from emerging feedstocks such as biomass, recycled plastics and sequestered CO2.


Examples of Research Projects/Advances

Novel catalysts with earth-abundant metals: When three-dimensional mesoporous silicates, such as KIT-6, KIT-5 and TUD-1, are incorporated with earth-abundant metals such as Zr (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2012.09.008), Nb (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2014.02.019), W (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2013.03.019) and Sn (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcat.2020.07.001), the resulting materials show tunable acidity, displaying remarkable performance in industrially significant reactions. For example, selective ethylene epoxidation can be achieved on Nb-TUD-1 catalyst with H2O2 as oxidant in methanol (https://doi.org/10.1039/C4CY00877D; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcat.2015.12.022). By attaching suitable bonding agents to passivate Brønsted acid sites, H2O2 decomposition and metal leaching are reduced (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.6b04723). In another application, tungsten-incorporated mesoporous silicates were shown to outperform supported conventional WO3/SiO2 catalysts for ethylene+2-butene metathesis to propene (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcata.2016.10.004, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcat.2017.02.014). Spectroscopic evidence shows that the relative abundance of surface W–O–Si species (active site precursors) correlates with improved metathesis performance (https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.8b03263). Later work showed that Nb-doped bimetallic WNb-KIT-6 materials enhanced the propene yield even further, attributed to the formation of new active site precursors (O=)2W(O−Si)(O−Nb). Complementary DFT calculations suggest that the −O−Nb moiety favorably tunes the electronic environment around the W atom (https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.201902131).

Another novel formulation involves a bimetallic WZr-KIT-6 catalyst that exhibits both Lewis and Brønsted acid sites of high strength (https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.8b00480).  For ethanol dehydration, the WZr-KIT-6 catalyst provides ethylene yields comparable to those reported with HZSM-5 and SAPO-34 catalysts with remarkable stability to coking. In another targeted application,  a predominantly Lewis acidic Zr-KIT-5 catalyst provides stable depolymerization of variously sourced lignins yielding phenolic monomers (https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b05077;  (https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b06556).


Representative Publications

  1. A. Ramanathan, R. Maheswari, B. P. Grady, D. S. Moore, D. H. Barich and B. Subramaniam, “Tungsten-incorporated cage-type mesoporous silicate: W-KIT-5,” Microporous & Mesoporous Materials, 175, 43-49 (2013). DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2013.03.019
  2. H. Zhu, A. Ramanathan, J-F. Wu and B. Subramaniam, “Genesis of Strong Brønsted Acid Sites in WZr-KIT-6 Catalysts and Enhancement of Ethanol Dehydration Activity,” ACS Catalysis, 8, 4848-4859 (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.8b00480
  3. W. Yan, A. Ramanathan, P. D. Patel, S. K. Maiti, B. B. Laird, W. H. Thompson and B. Subramaniam, “Mechanistic Insights for Enhancing Activity and Stability of Nb-incorporated Silicates for Selective Ethylene Epoxidation,” Journal of Catalysis, 336, 75-84 (2016). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcat.2015.12.022
  4. J-F. Wu,A. Ramanathanand B. Subramaniam, “Novel Tungsten-incorporated Mesoporous Silicates Synthesized via Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly: Enhanced Metathesis Performance,” Journal of Catalysis, 350, 182-188 (2017). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcat.2017.02.014
  5. J-F Wu, A. Ramanathan, A. Biancardi, A. M. Jystad, M. Caricato, Y. Hu and B. Subramaniam, “Correlation of Active Site Precursors and Olefin Metathesis Activity in W-incorporated Silicates,” ACS Catalysis, 8, 10437-10445 (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.8b03263
  6. J-F Wu, A. Ramanathan, R. Kersting, A. M. Jystad, H. Zhu, Y. Hu, C. P. Marshall, M. Caricato and Bala Subramaniam, “Enhanced Olefin Metathesis Performance of Tungsten and Niobium Incorporated Bimetallic Silicates: Evidence of Synergistic Effects,” ChemCatChem, 12, 1-11 (2020).DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.201902131
  7. K. Y. Nandiwale, A. M. Danby, A. Ramanathan, R. V. Chaudhari, A. H. Motagamwala, J. A. Dumesic and B. Subramaniam, “Enhanced Acid-Catalyzed Lignin Depolymerization in a Continuous Reactor with Stable Activity,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 8 (10), 4096-4106(2020). DOIhttps://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b06556

