MSE 298 Seminar: Catalyst Design For Clean Energy Technologies

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium
Yu Huang, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair 
Department of Materials Science and Engineering 

Abstract: Hydrogen as a clean and versatile energy carrier has the potential to decarbonize various sectors, including transportation, industry and energy generation. It plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing the transition toward a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy future. Electrocatalysis plays a central role in hydrogen energy technologies. Despite significant progress, many electrocatalytic systems, such as hydrogen fuel cells, continue to face challenges related to insufficient catalytic efficiency, poor stability and the high cost of precious metal catalysts. Rapidly advancing beyond trial-and-error methods is imperative to address the imminent energy and climate crisis. This presentation will delve into the development of experimentally attainable descriptors capable of predicting the catalytic activity and stability of catalysts, which facilitates the accelerated discovery of more efficient catalysts. Furthermore, we will explore practical catalyst structure design, tailored to enhance both catalyst activity and stability in full-cell operation, thereby maintaining the overall performance of the device.

Bio: Yu Huang is the Traugott and Dorothea Frederking Endowed Chair in Engineering and the Department Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA.  She received her B.S. in chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry and M.A in chemistry from Harvard University. Before Huang embarked on her independent career at UCLA, she was awarded the prestigious Lawrence Fellowship and held a joint postdoctoral position with Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research focuses on mechanistic understanding of nanoscale phenomena and on exploiting the unique properties of nanoscale materials for various applications.

Huang’s achievements have gained her international and national recognitions including the Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellow, the Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science, Eni Award in Energy Transition, International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) Prize for Experimental Electrochemistry, the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) Carol Tyler Award, Kavli Fellow, Sloan Fellow, the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), the National Institute of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award, the World’s Top 100 Young Innovators award, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Young Chemist Award and the Nano 50 Award etc.