Dr. Susan M. Stagg-Williams

School of Engineering - Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Engineering University of Kansas Faculty Athletics Representative Director Undergraduate Studies, C&PE
Primary office:
Learned Hall
Room 4142
University of Kansas
1530 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


Susan M. Stagg-Williams is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU). Dr. Stagg-Williams joined KU as an Assistant Professor in August of 1999. She received her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1994 and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1999. She has served as KU’s Faculty Athletics Representative since January, 2013.

Dr. Stagg-Williams has an active research program specializing in production, characterization, and testing of alternative fuels. Current efforts focus on the conversion of biomass to higher value products such as biocrude and biochar. Dr. Stagg-Williams collaborates with faculty in environmental engineering to look at nutrient recovery from wet waste. She is also interested in correlating feedstock composition to fuel properties, and collaborates with faculty in mechanical engineering to predict thermochemical properties of biofuels as well as engine performance. Dr. Stagg-Williams is the co-originator and director of the KU Biodiesel Initiative which converts used cooking oil from the campus dining services into high quality transportation fuel.

Dr. Stagg-Williams’ is passionate about teaching and has led an effort in the School of Engineering to increase active learning in the classroom to improve student learning and retention. She has served as a Faculty Fellow for the Center for Teaching Excellence and continues to work with faculty across campus on course redesign and the use of technology to enhance learning.

Dr. Stagg-Williams has received awards for teaching, research, and service. She held the John E. and Winifred E. Sharp Teaching Professorship from 2014-2017 and was awarded the WiSTEMM Educator Award at the Central Exchange WiSTEMM (Women in STEMM) Stemmy Awards in 2014. She has been named the Mortar Board Outstanding Educator, a KU Bellows scholar, and received the Gould Award for Distinguished Service in Undergraduate Advising. For her efforts with the KU Biodiesel Initiative and the Kansas Biodiesel Consortium she has been honored with the Agent of Change Award, Presented to the Kansas Biodiesel Consortium by the Metropolitan Energy Center and Kansas City Regional and Central Kansas Clean Cities Coalition and the Steeples Service to Kansans Award.


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Oklahoma

B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan

Research Interests

  • Biofuels
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Biomass conversion
  • Bioidiesel
  • Reaction engineering
  • Catalysis

Selected Publications

Hable, R. D., Alimoradi, S. Sturm, B. S., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2019). Simultaneous solid and biocrude product transformations from the hydrothermal treatment of high pH-induced flocculated algae at varying Ca concentrations. Algal Research, 40, 101501.

Pickett, D. Depcik, C. & Stagg-Williams, S. (2018). Use of the Glycerin By-product from Biodiesel Production for Power Generation. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 140(10). DOI:10.1115/1.4039819

Fortier, M. P., Roberts, G. W., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Sturm, B. (2017). Determination of the life cycle climate change impacts of land use and albedo change in algal biofuel production. Algal Research, 28, 270-281. DOI:10.1016/j.algal.2017.06.009

Wentworth, T. Loya, S. Depcik, C. & Stagg-Williams, S. (2016). Experimental, detailed, and global kinetic reaction model for NO oxidation over platinum/alumina catalysts. Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis, 117(1), 15–34.

Sturm, B. Cook, E. Roberts, G. Hable, R. & Stagg-Williams, S. (2015). Hydroxyapatite Crystallization and Biocrude Oil Production from Wastewater-Cultivated Algae. In Water and Environment Federation: Opportunities for Energy and Resource Recovery in the Changing World. Washington, D.C.

Depcik, C. Jachuck, J. Jantz, D. Kiani, F. Mangus, M. Mattson, J. Peltier, E. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2015). Influence of Fuel Injection System and Engine-Timing Adjustments on Regulated Emissions from Four Biodiesel Fuels. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board,(2503), 20–28. DOI:10.3141/2503-03

Mangus, M. Kiani, F. Mattson, J. Tabakh, D. Petka, J. Depcik, C. Peltier, E. & Stagg-Williams, S. (2015). Investigating the compression ignition combustion of multiple biodiesel/ULSD (ultra-low sulfur diesel) blends via common-rail injection. Energ, 89, 932–945. DOI:10.1016/j.energy.2015.06.040

Roberts, G. W., Sturm, B. S., Hamdeh, U. Stanton, G. E., Rocha, A. Kinsella, T. L., Fortier, M. P., Sazdar, S. Detamore, M. S., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2015). Promoting catalysis and high-value product streams by in situ hydroxyapatite crystallization during hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae cultivated with reclaimed nutrients. Green Chemistry, 17(4), 2560-2569. DOI:10.1039/c5gc00187k

Mangus, M. D., Kiani, F. Mattson, J. Depcik, C. D., Peltier, E. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2014). Comparison of Neat Biodiesels and ULSD in an Optimized Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine with Electronically-Controlled Fuel Injection. Energy & Fuels, 28(6), 3849-3862.