Reducing carbon footprint in plastics manufacturing: Conventional technologies for ethylene oxide (EO) and terephthalic acid (TPA), precursors for making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, leave a large carbon footprint. Our group has demonstrated that ethylene can be selectively oxidized by H2O2 to EO over methyltrioxorhenium catalyst (ChemEngSci; AIChE J). Unlike the conventional silver-catalyzed process, there is no substrate or product burning to CO2! This discovery was recognized by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute with a 2010 Kenneth G. Hancock Award. For making TPA, we developed a spray oxidation reactor in which a solution of the substrate (p-xylene) and catalyst (Co/Mn/Br salts in acetic acid) is aerosolized to increase air-liquid interfacial area. This design facilitates near-complete p-xylene oxidation to produce polymer-grade TPA (ChemEngSci; IndEngChemRes), without needing a hydrogenation step to purify crude TPA. The spray oxidation improves process economics and reduces the process carbon footprint by ~75% (ACS SustainChemEng). Collaborating with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) company, this discovery was extended to oxidize 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) for making non-phthalate based polyesters (AIChE J; ACS SustainChemEng, ChemSusChem).


Representative Publications

  1. H-J Lee, M. Ghanta, D. H Busch and B. Subramaniam, “Towards a CO2-Free Ethylene Oxide Process:  Homogeneous Ethylene Epoxidation in Gas-Expanded Liquids,” Chemical Engineering Science, 65, 128-134 (2010); https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2009.02.008
  2. M. Ghanta, H-J Lee, D. H. Buschand B. Subramaniam, “Highly Selective Homogeneous Ethylene Epoxidation in Gas (Ethylene)-Expanded Liquid: Transport and Kinetic Studies,” AIChE Journal.  59, 180-187 (2013). DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1002/aic.13789
  3. M. Li, F. Niu, X. Zuo, P. D. Metelski, D. H. Busch and B. Subramaniam, “A Spray Reactor Concept for Catalytic Oxidation of p-Xylene to Produce High-purity Terephthalic Acid,” Chemical Engineering Science. 104, 93-102 (2013). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2013.09.004
  4. M. Li,F. Niu,D. H. Busch and B. Subramaniam, “Kinetic Investigations of p-Xylene Oxidation to Terephthalic Acid with a Co/Mn/Br Catalyst in a Homogeneous Liquid Phase,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 53(22), 9017–9026 (2014). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/ie403446b.
  5. M. Li,T. Ruddy,D. R. Fahey,D. H. Buschand Bala Subramaniam, “Terephthalic Acid Production Via Greener Spray Process: Comparative Economic and Environmental Impact Assessments with Mid-Century Process,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2(4), 823–835 (2014). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/sc4004778
  6. X. Zuo, P. Venkitasubramanian,D. H. Busch and B. Subramaniam, “Optimization of Co/Mn/Br-catalyzed oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to enhance 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid yield and minimize substrate burning,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 4(7), 3659–3668 (2016).DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b00174
  7. X. Zuo, A. S. Chaudhari, K. W. Snavely, F. Niu, H. Zhu, K. J. Martin and B. Subramaniam, “Kinetics of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural Oxidation to 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid with Co/Mn/Br Catalyst,” AIChE Journal, 63(1), 162-171 (2017). DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1002/aic.15497
  8. X. Zuo, P. Venkitasubramanian, K. J. Martin and B. Subramaniam, Facile Production of 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid via Oxidation of Industrially Sourced Crude 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural,” ChemSusChem, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202102050

Gas-expanded liquids as versatile reaction media: Our group has harnessed pressure-tunable media to enhance chemical reactions in unique ways. For example, by dissolving CO2 (from captured sources) at mild pressures in conventional solvents, his group showed that solubilities of gases such as O2, H2, CO and ozone can be enhanced non-linearly in CO2-expanded liquids (CXLs) beyond Henry’s law values (J AmChemSoc, J ChemEngData, ACS SustainChemEng). Remarkably, H2/CO ratio can be increased in CXLs at fixed syngas pressure by simply replacing the conventional solvent with liquid CO2. Such tunability results in remarkable selectivity enhancement toward the desired linear aldehyde during Rh-catalyzed 1-octene hydroformylation (AIChE J, ACS SustainChemEng). The product mixture is easily separated from CO2 by pressure-reduction, enabling CO2 recycling. Similar enhancement was demonstrated for propylene hydroformylation in liquid propane at Dow process conditions (AIChE J, ChemEngSci). Because syngas reacts selectively with olefin, the effluent from propane dehydrogenation reactor (containing ~70% ethylene in propane) may be directly used to perform hydroformylation in a propane-expanded liquid medium. This strategy avoids propane/propylene separation by energy-intensive distillation, reducing the carbon footprint (ACS SustainChemEng).


