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Joseph Holles


Joseph Holles is a Professor of Chemical Engineering.  His research focus is nanoscale materials design and synthesis for catalytic applications with an emphasis on structure/property relationships.  This work has demonstrated a direct relationship between computationally predictable hydrogen adsorption strength and ethylene hydrogenation reactivity for pseudomorphic overlayer bimetallic catalysts.  These overlayer bimetallic catalysts were subsequently used for multiple applications of improving catalyst activity where either or both reactant or product binding strength issues were limiting activity.  Current work is focused on the combination of overlayer catalysts with mixed-metal oxide supports for the dry reforming of methane.  He has also developed and presented scholarly work in the area of mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students to prepare them for and increase their research productivity.  Currently he is an Associate Editor for Chemical Engineering Education.  His hobby includes woodworking and he has received multiple awards for his projects.

Honors College Clay Fellow: Featured Course

Introduction to Research Methods in STEM

Wondering how to get started on the research for your honor’s thesis? No idea what you research interests are? No clue how to find a research mentor? Confused by when and where to complete the laboratory research? No idea what to do in the research laboratory? Let’s start working on these hurdles one at a time. This course provides a general approach to scientific research and graduate school preparation. Topics will include: 1) finding your research interests and a research mentor, 2) reading journal articles, and writing journal articles and a research funding proposal, 3) literature search skills, 4) using the scientific method for approaching a research problem and developing a thesis and research methodology, 5) research ethics, 6) delivering a research presentation, 7) other professional research skills, and 8) “What is graduate school?” and selecting and applying for graduate schools. This course is designed for you to take the semester before you go into the lab and start your research. Learn the above skills in advance and make your laboratory research time productive and fulfilling.

Undergraduate research is a known High Impact Practice (HIP) that helps recruit and retain students from under-represented groups as well has high attaining students.  However, these students (and their mentors such as parents) don’t have the experience navigating the process of finding an undergraduate research mentor to begin a project.  These same hurdles are often encountered by other Honor’s students and this hurdle is a large reason why many students leave the program during their senior.  The goal of this course is to group mentor students over this hurdle and lead to successful research projects and completion of the Honor’s Program.

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The Honors College

Guthrie House

1200 Ivinson St.

Laramie, WY 82070

Phone: 307-766-4110

Fax: 307-766-4298


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