Yun, J. Smith, V. H., deNoyelles, F. J., Roberts, G. W., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2014). Freshwater macroalgae as a biofuels feedstock: mini-review and assessment of their bioenergy potential. Industrial Biotechnology, 10(3), 212–220.

Fortier, M. P., Roberts, G. W., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Sturm, B. (2014). Life Cycle Assessment of Bio-Jet Fuel from Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Microalgae. Applied Energy , 122, 73-82.

Mahoney, E. G., Pusel, J. M., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Faraji, S. (2014). The Effects of Pt Addition to Supported Ni Catalysts on Dry (CO2) Reforming of Methane to Syngas. Journal of CO2 Utilization, 6, 40-44.

Depcik, C. Loya, S. Srinivasan, A. Wentworth, T. & Stagg-Williams, S. (2013). Adaptive Global Carbon Monoxide Kinetic Mechanism over Platinum/Alumina Catalysts. Catalysts, 3(2), 517-542.

Roberts, G. W., Fortier, M. P., Sturm, B. M., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2013). Promising Pathway for Algal Biofuels Through Wastewater Cultivation and Hydrothermal Conversion. Energy and Fuels, 27(2), 857–867.

Zbinden, M. D., Sturm, B. S., Nord, R. D., Carey, W. J., Moore, D. Shinogle, H. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2013). Pulsed electric field (PEF) as an intensification pretreatment for greener solvent lipid extraction from microalgae. Biotechnology and bioengineering, 110(6), 1605-15. DOI:10.1002/bit.24829

Zhao, L. Qiu, Z. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2013). Transesterification of canola oil catalyzed by nanopowder calcium oxide. Fuel Processing Technology, 114, 154-162.

Cecrle, E. Depcik, C. Duncan, A. Guo, J. Mangus, M. Peltier, E. Stagg-Williams, S. & Zhong, Y. (2012). An Investigation of the Effects of Biodiesel Feedstock on the Performance and Emissions of a Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine. Energy Fuels, 26(4), 2331–2341.

Duncan, A. M., Pavlicek, N. Depcik, C. D., Scurto, A. M., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2012). High-Pressure Viscosity of Soybean Oil-Based Biodiesel Blends with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel. Energy and Fuels, 26(11), 7023-7036.

Guo, J. Peltier, E. Carter, R. E., Krejci, A. J., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Depcik, C. (2012). Waste cooking oil biodiesel use in two off-road diesel engines. ISRN Renewable Energy, 2012, Article ID 130782. DOI:10.5402/2012/130782

Jiang, Q. Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2011). Oxygen Permeation Study and Improvement of Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2Ox Perovskite Ceramic Membranes. Journal of Membrane Science, 369(1-2), 174-181.

Faraji, S. Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2010). A comparative study of Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2Ox (BSCF) and SrFeCo0.5Ox (SFC) ceramic membranes used for syngas production. Appl. Catal. B: Environ, 99 (n.1-2), 118-126.

Roberts, G. W., & Stagg-Williams, S. (2010). Designer Solid Acid Catalysts for Producing Biofuels From Algal Oils. In AIChE 2010 National Meeting, Oral Presentation, Salt Lake City, UT.

Duncan, A. M., Ahosseini, A. McHenry, R. Depcik, C. D., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Scurto, A. M. (2010). High-Pressure Viscosity of Soybean Canola and Coconut Biodiesel. In AIChE Annual Meeting. Salt Lake City, UT.

Slade, D. A., Jiang, Q. Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2009). A comparison of mixed-conducting oxygen-permeable membranes for CO2 reforming. Catalysis Today, 148(3- 4), 290-297.

Faraji, S. Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2009). The Interaction between SrFeCo0.5Ox Ceramic Membranes and Pt/CeZrO2 during Syngas Production from Methane. Catalysis Letters, 131, 114-121.

Slade, D. A., Duncan, A. M., Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2007). Mixed-conducting oxygen permeable ceramic membranes for the carbon dioxide reforming of methane. Green Chemistry, 9, 577.

