Eric McFarland

Chemical Engineering


3331 Engineering Science Building II

University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

IEE Research Areas: 


2013-2015 Dow Chemical Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Queensland
1990-1995 NSF Presidential Young Investigator
1992 American Nuclear Society Special Award for Outstanding Advances in Nuclear Technology
1989-1991 Edgerton Assistant Professorship
1981-1982 NIH Graduate Fellowship
1980-1981 University of California Regent's Fellowship
1980 Graduated Summa Cum Laude
1980 Nuclear Engineering Department Citation for First in Department
1980 Graduated Summa Cum Laude
1979 Stephen Bechtel Scholarship for Top Engineering Junior

Research Description: 

Professor McFarland's research activities are focused on coupling fundamental processes at surfaces with novel material systems for the cost-effective production and use of energy and energy related chemicals. In particular, fundamental catalytic and molecular reaction phenomena on complex surfaces
are under investigation. The group develops and uses new experimental systems to investigate chemical transformations on surfaces of molten metals and strong electrolytes at high temperatures. Investigations of reactions of natural gas in molten metals and salts to produce hydrogen and solid carbon as a means of utilizing fossil resources for zero CO 2 fuel production are underway to improve our understanding of heterogeneous catalysts at high temperature on liquid surfaces.


BS: Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley (1980)
MS: Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley (1982)
PhD: Nuclear Engineering, MIT (1987)
MD: Harvard Medical School (1988)


Eric McFarland studied Nuclear Engineering and received B.S. and M.S. degrees from U.C. Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the Nuclear Engineering faculty at MIT where his research moved from nuclear reaction fundamentals to use of nuclear phenomena for non-destructive materials and chemical reaction analysis. In 1991 McFarland moved to the Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara where his research has been focused on catalysis for energy and fuel applications. He spent two years as the founding Director of the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation and Dow Chemical Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia. McFarland has always worked closely with industry and he has held senior executive and Board positions for several technology and chemical companies.