Dante Simonetti is an Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at UCLA who studies alternative energy, catalytic reaction synthesis, and hydrocarbon purification. He was introduced to the concept of hydrogen as a green and clean fuel for transportation in the summer of 2003 during his first year of graduate school. After finishing his Ph.D. thesis and spending four years working in industry on absorbents development, he found himself back in academia at UCLA with an idea on how to generate hydrogen from carbon-based resources while simultaneously absorbing CO2, thereby preventing its emission into the atmosphere.
His 2016 Hellman Fellows award supported the development of this idea, providing critical funding for three student researchers. This work led to three peer-reviewed journal publications, two Master’s theses, and one PhD thesis. It also served as a critical pillar for Dr. Simonetti’s advancement to tenure. He has since expanded this work broadly into the area of CO2 emissions and established himself as a presence in the re-emerging hydrogen research field.