Jaumard, N. V., Richards, R. C., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Friis, E. A. (2007). Synthetic Lumbar Intervertebral Disc for Medical Education. Journal of Medical Devices, 1, 212.

Murphy, S. M., Slade, D. A., Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2006). Increasing Oxygen Flux through a Dense Oxygen Permeable Membrane by Photolithographic Patterning of Platinum. Journal of Membrane Science, 277, 94.

Jain, A. Zhao, X. Kjergaard, S. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2005). Effect of Aging Time and Calcination on the Preferential Oxidation of CO over Au Supported on Doped Ceria. Catalysis Letters, 104 (3-4), 191.

Daniels, J. J., Arther, A. R., Lee, B. L., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2005). Infrared Spectroscopy Study of CO and CO2 on Ce- and La- Promoted Pt/ZrO2 Catalysts. Catalysis Letters, 103(3-4), 169.

Pant, B. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2004). Investigation of the Stability of Pt/LaCoO3 During High Temperature Reforming Reactions. Catalysis Communications, 5, 305.

Wang, W. Stagg-Williams, S. M., Noronha, F. B., Mattos, L. V., & Passos, F. B. (2004). Partial Oxidation and Combined Reforming of Methane on Ce-Promoted Catalysts. Catalysis Today, 98(4), 553.

Jain, A. & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2004). Selective CO Oxidation over Au Supported on Mixed Oxides: Effect of Preparation on Activity and Selectivity. In Proceedings from the Fuel Cell Topical Conference as part of the Annual AIChE Meeting.

Noronha, F. B., Shamsi, A. Taylor, C. Fendley, E. C., Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Resasco, D. E. (2003). Catalytic Performance of Pt/ZrO2 and Pt/Ce-ZrO2 Catalysts on CO2 Reforming of CH4 coupled to Steam Reforming or under High Pressure. Catalysis Letters, 90(1), 13.

Stagg-Williams, S. M., Soares, R. Romero, E. Alvarez, W. E., & Resasco, D. E. (2000). Metal-Support Interaction on Pt/ZrO2 Catalysts for the CO2 Reforming of CH4. Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis, 130, 3663.

Stagg-Williams, S. M., Romeo, E. Padro, C. & Resasco, D. E. (1998). Effect of Promotion with Sn on Supported Pt Catalysts for CO2 Reforming of CH4. Journal of Catalysis, 178, 137.

Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Resasco, D. E. (1998). Effects of Promoters on Supported Pt Catalysts for CO2 Reforming of CH4. Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis, 119, 813.

Borgna, A. Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Resasco, D. E. (1998). Interference Phenomena in the EXAFS Spectra of Pt-Sn Bimetallic Catalysts. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 102(26), 5077.

Stagg-Williams, S. M., & Resasco, D. E. (1997). Effects of Promoters and Supports on Coke Formation on Pt Catalysts During CH4 Reforming with CO2. Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis, 111, 543.

Stagg-Williams, S. M., Querini, C. A., Alvarez, W. E., & Resasco, D. E. (1997). Isobutane Dehydrogenation on Pt-Sn/SiO2 Catalysts: Effect of Preparation Variables and Regeneration Treatments. Journal of Catalysis, 168, 75.

Selected Awards & Honors

Agent of Change Award
Metropolitan Energy Center and Kansas City Regional and Central
Kansas Clean Cities Coalition.

Henry E. Gould Award for Distinguished Service in Undergraduate Engineering Advising
University of Kansas School of Engineering

Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center Outstanding Woman Educator Award
University of Kansas

Bellows Scholar
University of Kansas School of Engineering

Outstanding Educator Award
Mortar Board National Honor Society, University of Kansas

Steeples Service to Kansans Award
University of Kansas

John E. and Winifred E. Sharp Teaching Professorship
University of Kansas School of Engineering
2014 - 2017

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Nick Reding's Final Thesis Defense | Monday, November 25th | 9:00 - 10:00AM | 1 Eaton (Dean's Conference Room)

Dylan Jantz's Comprehensive Exam Defense | Monday, November 25th | 10:45 - 11:45AM | 298 Slawson Hall

Ahmad Ghoulum's Final Thesis Defense | Friday, December 6th | 1:00 - 3:00PM | 298 Slawson Hall

CPE Weekly Graduate Seminar Schedule 

School of Engineering Events

KU Calendar