Matteo Monai

Matteo Monai

Assistant professor
Utrecht University

Matteo Monai



Contact information

David de Wiedgebouw – room 4.84

Email address

Key expertises

heterogeneous catalysis, spectroscopy, small molecule activation, catalyst preparation, structure-activity relationships

About me

I was born in Cividale del Friuli (Italy) in 1989. I obtained my PhD at the University of Trieste in 2017, under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Fornasiero. During my PhD, I was a visiting student at UPenn (USA), where I focused on advanced catalyst synthesis. I came to the ICC group at Utrecht University as a postdoc in the end of 2017, and started my tenure track in the same group in September 2021. In my free time I enjoy playing bass and guitar.

About my research

In my research, I focus on understanding reaction and (de)activation mechanisms in catalysis, using advanced synthesis methods and operando spectroscopy techniques. My interest lies in the development of better catalysts for waste stream valorization, showing enhanced selectivity and stability against poisoning in hydrogen production, biomass upgrading and small molecule activation reactions, such as methane oxidation, CO2 hydrogenation and steam/dry methane reforming. To push the boundaries imposed by classical scaling and structure-activity relationships, I want to use external stimuli such as stress and light to fine-tune the surface properties and steer catalysis towards desired products.