Ryan Lively, and David Flaherty Awarded Endowed Term DeLoach Professorships

Ryan Lively, and David Flaherty Awarded Endowed Term DeLoach Professorships

Lively and Flaherty

Professors Ryan Lively and David Flaherty have been awarded Thomas C. DeLoach Jr. Endowed Term Professorships in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE).

This term professorship will provide Lively and Flaherty with substantial financial support that he can deploy to explore innovative new research directions, develop new classroom teaching methods, or create new course materials. The professorship will enable him to explore new intellectual pursuits without needing to undertake the burden of acquiring federal or other funding to seed their ideas.

“Ryan’s career has grown on an outstanding trajectory,” said Professor Christopher W. Jones, the John F. Brock III School Chair of ChBE. “He is a creative researcher who demonstrates both great breadth and depth in his work on materials and separation processes.”

Research Areas

Lively’s research group focuses on the creation of novel adsorbent and membrane materials that can provide low energy solutions to some of the world’s most challenging and important separations. He has worked to improve adsorption-based gas separations and has led the experimental and conceptual development of organic solvent reverse osmosis separations. Innovations in Lively’s work span discovery of new materials, fundamental understanding of adsorption and mass-transfer mechanisms, and development of practical separation systems, including advances in materials manufacturing.

Lively joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 2013 as an assistant professor, and in the last nine years his research team has produced over 120 papers that have been cited more than 10,000 times according to Google Scholar. In 2020, Lively won of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Allan P. Colburn Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Institute.

Flaherty, currently a professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will join the faculty of Georgia Tech ChBE in summer 2023. previously at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research group advances sustainable manufacturing of chemicals and energy carriers by combining expertise in material synthesis, kinetic and spectroscopic methods, and mechanistic insight of chemistry at surfaces. Their research group discovered and explained catalytic phenomena that emerge at complex and dynamic interfaces. Seminal contributions include revealing catalytic consequences of liquids within microporous materials; explaining structure-function-property relationships for bimetallic catalysts; pioneering spectrokinetic investigations; establishing links between electrocatalysis and thermocatalysis; discovering solvent-derived surface redox mediators; and creating materials for selective hydrogenolysis and hydrodeoxygenation reactions.

Flaherty has received several recognitions for excellence and innovation in catalysis including the Eastman Foundation Distinguished Lecturer in Catalysis, Department of Energy Early Career Award, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He engages frequently with industry to translate the groups scientific achievements from the lab into practice

When Lively and Flaherty complete their terms, the positions may be awarded to other outstanding members of the ChBE community, enabling the impact of the DeLoach Faculty Endowment to achieve the broadest possible impact.

“I am thrilled to be honored with the DeLoach Professorship,” Lively said. “This will have a positive impact on our lab operations, students, and post-doctoral researchers by providing flexibility to explore new directions for future research topics.”

About the DeLoach Endowment Fund

Established in 2007 by Thomas C. DeLoach Jr., ChE 1969, the Thomas C. DeLoach Jr. Endowment Fund supports eminent teacher-scholars in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The fund was originally designed to support a faculty chair and was previously awarded to Professor Emeritus Dennis Hess. Earlier this year, DeLoach agreed to the School Chair’s request to amend the endowment fund, building in the flexibility for the fund to be used to support two professorships for a term of years.

“In this way, the DeLoach Endowment continues to provide unrestricted funding for ChBE’s exceptional faculty according to the highest needs of the School as we look to the future,” Jones said. “ChBE is fortunate to have the support of a large number of successful alumni and friends who have contributed to the School in support of our students and faculty,”

DeLoach serves as independent director of Asbury Automotive, Inc. He is a former executive of Mobil Corporation (“Mobil”) and served in various positions at Mobil from July 1969 until March 2000. From 1994 to 1998, DeLoach served as the Chief Financial Officer of Mobil, and then served the president of the Global Midstream Division from 1998 to 2000.  From May 2000 to July 2002, DeLoach was a member of management of a NASCAR racing team owned principally by Roger Penske. In September 2002, he formed PIT Instruction & Training, LLC, of which he is a principal and a managing member.


Ryan Lively
David Flaherty