Dr Brent Melot, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Southern California (USC)

Our group is focused on identifying design principles that will accelerate the development of new functional materials. More specifically, we have expertise in solid state materials synthesis and structural characterization at the average as well as local length scales. While we have traditionally focused on understanding how structural transformations influence the diffusion of ions through intercalation hosts, we’ve recently turned our attention to developing model catalytic systems with well-defined reactive sites using a large family of transition metal phyllosilicate minerals.

Having received no formal training in catalysis, the time I spent at the Cat Hub was utterly invaluable. Nowhere else has such a high concentration of world-leading experts in catalysis science localized to one place than the RCaH. The faculty, students, and staff were incredibly welcoming and enthusiastic about sharing ideas and brainstorming research opportunities. Within the first few days, we had identified a shared interest in sustainable chemistries and began working together. From there it feels like every other day we would come up with other new and exciting experiments to pursue during lunch at the canteen. I’m extremely excited to see where these nascent collaborations lead, and I could not be happier to have had the opportunity to visit such an outstanding institution.

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