Dr. Juan J Bravo-Suárez

Dr. Juan Bravo Suarez
  • Associate Professor

Contact Info

Office phone:
Department Phone:
Learned Hall, Room 4146C
1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
LSRL, Room C145F
1501 Wakarusa Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047


B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Atlantico, Colombia, 1997 

Visiting Scholar, Chemical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 2000-2003 

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Industrial University of Santander, Colombia, 2004 

Postdoctoral Researcher, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, 2004-2008 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab/UC-Berkeley, 2008-2009 

Research Associate, The University of Kansas, 2009-2013 

Research Scientist, Archer Daniels Midland Company, 2013-2014 


Over 70% of all current chemical processes involve heterogeneous catalysis. Catalysts will continue to play a decisive role in advancing a more sustainable chemical industry, developing new conversion technologies, and reducing waste and pollutants. To contribute to these goals, the Bravo-Suárez Group focuses on the understanding and development of catalytic materials for the conversion of renewable biomass derived feedstocks, abundant natural gas components, and for environmental applications. To develop active and selective new and improved catalysts, we study reaction pathways, mechanism, and catalyst requirements by combining tailor-made nanomaterials, experimental kinetics, and in situ/operando spectroscopic characterization at reaction conditions. We develop and improve both experimental tools and methodologies that enable these mechanistic studies. 

Research interests:

  • Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Renewable and abundant feedstocks
  • Chemicals and Fuels
  • In Situ and Operando Spectroscopy
  • Spectrokinetics


Teaching interests:

  • Chemical Engineering Kinetics & Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering Laboratory
  • Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Mass Transfer

Selected Publications

Srinivasan, P.D.; Patil, B.S.; Zhu, H.; Bravo-Suárez, J.J. “Application of Modulation Excitation - Phase Sensitive Detection -  DRIFTS for in Situ/Operando Characterization of Heterogeneous Catalysts.” Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, 2019, 4, 862-883.
Patil, B.S.; Srinivasan, P.D.; Zhu, H.; Atchison, H.; Bravo-Suárez, J.J. “Design, Modelling, and Applications of a Low Void-Volume in Situ Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopic Reaction Cell for Transient Catalytic Studies.” Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, 2019, 4, 667-678.
Srinivasan, P.D.; Khivantsev, K.; Tengco, J.; Zhu, H.; Bravo-Suárez, J.J. “Enhanced Ethanol Dehydration on Gamma-Al2O3 Supported Cobalt Catalyst.” Journal of Catalysis, 2019, 373, 276-296.
Bravo Suárez, J.J.; Srinivasan, P.D. “Design Characteristics of in Situ and Operando UV-Visible and Vibrational Spectroscopic Reaction Cells for Heterogeneous Catalysis.” Catalysis Reviews Science and Engineering, 2017, 57 (4), 295-445..

Awards & Honors


National Science Foundation

2019 - 2024

ACS-PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award

American Chemical Society

2017 - 2020

2018 Miller Scholar Award

The University of Kansas, School of Engineering