Amanda Simson

Professional Title: 
Job Title: 
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering


Amanda Simson


PH.D. EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING Columbia University, New York, NY, Conferred May 2013 Advisors: Dr. Marco Castaldi and Dr. Robert Farrauto Cumulative GPA of 3.85

M.S. EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING Columbia University, New York, NY, October 2008

B.S. AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, MINOR IN HISTORY University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, December 2002



• Increased responsibilities from purely research related to overseeing all research and production activities for the fuel processer. The fuel processor is responsible for catalytically converting commercial fuels like propane or natural gas to hydrogen for use in the solid oxide fuel cells.

• Developed company methods, procedures and documentation for the production of catalysts and created measures for quality control. Identified metrics for research and development of new catalysts and made changes to production catalyst based on performance, stability, and price data.

• Developed test set-ups and collected data for additional research projects such as: the impact of reformate composition on cell performance, the performance of different sulfur adsorbents, and the variations in composition of different commercial fuels.

• Created presentation materials for internal and external review.

• Supervised technicians on the synthesis of catalysts and maintenance and operation of equipment.

• Assisted in the transition from research and development to producing a commercial product Assisted in relocation of research and production facilities to Mt. Pleasant, PA.

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST Columbia University, Catalysis for a Sustainable Environment Laboratory, New York, NY, February 2013 – October 2013

• Developed new oxygen storage materials for the vehicle’s catalytic converter. Identified materials that had high oxygen adsorption/desorption rates and used XRD and RAMAN to understand their composition and structure.

• Developed research goals and presented updates to industrial partner at quarterly meetings at Columbia University and CBMM headquarters in Arexa, Brazil.

• Supervised undergraduate research assistants and PhD students and oversaw all laboratory activities including purchasing and maintenance of equipment and ensuring safe practices.

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT Columbia University, Combustion and Catalysis Laboratory (BASF sponsored student) New York, NY, January 2008 – February 2013

• Doctoral thesis work: Developed an energy-efficient process to convert ethanol and other transportation fuels to hydrogen. Independently created an automated chemical reactor to collect performance, kinetic, and durability data. Utilized advanced materials characterization including TEM, XPS, XRD, RAMAN, TPR/TPO, TGA, CO chemisorption and BET surface area to identify changes to the catalyst chemistry and morphology that occurred during run conditions.

• Masters thesis work: Evaluated commercial BASF catalysts for activity and stability during the conversion of ethanol to hydrogen. Completed energy efficiency analyses to determine optimum operating conditions.

GRADUATE STUDENT INTERN BASF, Iselin, NJ, July 2007 – December 2007

• Repurposed a chemical reactor to study the conversion of biofuels to hydrogen.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE LECTURER Columbia University, September 2010 – May 2013

• Prepared and presented lectures in Chemical Thermodynamics, Industrial Catalysis, and Pollution Control and Abatement.

TEACHING ASSISTANT AND GRADUATE STUDENT ADVISOR Columbia University, January 2008 – December 2011

• Provided teaching and curriculum support for undergraduate courses in: Particle Technology and Catalysis for Emissions Control, A Better Planet by Design (2 semesters)

FOUNDING MATH TEACHER Democracy Prep Charter School, Harlem, NY, June 2006 – July 2007

• Created and taught the school’s sixth grade math curriculum.

• Created a citywide competitive math league with over 25 participating middle school and high schools, currently in its ninth year of existence.

CHAIRMEN OF MATH DEPARTMENT, EIGHTH GRADE MATH TEACHER Jose de Diego Middle School, Miami, FL, May 2003 – June 2005

• Served as the chair of a 12-person department, drafting budgets, assisting in hiring decisions, and providing mentoring and curriculum support to teachers.

• Students achieved 2.5 years of growth in math skills per year.



• Simson, A., Farrauto, R., Castaldi, M., “Changes in carbon formation and catalyst chemistry and morphology during steam reforming of E85” In preparation

• Simson, A., Isenberg, M., “Sulfur removal system for commercial fuels” Patent pending

• Simson, A., Roark, K. Farrauto, R., “Niobium containing oxygen storage materials for the three way catalyst” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental Volume 158-159, October 2014, Pages 106-111

• Simson, A., Farrauto, R., Castaldi, M. “Steam reforming of ethanol/gasoline mixtures: Deactivation, regeneration and stable performance” Applied Catalysts B: Environmental Volume 106 Issues 3-4, August 2011, Pages 295-303

• Simson, A. Waterman, E., Farrauto, R., Castaldi, M. “Kinetic and Process study for ethanol reforming using a Pt/Rh Washcoated monolith catalyst” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental Volume 89, Issues 1-2, June 2009, Pages 58-64 SELECTED ORAL PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLIC LECTURES

• “Niobium containing ceria-zirconia complexes for oxygen storage” North American Catalysis Society Meeting, June 6, 2013, Detroit, MI

• “Steam reforming of ethanol/gasoline mixtures: Deactivation, regeneration and stable performance” American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, October 19, 2012, Minneapolis, MN

• “The impact of sulfur during steam reforming of ethanol” American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, June 8, 2010, Boston, MA

• “Conversion of commercial biofuels to hydrogen using a commercial BASF catalyst” BASF monthly lecture series, November 11, 2011, Iselin, NJ.

• “Fuel cells and other ways to get off the grid” public lecture at the Trash Pony science series. January 30, 2010, Brooklyn, NY AWARDS

• North American Catalysis Society Kokes Award, 2009, 2011, 2013

• Best Paper Award, 2010 American Chemical Society Meeting, Environmental Chemistry

• International Precious Metal Institute Graduate Student Award, 2009

• First place in NASA National Aviation Design Competition, 2002 • Recipient of NASA Space Grant Fellowship, 2000 ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

• Participant and scholarship winner at the ICDD’s Advanced Methods in XRD clinic, 2013.

• Volunteer scientist on the Oceanus research boat after Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 2010.

• Founder and curator of FRED Talks (, a monthly community lecture series on science and the arts, 2010-current. • Co-op engineer at Boeing on the Delta IV rocket design team, 2001.

06516 New Haven , CT
United States
Phone: 786 525 4756
Connecticut US