Representative Publications

  1. M. Wei, G. T. Musie, D. H. Busch and B. Subramaniam, “CO2-expanded Solvents: Unique and Versatile Media for Performing Homogeneous Catalytic Oxidations, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 124(11), 2513-2517 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1021/ja0114411
  2. Z. Xie, W. K. Snavely,A. M. Scurtoand B. Subramaniam, “Solubilities of CO and H2 in Neat and CO2-Expanded Hydroformylation Reaction Mixtures Containing 1-Octene and Nonanal up to 353 K and 9 MPa,” Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, 54(5), 1633-1642 (2009); DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/je900148e.
  3. M. D. Lundin, A. M. Danby, G. A. Akien, T. J. Binder, D. H. Busch and B. Subramaniam, “Liquid CO2 as a Safer and Benign Solvent for the Ozonolysis of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. 3(12), 3307–3314 (2015). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.5b00913
  4. Z. Xie,J. Fang,S. K. Maiti, W. K. Snavely, J. A. Tunge and B. Subramaniam, “Continuous Membrane Reactor for Enhanced Hydroformylation in Carbon Dioxide-Expanded Liquids with Effective Rh Retention,” AIChE Journal, 59(11), 4287-4296 (2013). DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1002/aic.14142
  5. Z. Xie and B. Subramaniam, “Development of a Greener Hydroformylation Process Guided by Quantitative Sustainability Assessments,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2, 27482757 (2014). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/sc500483f
  6. D. Liu, R. V. Chaudhari and B. Subramaniam, “Enhanced Solubility of Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide in Propane- and Propylene-Expanded Liquids,” AIChE Journal, 24(3), 970-980 (2018). DOI. https://doi.org/10.1002/aic.15988
  7. D. Liu, R. V. Chaudhari and B. Subramaniam, “Homogeneous catalytic hydroformylation of propylene in propane-expanded solvent media,” Chemical Engineering Science, 187, 148-156 (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2018.04.071
  8. D. Liu, R. V. Chaudhari and B. Subramaniam, “Enriching Propane/Propylene Mixture by Selective Propylene Hydroformylation: Economic and Environmental Impact Analyses,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 8(13), 5140-5146 (2020). DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b07224

Enhancing CO2 electroconversion: CEBC researchers have extended the CXL platform to enhance CO2 electrochemistry. In conventional aqueous electrolytes, low CO2 solubilities limit CO2 electroreduction rates. By deploying organic electrolytes dissolved in liquid CO2, the solubility limitations are overcome resulting in enhanced (10x-100x) electroreduction rates  on Au and Cu catalysts, achieving DOE’s technology target  (ChemSusChem, Green Chemistry). In another example, that CXLs were shown asenabling media for synthesizing atrolactic acid (ibuprofen precursor) by electrochemical carboxylation of acetophenone (ACS SustainChemEng). These paradigm-shifting discoveries signal new approaches for CO2 electro-conversion.


Representative Publications

  1. C. Shaughnessy, D. Sconyers, T. Kerr, H-J. Lee, B. Subramaniam, K. Leonard, J. Blakemore, “Enhanced Electrocatalytic CO2 Conversion in Pressure-Tunable CO2-Expanded Electrolytes,” ChemSusChem, 12(16), 3761-3768 (2019). DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201901107
  2. C. I. Shaughnessy,D. J. Sconyers, H-J. Lee,B. Subramaniam,J. D. Blakemore and K. C. Leonard, “Insights into Pressure-tunable Reaction Rates for Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 in Organic Electrolytes,” Green Chemistry, 22, 2434-2442 (2020). DOI:https://doi.org/10.1039/D0GC00013B
  3. M. A. Stalcup,C. K. Nilles,H-J Lee, B. Subramaniam,J. D. Blakemore and K. C. Leonard, “Organic Electrosynthesis in CO2-eXpanded Electrolytes: Enabling Selective Acetophenone Carboxylation to Atrolatic Acid,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 9(31), 10431-10436 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c03073
  4. M. A. Stalcup,C. K. Nilles,B. Subramaniam,J. D. Blakemore and K. C. Leonard, “Distinguishing the Mechanism of Electrochemical Carboxylation in CO2-eXpanded Electrolytes,” Chemical Communications, 59, 5713-5716 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1039/D2CC06560F
  5. C. K. Nilles, A. K. Borkowski, E. R. Bartlett, M. A. Stalcup, H-J Lee, K. C. Leonard, B. Subramaniam, W. H. Thompson and J. D. Blakemore, “Mechanistic Basis of Conductivity in Carbon Dioxide-Expanded Electrolytes: A Joint Experimental-Theoretical Study,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 146(4), 2398-2410 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.3c08145


