Wilson Smith is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a Senior Research Scientist and Distinguished Member of the Research Staff (DMRS) in the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). His research focuses on electrochemical approaches to the capture and conversion of atmospheric CO2.
His group uses operando characterization and computational modeling techniques to understand mechanistic process that occur at electrocatalyst and membrane surfaces and interfaces during electrolysis. In addition, his team works on reactor engineering, process intensification and process system engineering of electrochemical systems in order to identify potential challenges that may arise as these technologies scale up to industrial levels. By tying together fundamental and applied aspects of electrochemistry, their aim is to accelerate the technological development of renewable energy powered systems to decarbonize the chemical industry and permanently remove atmospheric CO2.
Wilson earned his B.Sc. in Physics from American University and his PhD in Physics from the University of Georgia, followed by a postdoctoral research appointment at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. Following this, he initiated his independent research career at the Delft University of Technology as an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, before coming to CU Boulder and NREL in 2019.