Welcome to the Kenis Group!

Reactor and reaction engineering for electrochemical manufacturing and nanomaterial discovery

We seek to address critical topics in advanced manufacturing, such as decarbonization of chemical manufacturing and autonomous materials discovery, using reactor and reaction engineering approaches. 



Research Opportunities in the Kenis Group

Postdoctoral Candidates

Please direct communications to Prof. Kenis.



PhD Applicants

We look forward to welcoming our newest cohort to campus in the fall!
Please note that ChBE at UIUC does NOT admit PhD students directly to labs. If you would like to work with us, you must apply to the department and be admitted, then go through the lab selection process. For more information on applying to the department, please visit the ChBE website or contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.
After the new first-year cohort arrives on campus and begins the advisor selection process, we will schedule a lab open house for all interested students. If you remain interested in working with us following the open house, you will set up individual meetings with both lab members and Prof. Kenis separately. Finally, you will submit your advisor rankings to the department and be assigned a lab.




We are not currently hiring undergraduate researchers. We encourage you to check out the Schoetz lab (ChBE), Rodríguez-López lab (Chem), Braun lab (MatSE), and Su lab (ChBE) for related research.


Electrosynthesis of Fuels and Chemicals

Our group engineers reactors and reactions for many electrochemical processes, such as CO2 and CO reduction to commodity chemicals and biomass and ammonia electrooxidation. We aim to enhance the scalability of these processes (via activity, efficiency, conversion, and durability) for the synthesis of chemicals and fuels at industrial scales.


Researchers in Electrosynthesis


Autonomous Synthesis of Materials

Materials such as quantum dots are utilized in devices as ubiquitous as televisions; however, approaches to improve their properties are hindered by large parameter spaces and inconsistencies in synthesis methods. Our work in this area primarily focuses on the use of autonomous reactors to reproducibly explore large parameter spaces and generate fundamental insights on materials characterization and synthesis.


Researchers in Autonomous Synthesis


Membranes for CO2 Capture and Water Electrolyzers

Development of low-cost, scalable membranes is critical for a variety of applications. Here, we investigate fabrication of novel membranes capable of either low-energy capture and concentration of CO2 or highly efficient alkaline water electrolysis.


Researchers in Membranes


A Brief History of Research in the Kenis Group

The Kenis Research Group at Illinois has operated on the cutting edge of multidisciplinary innovations in process technology and chemical production for over 20 years.

We began studying microreactors and microfluidic tools for applications in biology, and from there expanded into microfluidic fuel cells.

This led to a seminal paper on flow reactors for CO2 electrolysis, and over a decade of research in CO2 reduction and utilization. Simultaneously, we explored the application of these flow reactors for quantum dot synthesis.

Since 2019, we have expanded our focus to include other electrolysis processes as well as autonomous materials synthesis and characterization.

Want to know more?

Information on open positions (graduate, undergraduate, and postdoctoral) can be found on our research page.

A full list of the group's publications can be found on our publications page.

Our lab's resources (instrumentation, code, etc.) can be found on the resources page.

To learn about who we are as a lab, please refer to the fun page.

For inquiries not covered by the information on the website, please email us!