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- Dept of Chemical Engineering
- Faculty of Engineering Science
Dr Michail Stamatakis obtained his Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (Greece) in 2004, having graduated 1st in his cohort. He subsequently joined Rice University (Houston, Texas, USA) for his Doctoral studies which he completed under the advising of Prof. Kyriacos Zygourakis in 2009. From 2009 to 2012, Dr Stamatakis performed post-doctoral research at the University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware, USA) in the research group of Prof. Dionisios G. Vlachos. He joined UCL in August 2012, where he is currently a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering.
The energy problem, environmental and health issues, as well as the recent economic struggles pose major challenges for current societies. Catalysis can play a central role in overcoming such challenges with the discovery of materials that enable the efficient conversion of renewable feedstock into chemicals and fuels. Computational methods are currently used to aid in this process of discovery, and are envisioned to ultimately replace trial-and-error experimentation with top-up engineering approaches. Achieving this goal, however, necessitates the development of accurate methods that span a vast range of temporal and spatial scales.
Motivated by this need, the research efforts of my lab revolve around two main thrusts:
- The development of stochastic models that accurately capture reaction phenomena at the microscopic scale (for instance, on a single facet of a catalytic nanoparticle).
- The integration thereof into multiscale modelling frameworks, pertinent to realistic catalyst structures at the phenomenological scale (for instance, for a catalytic pellet, which involves a heterogeneous population of supported nanoparticles).
Such frameworks will allow for the prediction of catalyst performance metrics, such as activities and selectivities, from ab initio data, thereby establishing a rigorous connection between theory and experiment, and making possible the discovery and optimization of catalysts for applications of interest.
Fundamental knowledge from Thermodynamics, Physical Chemistry and Mathematics is of paramount importance for Chemical Engineering education. However, deep knowledge of the underlying physical and chemical processes is not enough. Critical thinking, creativity, and analytical skills are invaluable for today’s chemical engineer. In both industry and academia, there is a need for graduates who can handle the technical details of a scientific or practical problem while not losing sight of the “big-picture”, namely the background of the problem, its societal significance and its interrelations to other current challenges. I strongly believe that individuals with such a background will naturally emerge as leaders in our field.
My teaching approach aspires to develop students who set an example not only for scientific rigour and technical expertise, but also for leadership and ethical integrity. In the classroom, I encourage engagement by interacting with the students, and I make sure they have a firm understanding of the material taught. Technology is an integral part of my lecturing, as I make the most out of the excellent e-learning platforms available at UCL (AV Equipment, Moodle, LectureCast Recording, Opinio Polls). When mentoring students on Research or Technical Design projects I place high priority on their development of communication and leadership skills, while exposing them to scientific and engineering problems that are intimately linked with the grand challenges humanity is currently facing. Such a mentoring relationship has proven to be highly rewarding for me and the students. A recent MSc graduate mentioned in his thesis: “Michail, working with you was the best thing that happened to me in the course of my MSc at UCL. You were not just a supervisor to me, but a friend, mentor, and source of inspiration.”
|01-AUG-2012||Lecturer in Chemical Engineering||Department of Chemical Engineering||UCL, United Kingdom|
|18-MAY-2009 – 30-JUN-2012||Post-doctoral Researcher||Department of Chemical Engineering||University of Delaware, United States|
|2009||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy – Chemical Engineering||Rice University, Houston|
|2004||Dip.||Diploma – Chemical Engineering||National Technical University of Athens|