Dr. Benjamin Snyder will join the Illinois faculty in January 2023 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.
Ben is currently an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Professor Jeffrey Long at the University of California Berkeley. Previously, he earned dual degrees – a BS in chemistry and a BA in mathematics – at the University of Rochester in 2012 and went on to complete his PhD in inorganic chemistry in 2018 with Professor Edward Solomon at Stanford University where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Stanford Graduate Fellow.
Ben’s area of research lies at the mutual intersection of physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and materials chemistry.
“I am interested in using advanced spectroscopic methods to understand the synthesis, reactivity, and physical properties of transition metal active sites in porous materials,” Ben said.
His focus will be on framework materials – for example, zeolites and metal-organic frameworks – relevant to catalysis, energy conversion, and environmental remediation.
“This is an exciting time for my field, as we are positioned to address some of society’s most pressing challenges. It’s a dream come true to be working on these big problems with the remarkable students, postdocs, and faculty at Illinois,” Ben said.
Ben said the most exciting facet of this career is mentorship.
“My primary goal is to serve as coach and cheerleader for members of my team. Fostering scientific excellence is a big part of that. But so is creating an environment that promotes growth, well-being, and a sense of belonging,” Ben said.
He will be visiting campus during the fall semester. Cathy Murphy, Head of the Department of Chemistry, said incoming first-year graduate students can meet with Ben virtually, or in person when he visits this fall, to learn about his research program.
"We are so happy that Ben is joining us. We are getting his new lab ready and will do everything we can to make sure he gets off to an excellent start,” Murphy said.
Outside of research, Ben has a few hobbies he has kept up with for many years – playing music, lifting weights, and rock climbing.
“I’m really looking forward to exploring the music and climbing scenes in Champaign-Urbana,” he said. “The area has a lot to offer. New people, new ideas, new science – I’m so excited to see what the future holds for me at Illinois.”