Susannah Scott

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Chair of Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainability

Dr. Scott received her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Iowa State University, under the direction of Jim Espenson and Andreja Bakac, on the activation of O2 and transition metal-catalyzed oxidation mechanisms. She was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow with Jean-Marie Basset at the Institut de recherches sur la catalyse (CNRS) in Lyon, France, before joining the faculty of the University of Ottawa (Canada) where she was named a Canada Research Chair in 2001. In 2003, she moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she currently holds the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Sustainable Catalysis.

She has joint faculty appointments as a Distinguished Professor in both Chemical Engineering and in Chemistry & Biochemistry.  She is an Associate Editor for ACS Catalysis, a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science, and a member of Scientific Advisory Boards at the Fritz Haber Institute, SUNCAT, SSRL, NREL, JBEI, Ames Lab, and PNNL. Her research interests include the design of heterogeneous catalysts with well-defined active sites for the efficient conversion of conventional and new feedstocks, as well as environmental catalysts to promote air and water quality. She develops new kinetic and spectroscopic methods to probe reaction mechanisms. In 2014, she founded the Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainable Manufacturing and Product Design at UC Santa Barbara, where she now leads an interdisciplinary program in research and education involving faculty from chemistry, chemical engineering, materials, environmental science, industrial ecology, technology management, political science, economics, and science communication.

Research Areas

Inorganic & Organometallic
Materials Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Molecular Design & Synthesis
Energy, Catalysis & Green Chemistry


2020 Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Catalysis
2019 Eastman Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley
2019 Boulder Scientific Lecturer, Colorado State University
2019 Kurt Wohl Memorial Lecturer, University of Delaware
2018 ChangJiang Visiting International Professor, Dalian University of Technology
2018 John van Geuns Lecturer, University of Amsterdam
2017 Grace Hopper Distinguished Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania
2017 Vladimir N. Ipatieff Lectureship in Catalysis, Northwestern University
2016 Visiting International Professorship, Université de Lille
2012 Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2008 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
2001-2002 Canada Research Chair in Catalyst Design
2001 Miller Visiting Research Professorship, University of California, Berkeley
2001-2002 Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surface Organometallic Catalyst Design
2000 YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Information Technology and Science)
1999 Premier’s Research Excellence Award (Ontario)
1999 University of Ottawa Young Researcher of the Year Award
1998, 1999 Union Carbide Innovation Recognition Award
1997 Cottrell Scholar, Research Corporation
1994-1999 NSERC Women’s Faculty Award
1994 John Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry
1992-1994 NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship
1991 Research Excellence Award, Iowa State University
1989 Teaching Excellence Award, Iowa State University
1987-1991 Centennial Post-graduate Scholarship, NSERC
1987 Gold Medal in Chemistry, University of Alberta