Professor Juan Bravo-Suárez, PhD

School of Engineering - Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Learned Hall, 4151
The University of Kansas
1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
Second office:
No Address, LSRL-C-145F



  • University of Colombia, Chemical Engineering, B.S. 1997
  • Virginia Polytech Institute State University, Chemical Engineering, Visiting Scholar 2000-2003
  • University of Santander, Colombia, Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. 2004
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, Postdoc Researcher 2004-2008
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Postdoc Fellow 2008-2009
  • The University of Kansas, Research Associate 2009-2013
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company, Research Scientist 2013-2014

Research Summary

Our group focuses on the development of catalytic materials for the conversion of renewable biomass derived feedstocks, abundant natural gas components, and for environmental applications. We combine the preparation of controlled nanomaterials with experimental kinetics studies and in situ characterization of surface species at reaction conditions to gain fundamental knowledge on reaction pathways, mechanism, and catalyst requirements, information required for the development of more active and selective new and improved catalysts.

Main research topis: Advanced Catalyst, Synthesis In Situ Spectroscopy and Spectrokinetics, Reaction Kinetics, Biomass and Alternative Feedstock Conversion, and Fuels and Chemicals

Teaching Interests

  • Mass Transfer, Chemical Engineering Laboratory, Chemical Engineering Kinetics & Reactor Design, Catalysis, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

Research Interests

  • Catalysis
  • Fuels
  • Chemicals
  • Spectroscopy
  • Kinetics
  • Materials
  • Biomass
  • Natural gas
  • Carbon dioxide

Selected Publications

Srinivasan, Priya, Bhagyesha Patil, Hongda Zhu, and Juan J Bravo-Suarez. “Application of Modulation Excitation - Phase Sensitive Detection -  DRIFTS for in Situ/Operando Characterization of Heterogeneous Catalysts.” Other. Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, 2019.
Patil, Bhagyesha, Priya Srinivasan, Hongda Zhu, Ed Atchison, and Juan J Bravo-Suarez. “Design, Modelling, and Applications of a Low Void-Volume in Situ Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopic Reaction Cell for Transient Catalytic Studies.” Other. Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, 2019.
Srinivasan, Priya, K. Khivantsev, J. Tengco, Hongda Zhu, and Juan J Bravo-Suarez. “Enhanced Ethanol Dehydration on Gamma-Al2O3 Supported Cobalt Catalyst.” Other. Journal of Catalysis, 2019.
Bravo Suarez, Juan J, and Priya D. Srinivasan. “Design Characteristics of in Situ and Operando UV-Visible and Vibrational Spectroscopic Reaction Cells for Heterogeneous Catalysis.” Reviews. Catalysis Reviews Science and Engineering, 2017.

Selected Grants

CAREER: Spectrokinetic Studies for Understanding Metal-Support Interactions in Catalytic Oxidation of Ethanol. 15508. National Science Foundation. $500000.00. (8/1/2019 - 7/31/2024). Federal. Status: Funded
In Situ and Operando Spectrokinetic Studies of Tungsten Based Catalysts for Olefin Metathesis. ACS-PRF. $100000.00. Submitted 2/20/2015 (9/1/2017 - 12/31/2019). Foundation. Status: Funded
Catalysis for Renewables: Applications, Fundamentals and Technologies (CRAFT). NSF. $4000000.00. Submitted 2/20/2015. Federal. Status: Funded

Selected Awards & Honors

National Science Foundation
2019 - 2024
ACS-PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award
American Chemical Society
2017 - 2020
2018 Miller Scholar Award
The University of Kansas, School of Engineering

Upcoming Events and Deadlines
  • CPE Spring 2021 Virtual Awards Ceremony | Saturday, May 8th | Starts @ 2:00PM | Zoom Meeting ID: 948 2295 8118 | Event Flyer | LiveStream available @
  • 2021 Virtual School of Engineering Recognition Ceremony Set for May 15--- KU Engineering will honor graduates from Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 with a special video recognition ceremony that will go live on the School of Engineering YouTube channel on Saturday, May 15
  • Events honoring KU graduates will take place May 16 for the Class of 2021 and May 23 for the Class of 2020 - Learn more @

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