BREAKING NEWS - PhD student position open!
Student may begin immeadiately. The project will focus upon the Fundamental Science of Catalysis for Renewable Energy Production and Usage. Those interested should apply via email with a letter of intent and CV sent to Dr. Laursen.


Dr. Siris LaursenThe Laursen Research Group focuses on understanding the fundamental controlling factors that govern the performance of heterogeneous catalytic materials. A combination of theoretical and experimental tools are used to obtain atomic, molecular, and macroscopic information concerning catalyst composition, structure, and performance. Specific focus is drawn to understanding composition-activity, structure-activity, and shape-activity relationships that are critical to advanced catalyst design. Our fundamental research is applied in-house to solve the immediate problems that concern society. Presently, we are focused upon developing non-noble metal solid catalysts, the efficient use of petroleum feedstock, transforming biomass into fuels and chemicals, and utilizing solar energy, H2O, and CO2 as a fuel. The Laursen Research Group operates from the atomic-level to bench-top reactor scale. Our research is uniquely fundamental as well as applied.

Laursen Lab Group

Summer Research in Knoxville, TN



Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Partially oxidized gold nanoparticles: A catalytic base-free system for the aerobic homocoupling of alkynes
    Boronat, Mercedes; Laursen, Siris; Leyva-Pérez, Antonio; Oliver-Meseguer, Judit; Combita, Diego; and Corma, Avelino; Journal of Catalysis 315 (2014) 6-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2014.04.003
  2. Making C–C Bonds with Gold: Identification of Selective Gold Sites for Homo- and Cross-Coupling Reactions between Iodobenzene and Alkynes
    Boronat, Mercedes; Combita, Diego; Concepcion, Patricia; Corma, Avelino; Garcia, Hermenegildo; Juarez, Raquel; Laursen, Siris; and de Dios Lopez-Castro, Juan; Journal of Physical Chemistry C 116 (2012) 24855–24867, DOI: 10.1021/jp307158
  3. First-Principles Design of Highly Active and Selective Catalysts for Phosgene-Free Synthesis of Aromatic Polyurethanes
    Laursen, Siris; Combita, Diego; Hungria, Ana B.; Boronat, Mercedes; Corma, Avelino; Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 51 (2012) 4190-4193, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201108849
  4. Strong Chemical Interactions Between Au and Off-Stoichiometric Defects on TiO2 as a Possible Source of Chemical Activity of Nanosized Au Supported on the Oxide
    Laursen, Siris; Linic, Suljo; Journal of Physical Chemistry C 113 (2009) 6689-6693, DOI: 10.1021/jp810603u
  5. Geometric and electronic characteristics of active sites on TiO2-supported Au nano-catalysts: insights from first principles
    Laursen, Siris; Linic, Suljo; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 11 (2009) 11006-11012, DOI: 10.1039/b912641d
  6. Oxidation catalysis by oxide-supported Au nanostructures: The role of supports and the effect of external conditions
    Laursen, Siris; Linic, Suljo; Physical Review Letters 97 (2006) 026101, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.026101
  7. Dynamic hybrid neural network model of an industrial fed-batch fermentation process to produce foreign protein
    Laursen, Siris; Webb, Daniel; Ramirez, W. Fred; Computers & Chemical Engineering 31 (2007) 163-170, DOI: 10.1016/j.compchemeng.2006.05.018

Conference Presentations

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications



Dr. Siris Laursen

Dr. Siris Laursen

Dr. Siris Laursen obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Laursen served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Technología Química in Valencia, Spain. Currently, at the University of Tennessee, he focuses on the development of catalytic materials, surface science, and chemical reaction thermodynamics and kinetics of molecules and materials. Contact Dr. Siris Laursen Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Students

Yang He

Yang He

Yang earned a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama. Currently, he is at the University of Tennessee pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, where he researches the catalytic upgrading of biomass to fuels and chemicals. Project

Samiksha Poudyal

Samiksha Poudyal

Originally from Kathmandu, Napel, Samiksha earned her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in 2012. She is a Ph.D. candiate at the University of Tennessee in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department. She began working in the lab in August 2012, and her current research focuses on photoelectrochemical processes for CO2 reduction. Project

Undergraduate Assistants & Alumni