William Schneider Ph.D.

Schneider, William
Position Department / Business Unit
Institution Disciplines
University of Notre Dame Chemistry
City State / Provence
Notre Dame Indiana
Country Website

Dr. Schneider's primary research interests lie in the areas of: nanotechnology, surface science, and theoretical & computational chemistry.

He then joined the Ford Motor Company Research Laboratory, where he established an active reserach program in electronic structure methods applied to environmental chemistry and catalysis. In 2004 he accepted a faculty position at the University of Notre Dame, where he is currently Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Physical Chemistry, among other professional activities.

Research Interests
Professor Schneider's group applies state-of-the-art first-principles molecular simulation tools, based primarily on density functional theory (DFT), to study a range of problems in heterogeneous surface reactivity and catalysis. These quantum-mecahnics-based calculations take advantage of some of the latest and most powerful computers available to produce accurate predictions of chemical structure, energetics, and reactivity for systems that were impossible to study even just a few years ago. Statistical thermodynamics and kinetics provide the links to macroscopic prediction. The simulations are coupled with simple but powerful concepts of chemical structure and bonding—key to both the effective use of the tools and extraction of useful physical insight. The group partners closely with experimentalists both to validate results and to provide an avenue for their rapid application.
Current research focuses on heterogeneous reactivity at metal and metal-oxide surfaces. This type of reactivity is common to many environmental processes and underpins many technologies used to mitigate or eliminate the impacts of society on the environment, especially activities related to the production and consumption of energy. Some examples include catalytic removal of emissions from combustion exhaust, catalytic conversion of petroleum fuels, solid-state gas sensing, and fuel cell catalysis. Understanding gained at the molecular level allows us to better control-and ultimately to tailor-chemical systems to perform functions more cleanly, efficiently, and durably. The research group is highly interdsciplinary, cutting across the traditional boundaries of chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, environmental science, materials science, and the emerging field of nanoscience.


Professor Schneider received his B.Sc. in 1986 from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1991 for research into the electronic structure and properties of heavy element compounds.

Career Highlights

2004– Assoc. Prof., Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame
2004– Concurrent Assoc. Prof., Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame
2001–2004 Staff Technical Specialist and group leader, Chemical and Materials Simulation, Ford Motor Co.
1996–2001 Senior Technical Specialist, Chemistry Department, Ford Motor Company
1992–1999 Adjunct Lecturer in General, Physical, and Computational Chemistry, University of Michigan–Dearborn
1995 Adjunct Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, Wayne State University
1991–1996 Technical Specialist, Chemistry Department, Ford Motor Company


Selected Professional and Academic Honors
2001 50 Publications Award, Ford Motor Co.
2001 Arch T. Colwell Outstanding Publication Award, Society of Automotive Engineers
2000 Technical Achievement Award, Ford Motor Co.
1999 Invitee, NAE Foundations of Engineering Meeting, Orange County, California
1997 25 Publications Award, Ford Motor Co.
1996 Henry Ford Technology Award, Ford Motor Co.
1995 Technical Achievement Award, Ford Motor Co.
1986–1989 National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow

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