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Faculty - Keith Gubbins

Keith Gubbins photo
bullet W.H. Clark Distinguished University Professor
bullet National Academy of Engineering (1989)

B.Sc. Chemistry, University of London (1958)
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of London (1962)
keg (@ncsu.edu)
919-513-2262 (phone)
919-515-3465 (fax)
Engineering Building I (EB1) - 2088A (office)
bullet Honors & Awards
bullet Publications
bullet Research Website

Focus Areas
Confined Materials. Adsorption. Molecular Simulation. Surface Properties.

Current Projects
Our research program is aimed at understanding, at the molecular level, the behavior of nano-dimensional fluids and solids, and the influence of surface forces on such materials. Nano-porous materials (solid materials having pores of nanometer dimension), such as zeolites, activated carbons, silicas, etc., play a prominent role in chemical processing, particularly in separations and as catalysts and catalyst supports. Fluids confined in such porous materials possess many novel properties that can form the basis of future technologies, involving energy storage, novel reactions and separations, fabrication of small devices of molecular dimensions, etc. The underlying theme of our work is to develop molecular models which accurately describe the materials and systems of interest, and to use rigorous methods or statistical mechanics to determine the detailed properties and behavior of the system. Comparisons with experiment are used to check the models, but the ultimate goal is to use the simulations to carry out experiments that cannot be undertaken in the laboratory. Experimental studies complement the simulation work, and comparison of the two frequently leads to important new insights.

Current areas of research fall into three areas. The first is that of modeling and understanding the fabrication of the nano-porous material itself. We are interested in understanding why a particular morphology occurs for a certain material. We have developed a good understanding of this process for glasses, silicas, and carbon nanotubes, for example, but for other materials, such as activated carbons, the fabrication process is poorly understood. The second area is the influence of confinement in porous media on physical processes, such as selective adsorption from mixtures, phase transitions, and diffusion. The third area is the effect of confinement on chemical reactions and reaction rates. Students working in this area will develop expertise in molecular modeling and molecular simulation, including parallelization on large national supercomputers, as well as in complementary experimental techniques.

Honors & Awards
bullet 2016 Sigma Xi Distinguished Leadership and Contributions to Scientific Research Award
bullet 2013 Lennard-Jones Lectureship and Prize from the British Royal Society of Chemistry
bullet 2012 Foundations of Molecular Modeling and Simulation (FOMMS) Medal
bullet 2012 Rossini Lecture Award of the International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics
bullet 2011 Medal of Merit, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
bullet 2011 Shell Lecturer, Colorado School of Mines
bullet 2009 Distinguished Visiting Fellow Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE)
bullet 2008 Plenary Lecture, "Surface Nanostructure and Catalysis:", Oak Ridge National Laboratory
bullet 2008 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension
bullet 2008 "One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era" - American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
bullet 2008 Royal Society (London) Kan Tong Po Visiting Professor, University of Hong Kong
bullet 2008 Plenary Lecturer, International Conference on Adsorption, in honor of Ken Sing, Bristol, UK
bullet 2008 Awards Lecture, "Confinement Effects on Chemical Reactions - American Chemical Society Annual Meeting
bullet 2008 Lyman L. Handy Lecturer, "Phase Change and Chemical Reactions at the Nanoscale"
bullet 2007 Plenary Lecture, "Confinement Effects on Chemical Reactions:, Melbourne, Australia
bullet 2007 Plenary Lecturer, International Conference on Frontier Science & Techology of Nanoporous Systems 3, Chiba University, Japan
bullet 2007 Plenary Lecturer, First US-Poland Workshop on Nanosci. and Nanostruct. Mat'l., Poland
bullet 2007 Plenary Lecturer, Fourth Int'l Conf. on Characterization of Porous Solids, Princeton
bullet 2007 Keynote Lecturer, Pacific Basin Adsorption Sci. and Technology Conference, Tianjin, China
bullet 2007 Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids
bullet 2006 Keynote Lecturer, Pacifichem, Int'l. Chem. Congr. of Pacific Basin Societies, Honolulu, Hawaii
bullet 2006 Keynote Lecturer, Int'l. Confer. on Carbon for Energy Stor. & Envir. Protect.(CESEP), Orleans, France
bullet 2005 Plenary Lecturer, DuftyFest2005, Univ. of Florida
bullet 2005 Plenary Lecturer, First US-China Workshop on Sustain. Resources, Energy & Mat'l., Beijing
bullet 2005 Keynote Lecturer, Sci. & Engr. of Adv. Mat'l. Strate. Workshop, Univ. College Dublin, Ireland
bullet 2005 Plenary Lecturer, First Indo-US Joint Meeting in a Global Environment
bullet 2005 Plenary Lecturer, 14th Ostwald-Kolloquium on Fluids at Interfaces and in Pores
bullet 2005 Plenary Lecturer, Annual Meeting of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Austin, Texas
bullet 2005 Plenary Lecturer, First Int'l. Sym. on Funct. Innova. of Molec. Informatics, Fukuoka, Japan
bullet 2004 NCSU Alumni Outstanding Research Award
bullet 2004 Graduate Association Lecturer, University of Florida (Chemical Engineering Dept.)
bullet 2004 Alumni Outstanding Research Award
bullet 2004 Graduate Assoc. Lecturer for 2004, Univ. of Florida (Chemical Engineering Dept.)
bullet 2003 Elected a Fellow of the AIChE
bullet 2003 Plenary Lecture, Thermodynamics 2003 Conference, Cambridge, U.K., April 9-11
bullet 2002 Plenary Lecture, AIChE Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, November 5
bullet 2001 Chercheur de Haute Niveau, French Ministry of Education, June 2001-February 2002
bullet 2001 Keynote Lecturer, 7th Fundamentals of Adsorption Conference, Nagasaki, Japan
bullet 2001 Thomas W. Leland Lecturer, Rice University (Chemical Engineering Dept.)
bullet 2000 William H. Walker Award from the AIChE
bullet 2000 Keynote Lecturer, International Symposium on Physical Basis of Adsorption, Okayama
bullet 2000 Keynote Lecturer in Thermodynamics, Annual American Institute of Chemical Engineering Meeting, Dallas