Chemical Engineering

Bradley Chmelka


Bradley Chmelka’s research in nanotechnology explores new materials for energy conversion (e.g., batteries, fuel cells). His research is motivated by the need to understand at a molecular level the fabrication and functions of new catalysts, adsorbents, porous ceramics, and heterogeneous polymers. These categories of technologically important materials are linked by their crucial dependencies on local order/disorder, which often governs macroscopic process or device performance. Chmelka is broadly interested in heterogeneous solids, whose sizable variations in local ordering and dynamics have pronounced influences on the adsorption, reaction, optical, or mechanical properties of these materials. The development and application of state-of-the-art techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy allow him to observe many common molecular features among these diverse systems, which provide new insights and design intuition for materials chemistry and engineering objectives.


Postdoctoral fellowship awards from the Division of Chemistry of NSF and from the NSF-NATO Program supported his research work in applications of NMR spectroscopy to inorganic and polymeric solids at Berkeley (1990) and at the Max-Plank-Institüt fur Polymerforschung in Mainz, Germany (1991). Chmelka joined the faculty at UC Santa Barbara in 1992 and is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and a faculty researcher at the Materials Research Lab.


1996 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Award
1993 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award
1992 NSF Division of Materials Research New Young Investigator Award


BS: Chemical Engineering, Arizona State University (1982)
PhD: Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley (1990)

IEE Research Areas