Ozone for emerging feedstocks: Ozone will become increasingly accessible from green oxygen, a byproduct of electrolytic hydrogen. In one example, we employed spray ozonolysis to selectively cleave C=C bonds in grass lignin to form vanillin and p-hydroxybenzaldehyde as valued-added products (ReactChemEng, ACS EnggAu). The ozone pretreatment simultaneously increases the hydroxyls in lignin, facilitating resin formation (ACS SustainChemEng). These lignin valorization technologies enable profitable biorefineries. Our group has also demonstrated the safe ozonation of shale gas liquids at ambient temperature (JACS Au, ACS SustainChemEng) predominantly yielding alcohols and ketones (90+% selectivity). This major advance in selective C-H activation has broader applications, including polyolefin functionalization and recycling/upcycling.


Representative Publications

  1. J. S. Silverman, A. M. Danby and B. Subramaniam, “Ozonolysis of Lignins in a Spray Reactor: Insights into Product Yields and Lignin Structure,” Reaction Chemistry and Engineering, 4, 1421-1430 (2019). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C9RE00098D
  2. S. Green, T. Binder, E. Hagberg and B. Subramaniam, “Correlation between lignin–carbohydrate complex content in grass lignins and phenolic aldehyde production by rapid spray ozonolysis,” ACS Engineering Au. 3(2), 84–90 (2023).https://doi.org/10.1021/acsengineeringau.2c00041
  3. J. S. Silverman, A. M. Danby and B. Subramaniam, “Facile Prepolymer Formation with Ozone-pretreated Lignin Containing Endogenous Aromatics,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 8(46), 17001-17007 (2020). https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c03811
  4. H. Zhu, T. A. Jackson and B. Subramaniam, “Highly Selective Isobutane Hydroxylation by Ozone in a Pressure-tuned Biphasic Gas-Liquid Process,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 9(16), 5506-5512 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c01004
  5. H. Zhu, T. A. Jackson and B. Subramaniam, “Facile and Selective Ozonation of Light Alkanes to Oxygenates in Tunable Condensed Phase at Ambient Temperature,” JACS Au, 3(2), 498–507 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1021/jacsau.2c00631



My major teaching interests are in the areas of chemical engineering kinetics, reactor design, and industrial development of sustainable catalytic processes.

Creative solutions to engineering problems require a sound complement of fundamental knowledge, intuition, imagination and critical thinking. I believe that a teacher has a vital role and challenge in fostering these attributes in students. My teaching methods are aimed at achieving this goal. In the theory courses, I show how engineering equations are essentially 'math-based languages' or models that aid our understanding of physical and chemical processes. I constantly encourage students to assess if the process behavior predicted by the model makes intuitive sense. Given that commercial software is invariably used for equation-solving and design purposes, it is especially essential to develop such an understanding and intuitive feel for interpreting results from computer simulations. I provide examples of how theories and equations have been used to develop engineering solutions in everyday life. In addition to traditional homework assignments that emphasize fundamentals and solution procedures, I assign two to three open-ended projects that are comprehensive in nature. These projects address industrially important problems and require students to integrate fundamental knowledge, intuition and imagination in critically analyzing and designing sustainable engineering processes that are resource-efficient (i.e., conserve feedstock and energy). I emphasize how resource-efficient technologies not only make good business sense but also are inherently green.

I believe that the laboratory courses provide a vital forum for not only reinforcing theoretical concepts but also developing essential experimental, data analysis, troubleshooting, team work and communication skills. The analysis/interpretation of experimental data form the basis for the preparation of various types of written reports (journal-type, memos, etc.) and oral presentations. Prior to each laboratory session, I require student teams to make concise presentations about their planned work and to rigorously defend their work plan. Besides providing training in oral and written communication skills, this process also helps students to solidify their understanding of theory.

Clear statement of course goals and expectations, effective lectures and notes, creating an inclusive learning environment, and challenging yet fair assignments and tests are all essential to a positive learning experience -- one that motivates students' desire to learn and to excel. My teaching methods never cease to evolve as I learn more about teaching tips and techniques from student/peer feedback.

Authored book

Subramaniam, “Green Catalysis and Reaction Engineering:  An Integrated Approach with Industrial Case Studies,” Cambridge Univ Press, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139026260

Teaching interests:

  • Chemical engineering kinetics and reactor design
  • mathematical methods in chemical engineering
  • industrial development of sustainable catalytic processes
  • chemical engineering unit operations laboratories