Dr. Rachel Getman was recently promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Clemson. This is an important milestone for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as she is the first female faculty member to receive tenure in the department, and we expect many more to follow in her footsteps.
Women are generally underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields at universities across the nation, and Clemson is no exception. To address this issue, Clemson sought and received a $3.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation titled “ADVANCE: Increasing Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers. With help from this grant and other initiatives, Clemson hopes to retain and increase the number of women and minority faculty members in science and technology fields.
Professor Getman has been a wonderful testament to the value and impact that women and minorities can have in the STEM fields. Since joining the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Professor Getman has been awarded over a million dollars in research grants from the Department of Energy (EFRC) and the National Science Foundation (DMREF). In 2016, she received the prestigious National Science Foundation Early CAREER Faculty Award and the College of Engineering and Science Dean’s Faculty Fellow Award. Getman is also the Area Chair of the Catalysis Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and was responsible for organizing 43 oral presentation sessions at the annual meeting in San Francisco. She has been and currently acts as a great mentor to her graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, which has resulted in several of these students either authoring or being acknowledged in peer-reviewed journal articles.
Dr. Getman’s research group specializes in using quantum and classical chemical modeling to understand chemical reaction pathways on solid catalysts. Specific areas of interest include understanding catalyst function, deriving reaction mechanisms, and optimizing catalyst composition using high throughput screening. The group is especially interested in catalysts that employ transition metal active sites, such as extended metal surfaces, metal nanoparticles, and biomimetic metal containing systems. They use molecular modeling to understand how these materials catalyze specific reactions and then derive catalyst-property relationships in order to predict optimal catalyst designs.
The Getman Research Group currently focuses on understanding both gas and aqueous phase catalysis, with an interest in developing catalysts for biomass reforming, water purification, exhaust gas treatment, and other applications.