UWs Maohong Fan Awarded Carell Family Energy and Petroleum Professorship

man at a computer
Maohong Fan, the SER professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, was recently awarded the Carrell Family Energy and Petroleum Professorship in the UW College of Engineering and Applied Science. Here, Fan works in his Advanced Coal Lab, located in the Energy Innovation Center. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming has awarded the Carrell Family Energy and Petroleum Professorship in the College of Engineering and Applied Science to Maohong Fan, whose research has helped chemical, environmental and energy companies overcome technical challenges.

“It is a great honor to hold the chaired professorship endowed by Mr. Larry Carrell in honor of his family,” says Fan, the School of Energy Resources (SER) professor of chemical and petroleum engineering. “I thank Mr. Carrell and his family members very much for their great support to the University of Wyoming. I highly appreciate it. Also, I would like to emphasize that the honor is the acknowledgement of all of us at UW in energy and petroleum engineering areas.”

The Carrell Family Energy and Petroleum Professorship supports UW faculty who are focused on research and education in energy and petroleum. Established in 2021 by Lawrence “Larry” Carrell, a UW alumnus with degrees in engineering, the professorship’s focus is to further UW’s goal in becoming a Tier-1 engineering institution.

Funding from the Carrell Family Energy and Petroleum Professorship will support Fan in his role as an international leader in the energy field. Fan is recognized internationally for his expertise in energy -- particularly in coal, clean energy generation, environmental protection, and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration, as well as chemical production.

“The vision and generosity of Larry Carrell in creating this professorship are so impressive,” says Cameron Wright, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. “Larry understands the need to help UW move to ever greater heights in both teaching and research in the areas of energy and petroleum engineering, and this professorship will make a big impact.”

Fan received his doctoral degrees in environmental engineering chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences; in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University; and in chemical engineering from Osaka University.

He has published peer-reviewed books, book chapters and papers in chemical and environmental engineering, energy and chemistry journals. He has served as an associate editor and board member for international chemical, energy and environmental journals. In 2014, Fan was appointed by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to serve on the National Coal Council, a federal advisory group.

For a number of years, Fan has been on the Web of Science’s global highly cited researcher list. The Web of Science recognizes pioneers in their fields, who produce multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and year. “Of the world’s scientists and social scientists, highly cited researchers truly are one in 1,000,” the Web of Science states.

Fan’s work has been supported by funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization and the United Nations Development Programme, as well as by industrial companies, including Siemens and Caterpillar.

Specifically, Fan’s research interests include catalysis and membrane separation of liquids; new materials used for conventional and unconventional energy production; value-added products made from coal; renewable energy; chemical and energy generation; computational chemistry; air pollution; produced water; and water quality.

“Wyoming has a great future in energy and petroleum engineering. However, there are many challenges in these areas,” Fan says. “I will work with my colleagues to overcome them by giving our best to benefit not only UW through education and research, but also the state’s economic development -- the driving force of the Carrell Family Energy and Petroleum Professorship.”

Endowed professorships such as this have a big impact on faculty at UW. An endowed professorship provides the support faculty need to perform research, educate a professional workforce and future leaders, and establish solid reputations in their fields. Endowed professorships also attract the most honored and esteemed educators to UW and give them incentive to stay.

Carrell earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1965 and his master’s degree in 1968. He worked for Chevron, Conoco and Luff Exploration Co., rising to vice president of operations. In 2003, Carrell founded his own oil and gas business, Carrell Enterprises Inc., based in Sheridan. He is now retired.


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