Pennsylvania State University
Dr. McCrum is an Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, having joined Clarkson University in 2020. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in 2012 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Penn State in 2017. He then was a postdoctoral fellow at Leiden University in the Netherlands from 2017-2020.
Dr. McCrum is interested in electrochemistry, surface science, and catalysis for applications including energy conversion and storage, (waste)water treatment, and chemical production.
The dynamic surface structure and composition of a catalyst dictate its performance – controlling reaction activity and selectivity as well as catalyst stability under reaction conditions. In the electrochemical environment, the presence of solvent, ions, and electric fields can further alter catalyst and electrode material performance. The McCrum Research group uses a combination of detailed experiments on well-defined materials with advanced atomistic-scale computational modeling (quantum chemistry) to understand catalysis and electrochemistry at a fundamental level. With this fundamental understanding at the catalyst/environment or electrode/electrolyte interface, we can predictively design materials with higher activity, selectivity, and stability to improve the performance and lower the cost of batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, and chemical processes.
Current areas of research include: 1) the design and optimization of bifunctional catalyst materials, 2) understanding the behavior of solvent and ions at the electrode/electrolyte interface, and 3) controlling activity and selectivity in organic electrochemistry.