Dr. Kevin C. Leonard

Dr. Kevin Charles Leonard
  • Associate Professor
  • Chemical & Petroleum Engineering

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Learned Hall, room #4132B
Wakarusa Research Facility
University of Kansas
1530 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


BS in Chemical Engineering & Mathematics, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2003
MS in Materials Science, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2011
PhD in Materials Science, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2011


Associate Professor Kevin C. Leonard's research focuses on experimental and data-driven approaches to elucidate electrocatalytic transformation mechanisms on heterogeneous surfaces. Chemical and fuel production is undergoing a transition from petrochemical-based systems to more sustainable technologies centered on emerging feedstocks and renewable energy. Electrocatalysis is a promising method for converting feedstocks such as water and CO2 because electricity produced from solar panels or wind farms can power these chemical transformations. Thus, the motivation for Prof. Leonard's research is to advance our fundamental understanding to design new electrocatalytic systems to improve the efficiency of and reduce emissions associated with fuel and chemical production. Specifically, ongoing projects include:
1. New reaction medium to intensify electrocatalytic reaction rates.
2. Catalyst development to produce value-added products utilizing water and CO2 as feedstocks.
3. In-situ nano-scale characterization equipment development (Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy).
4.Applying artificial intelligence applications to catalysis.

Research interests:

  • Electrocatalysis
  • Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy
  • Artificial Intelligence

Selected Publications

  • Shaughnessy, Charles I, David J Sconyers, Hyun-Jin Lee, Bala Subramaniam, James D Blakemore, and Kevin C Leonard. “Insights into Pressure Tunable Reaction Rates for Electrochemical Reduction of CO 2 in Organic Electrolytes.” Journal Articles. Green Chemistry 22, no. 8 (2020): 2434--2442.
  • Jantz, Dylan T, Tess E Seuferling, and Kevin C Leonard. “Numerical Deconvolution of Surface Interrogation Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy Experiments on Platinum During Hydrogen Evolution.” Journal Articles. ChemElectroChem, 2020.
  • Shaughnessy, Charles, David Sconyers, Tyler Kerr, Hyun-Jin Lee, Bala Subramaniam, Kevin Leonard, and James Blakemore. “Intensified Electrocatalytic CO2 Conversion in Pressure-Tunable CO2-Expanded Electrolytes.” Journal Articles. ChemSusChem, 2019.
  • Balla, Ryan J, Dylan T Jantz, Niraja Kurapati, Ran Chen, Kevin C Leonard, and Shigeru Amemiya. “Nanoscale Intelligent Imaging Based on Real-Time Analysis of Approach Curve by Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy.” Journal Articles. Analytical Chemistry 91, no. 15 (2019): 10227--10235.
  • Barforoush, Joe, Tess Seuferling, Dylan Jantz, Kelly Song, and Kevin Leonard. “Insights into the Active Electrocatalytic Areas of Layered Double Hydroxide and Amorphous Nickel–Iron Oxide  Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysts.” Journal Articles. ACS Applied Energy Materials 1, no. 4 (2018): 1415–23.

Awards & Honors

Sharp Teaching Professorship
The University of Kansas
2020 - 2024

Army Research Office Young Investigator Award
2017 - 2020

KU Miller Scholar Award