Michael Tsapatsis, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a specialist in materials for separations, catalysis, and reaction engineering, is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering. He is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and holds a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
Tsapatsis is an expert in molecular sieve membrane, adsorbent and catalyst synthesis. His group was one of the first to succeed in designing hierarchical porous materials, incorporating different levels of porosity to accommodate different functions. For example, such materials maximize molecular transport speeds on the way to more selective pores where chemical transformations take place. The group also pioneered fabrication of ultra-thin molecular sieve membranes based on two-dimensional porous materials. These membranes can separate molecules based on small differences in size and shape with unprecedented selectivity and flux.
He comes to Johns Hopkins from the University of Minnesota, where he held the Amundson Chair and the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Tsapatsis has a diploma in chemical engineering from the University of Patras, Greece, and earned both his MS and PhD in chemical engineering under the supervision of George R. Gavalas at the California Institute of Technology, where he also completed post-doctoral training with Mark E. Davis. He joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1994, and moved to the University of Minnesota in 2003. In addition to his election to the NAE (2015), Tsapatsis’ recent recognitions include the Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association and the Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), both in 2013.