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Faculty Profile


Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 2011.

The primary focus of my research is the development of detailed microkinetic models for complex reacting systems.

Our approach is to automate the discovery of reaction pathways, and the calculation of key parameters using ab initio quantum chemistry calculations. These kinetic models will link to multi-scale models of the reactor systems so that the overall process can be understood and optimized as a whole.

This approach towards microkinetic model development will contribute to two separate areas of catalytic materials research: the understanding of flame aerosol catalyst synthesis, and the optimization and understanding of catalytic processes, leading to catalyst design and discovery.


  • B.A., M.Eng. (Chemical Engineering) University of Cambridge, 2004
  • Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering) University of Cambridge, 2009
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008-2011

Research & Scholarship Interests

Development of detailed microkinetic models for complex reacting systems. Automating the discovery and calculation of reaction pathways.
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

  • American Chemical Society Doctoral New Investigator Award

Selected Publications

  • "Automatic Mechanism and Kinetic Model Generation for Gas and Solution-Phase Processes: A Perspective on Best Practices", R. Van de Vijver, N.M. Vandewiele, G.B. Marin, R.H. West, et al. Recent Advances, and Future Challenges, International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, 47(4), 2015, 199-231
  • “Predicting solvation energies for kinetic modeling.” A. Jalan, R. W. Ashcraft, R. H. West, and W. H. Green. Annu. Rep. Prog. Chem., Sect. C, 106, 211–258, (2010).doi:10.1039/b811056p
  • “A detailed model for the sintering of polydispersed nanoparticle agglomerates.” M. Sander, R. H. West, M. S. Celnik, and M. Kraft. Aerosol Sci. Technol., 43, 978–989, (2009).doi:10.1080/02786820903092416
  • “First-principles thermochemistry for the combustion of a TiCl4 and AlCl3 mixture.” R. Shirley, Y. Liu, T. S. Totton, R. H. West, and M. Kraft. J. Phys. Chem. A, 113, 13790–13796, (2009). doi:10.1021/jp905244w
  • “First-principles thermochemistry for silicon species in the decomposition of tetraethoxysilane.” W. Phadungsukanan, S. Shekar, R.A. Shirley, M. Sander, R.H. West, and M. Kraft. J. Phys. Chem. A, 113(31):9041—9049, (2009). doi:10.1021/jp905494s
  • “A detailed kinetic model for combustion synthesis of titania from TiCl4.” R.H. West, R.A. Shirley, M. Kraft, C.F. Goldsmith, and W.H. Green. Combust. Flame, 156, 1764–1770, (2009). doi:10.1016/j.combustflame.2009.04.011
  • “A statistical approach to develop a detailed soot growth model using PAH characteristics.” A. Raj, M.S. Celnik, R.A. Shirley, M. Sander, R.I.A. Patterson, R.H. West, and M. Kraft. Combust. Flame, 156, 896–913, (2009). doi:10.1016/j.combustflame.2009.01.005
  • “Modelling soot formation in a premixed flame using an aromatic-site soot model and an improved oxidation rate.” M.S. Celnik, M. Sander, A. Raj, R.H. West, and M. Kraft. Proc. Combust. Inst., 32, 639–646, (2009). doi:10.1016/j.proci.2008.06.062
  • “Aromatic site description of soot particles.” M.S. Celnik, A. Raj, R.H. West, R.I. Patterson, and M. Kraft. Combust. Flame, 155, 161–180, (2008).doi:10.1016/j.combustflame.2008.04.011
  • “Modelling gas-phase synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes on iron catalyst particles.” M.S. Celnik, R.H. West, N.M. Morgan, M. Kraft, A. Moisala, J. Wen, W.H. Green, and H. Richter. Carbon, 46, 422–433, (2008). doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2007.12.004
  • “Toward a comprehensive model of the synthesis of TiO2 particles from TiCl4.” R.H. West, M.S. Celnik, O.R. Inderwildi, M. Kraft, G.J.O. Beran, and W.H. Green. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 46, 6147–6156, (2007). doi:10.1021/ie0706414
  • “First-principles thermochemistry for the production of TiO2 from TiCl4.” R.H. West, G.J.O. Beran, W.H. Green, and M. Kraft. J. Phys. Chem. A, 111, 3560–3565, (2007).doi:10.1021/jp0661950
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

January 31, 2018

Richard West has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute. Richard has also recently hosted the 36th Regional Meeting on Kinetics and Dynamics...

August 18, 2016

ChE Assistant Professor Richard West was awarded a $260K NSF grant for "Resolving discrepancies in detailed kinetic models of combustion via automated transition state theory calculations".

May 26, 2016

Assistant Professor Richard West’s paper “Reaction Mechanism Generator: Automatic construction of chemical kinetic mechanisms” was ranked third in the category of Most Downloaded Computer Physics Communications Articles