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Scholar Spotlight: Matthew Liu

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2023

Those who attended ARCS NCC’s Annual Meeting heard Matthew give a fascinating presentation on his lab’s experiments with electrochemical stripping for nitrogen recovery from water polluted by pesticide run-off, using last year’s algal blooms and fish die-offs around the San Francisco Bay as examples. Matthew earned his B.S. in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley and interned at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he studied the chemical kinetics of aerosol oxidation processes. At Stanford he has been a NASA space technology research fellow and recipient of the Electrochemical Society’s student award in industrial electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering. Currently he is applying principles of electrochemical engineering to advance the studies of electrocatalytic nitrate reduction, reaction microenvironments, reactive separation processes, and resource recovery from wastewater. 

Dinosaurs initially hooked Matthew on science; he wanted to be a paleontologist! But his fascination kept expanding and chemistry+ became his focus. As a young teenager, books about science heroes like Einstein were his favorite reads. Passionate about both teaching and research, Matthew aims to be a professor of chemical engineering and contribute to making transformative impacts in the field of electrocatalysis.  
When asked how his work can help make the future better, Matthew observed that human activity has profoundly changed the way of nature with regard to water, food security, energy security, and more. And because science is built on generational understanding, we continue to move forward -- and he sees hope.

On a personal note, Matthew has a passion for sports, baseball in particular, talent at the piano, loves hiking on the expansive Stanford campus, and when cooking, he has a palate for Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese dishes.