Robert J. Madix

Senior Research Fellow

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois

Chemical Engineering

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, and 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 of the American Chemical Society and the Albert Award of the International Institute of Precious Metals.

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.

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.

Professional Honors

  • Stanford University Ford Foundation Fellow, 1969 - 1972.
  • Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Munich, 1978.
  • Distinguished Professor Lectureship, University of Texas, Austin, Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, August 1980.
  • Irving Langmuir Distinguished Lectureship Award, Colloid and Surface Science Division of the American Chemical Society, August 1981.
  • Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis, Catalysis Society of North America, 1983.
  • Peter Debye Lectureship, Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, October 1985.
  • George C. A. Schuit Lectureship, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, October 1990.
  • Alpha Chi Sigma Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1990.
  • Eyring Lectureship in Chemistry, Arizona State University, 1990.
  • Barnett F. Dodge Lectureship, Yale University, October 1996.
  • The Walter Robb Distinguished Lecture Series, The Pennsylvania State University, November 1996.
  • Arthur Adamson Award in Surface Chemistry, American Chemical Society, April 1997.
  • Henry J. Albert Award, International Precious Metals Institute, June 1997.
  • Shah Distinguished Lectureship, University of Florida, Feb. 2009

Professional Activities

  • Secretary, California Catalysis Society, 1968-70.
  • Executive Board, Surface Science Division of the American Vacuum Society, 1972-73, 1977-78.
  • Editorial Board - International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, 1975-85.
  • Physical Electronics Conference Committee, 1976-79.
  • National Academy of Sciences, National Bureau of Standards Review Panel 1979-82.
  • AFOSR Chemical Sciences Research Review Panel 1981-85.
  • Editorial Board - Langmuir 1984-87.
  • Editorial Board - J. Phys. Chem. 1985-88.
  • Editorial Board - J. Mol. Cat. 1985-Present.
  • Associate Editor - Catalysis Reviews 1986-Present.
  • Editorial Board - Catalysis Letters 1992-2000
  • Editorial Board - Chemical Reaction Intermediates, 1994 -2000
  • Co-organizer, ACS Biennial Inorganic Chemistry Symposium, July, 1987.
  • Organizer, Garvan Symposium, American Chemical Society, 1991.
  • Vice-Chairman, Gordon Conference on Reactions on Surfaces, 1993.
  • Chairman, ACS Symposium on Molecular Processes on Surfaces, Spring 1994.
  • Co-Chairman, The 68th Annual Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, Catalysis Symposium, June 1994.
  • Chairman, Gordon Conference on Reactions on Surfaces, 1995.


  • B. F. Goodrich; General Motors Research; ICI Chemicals, Runcorn, England; Monsanto Chemical, St. Louis, MO; Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX

Major University Services

  • Co-Founder and Administrative Policy Board Member of the Stanford Coffee House, 1966-69.
  • Administration of the Ford Foundation Grant for Innovation in Education at Stanford; University Fellows Executive Committee, 1969-70.
  • Co-Founder and Policy Board Member of the Student Center for Innovation in Research and Education at Stanford. 1970.
  • Academic Senator, Stanford University, 1982-84.
  • Chairman, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 1983-87.