Heather Mayes

  • Program Years: 2011-2015
  • Academic Institution: Northwestern University
  • Field of Study: Chemical Engineering
  • Academic Advisor: Linda Broadbelt
  • Practicum(s):
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2012)
  • Degree(s):
    Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2015
    B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007

Current Status

  • Status: Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Research Area: Chemical Engineering


* = equal contributors

Lee, S.; Mayes, H. B.; Swanson, J. M. J.; Voth, G. A. "The Origin of Coupled Chloride and Proton Transport in a Cl-/H+ Antiporter." J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 14923-14930.

Mayes, H. B.; Knott, B. C.; Broadbelt, L. J.; Crowley, M.F.; Stahlberg, J.; Beckham, G. T. "Who's On Base? Revealing the catalytic mechanism of inverting Family 6 glycoside hydrolyses." Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 5955-5968.

Zhou, X; Mayes, H.B.; Broadbelt, L.J.; Nolte, M.W.; and Shanks, B.H. "Fast Pyrolysis of Glucose-Based Carbohydrates with Added NaCl Part 2: Validation and Evaluation of the Mechanistic Model." AIChE J. 2016, 62(3), 778-791.

Zhou, X; Mayes, H.B.; Broadbelt, L.J.; Nolte, M.W.; and Shanks, B.H. "Fast Pyrolysis of Glucose-Based Carbohydrates with Added NaCl Part 1: Experiments and Development of a Mechanistic Model." AIChE J. 2016, 62(3), 766-777.

Payne, C. M.*; Knott, B. C.*; Mayes, H. B.*; Hansson, H.; Himmel, M. E.; Sandgren, M.; Stahlberg, J.; Beckham, G. T. "Fungal Cellulases." Chem. Rev., 2015, 115, 1308-1448.

Mayes, H. B., Nolte, M. W., Beckham, G. T., Shanks, B. H., and Broadbelt, L. J. "The Alpha-Bet(a) of Salty Glucose Pyrolysis: Computational Investigations Reveal Carbohydrate Pyrolysis Catalytic Action by Sodium Ions," ACS Catal., 2015, 192-202.

Zhou, X.; Nolte, M. W.; Mayes, H. B.; Shanks, B. H.; Broadbelt, L. J. "Experimental and Mechanistic Modeling of Fast Pyrolysis of Neat Glucose-Based Carbohydrates. 1. Experiments and Development of a Mechanistic Model." Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2014, 53, 13274-13289. ACS Editors' Choice article.

Mayes, H.B.; Nolte, M.W.; Beckham, G.T.; Shanks, B.H.; Broadbelt, L.J. "The Alpha-Bet(a) of Glucose Pyrolysis: Computational and Experimental Investigations of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural and Levoglucosan Formation Reveal Implications for Cellulose Pyrolysis," ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2014, 2(6), 1461-1473. ACS Editors' Choice article.

Mayes, H.B.; Tian, J.; Nolte, M.W.; Shanks, B.H.; Beckham, G.T.; Gnanakaran, S.; Broadbelt, L.J. "Sodium Ion Interactions with Aqueous Glucose: Insights from Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Dynamics, and Experiment." Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2014, 118(8), 1990-2000. Featured on issue cover.

Mayes, H.B.; Broadbelt, L.J.; Beckham, G.T. "How Sugars Pucker: Electronic Structure Calculations Map the Kinetic Landscape of Five Biologically Paramount Monosaccharides and Their Implications for Enzymatic Catalysis." Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014, 136, 1008-1022.

Mayes, H.*; Sheehan, S.*; Dotan, H.* "ENERGY Fueling the Future." Nature 2013 (502) S60-61.

Mayes, H.B.; Broadbelt, L.J. "Unraveling the Reactions that Unravel Cellulose." Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2012, 116, 7098-7106.

Bakel AJ, Stepinski DC, Vandegrift GF, Leyva A, Gelis AV, Bond AH, and Mayes H. "Progress in Technology Development for Conversion of 99Mo Production - BATAN (Indonesia) Conversion Program, Progress in the CNEA (Argentina) LEU Foil/Base-Side Process, and Development of Inorganic Sorbents for 99Mo Production." The RERTR-2005 International Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (Boston, Massachusetts - November 2005)


Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Chicago Consistent Contributor Award, 2015

Best Presentation in the session "Reaction Path Analysis I" of the 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, 2014

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (CoMSEF) Graduate Student Award, 2014

Featured on the cover of and profiled in the 2014 issue of DEIXIS, the annual publication of the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (https://www.krellinst.org/csgf/outreach/deixis-magazine), 2014

Northwestern University Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Distinguished Graduate Researcher Award, 2014

AIChE Women's Initiative Committee Travel Award, 2014

AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division Travel Award, 2014

Invited to present in the University of Washington's Distinguished Young Scholars Seminar series, 2014 (Selected 2nd best invited seminar)

American Chemical Society (ACS) Chemical Computing Group Research Excellence Award, 2014

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)-Chicago Regional Section (CRS) Outreach Award, 2014

Selected to attend to the 63rd Lindau Meeting on Chemistry of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, Germany, sponsored by U.S. D.O.E. Office of Science and supported by the U.S. D.O.E. Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), 2013

SWE-CRS Key Contributor Award, 2013

SWE-CRS SWEetheart of the Month, 2012 and 2014

National Science Foundation (NSF) Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes Program (PASI) Award; Best Poster Award; 2012

NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Award, 2011

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Scholarship, 2011-2014

Appreciation for guest lecture for UIC's Senior Design course, 2009, 2010

University of Illinois Alumni Association Student Leadership Award, 2007

Women in Science and Engineering Mentor of the Year Award, 2006

Leonard Kotin Memorial Award for Physical Chemistry, 2006 (awarded to the highest-achieving Physical Chemistry student in a given year)

Tau Beta Pi Nagel Scholar, 2006

SWE DuPont Scholarship, 2006

College of Engineering Caterpillar Scholar, 2006

Inder P. Batra Physics Undergraduate Award, 2005 (awarded to the highest-achieving introductory physics student in a given year)