Robert J. Madix

Robert J. Madix

  • Senior Research Fellow


Prof. Robert J. Madix obtained his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1961, where he was also a three-year letterman in varsity baseball. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965.

After a one year postdoc with Prof. Carl Wagner at the Max Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, he began his academic career at Stanford University where he remained until 2005.

He was chairman of the Department from 1982 – 1985. In 2005 he accepted the position of Senior Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University.

Prof. Madix has received a Humboldt Senior Scientist Prize, the Alpha Chi Sigma Award of the AIChE, the Paul Emmett Award of the North American Catalysis Society, the Adamson Award and the Gabor Somorjai Award of the American Chemical Society and the Albert Award of the International Institute of Precious Metals   He is a Fellow of both the American Chemical and American Vacuum Societies

With his students Prof. Madix pioneered the use of metallic single crystal surfaces as model catalyst surfaces for the determination of the kinetics and mechanism of complex catalytic oxidation processes using a combination of sophisticated experimental techniques.   Recently they have exploited advanced kinetic methods to directly relate these fundamental studies to operational catalysis.

He has contributed significantly to the understanding of partial oxidation reactions on silver surfaces, the dynamics and kinetics of adsorption and surface reactions and the atomic-scale imaging of reactive processes on surfaces. 

Contact Information

Office:107C Pierce Hall
Office Phone:(617) 496-9489

Primary Teaching Area


  • Fellow of the American Vacuum Society, May, 2018
  • David M. Mason Distinguished Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, May, 2018
  • Fellow of the American Chemical Society, August, 2010
  • Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Innovation in Catalysis, American Chemical Society, March 2010