Karthish Manthiram appointed Camille Dreyfus teacher-scholarship 2021 | MIT News


Karthish Manthiram, Theodore T. Miller’s Career Development Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering, was honored as a Camille Dreyfus Lecturer-Researcher, an award that recognizes and supports the research and teaching careers of talented young professors in chemical sciences.

Each of the 16 US laureates are in the first five years of their academic career and have created an outstanding set of independent scholarships spanning the broad spectrum of contemporary chemical science research. Fellows must also have demonstrated a commitment to teaching students, especially with undergraduates. As Camille Dreyfus teacher-researcher, Manthiram receives an unrestricted research grant of $ 100,000.

“For me, teaching and research have always been one and the same, because they both involve pushing the individual and collective frontiers of knowledge,” says Manthiram. “I am honored to be recognized by an award that embodies this spirit and grateful for the risky efforts it will enable our laboratory to undertake in the decarbonization of chemical synthesis.”

MIT’s Manthiram Lab focuses on the molecular engineering of electrocatalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals, fuels, and basic chemicals, using renewable raw materials. Manthiram received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. As a graduate student in Prof. Paul Alivisatos’ group, Manthiram developed transition metal oxide hosts for tunable redox plasmons and nanoparticle electrocatalysts to reduce carbon dioxide. During his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Robert Grubbs at Caltech, Karthish developed new anion exchange ionomers.

Manthiram has received several awards including NSF CAREER Award, DOE Early Career Award, Sloan Fellowship, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers 35 Under 35, American Chemical Society PRF New Investigator Award , the Dan Cubicciotti Award of the Electrochemical Society and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science. His teaching has been recognized with the C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the MIT Chemical Engineering Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award and the MIT Teaching with Digital Technology Award. He serves on the Early Career Advisory Board for ACS Catalysis and the Advisory Board for Trends in Chemistry, Chem Catalysis and the MIT Science Policy Review. He was recently appointed to the Theodore T. Miller Chair in Career Development by the President of MIT. The chair was established through a bequest from former student Theodore T. Miller 1922.

The goal of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering and related sciences as a means of improving human relationships and circumstances across the world. Created in 1946 by chemist, inventor and businessman Camille Dreyfus in memory of his brother Henry, the foundation became a memorial to the two men when Camille Dreyfus died in 1956. Throughout its history, the foundation has played a leading role in identifying and addressing needs and opportunities to advance the chemical sciences. Manthiram is the second faculty member from MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering to win this award; Associate Professor William Tisdale also won the award in 2017.


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