Panel Discussion

The goal of the panel discussion is to give CBE graduate students insights and advice on how they can make the most of their time here at Notre Dame to have a successful dissertation, and to ensure that they are fully equipped to go on to the next part of their careers. We are excited to have a great lineup of panelists this year, with representation from department faculty, industry, academia, national research laboratories, and US government research agencies.

Prof. Rachel Getman (Clemson University)

Rachel Getman

Rachel B. Getman is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University and the first woman to be tenured and promoted in her department. Her research group uses quantum chemical calculations and Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate molecular-level phenomena at fluid/solid interfaces. She is particularly interested in catalytic processes that occur under aqueous conditions and in catalysis involving single transition metal cations. Dr. Getman holds a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation studying how the structure of liquid water influences the free energies of catalytic surface intermediates at water/metal catalyst interfaces, a Clemson University College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences Dean’s Faculty Fellows Award, and a Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Excellence. Dr. Getman earned dual BS degrees in Chemical Engineering and Business Administration from Michigan Technological University in 2004. She earned her PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2009, where she worked with William Schneider simulating catalytic oxidations under ambient conditions. From 2009 – 2011, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Randall Snurr at Northwestern University, simulating gas storage in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Dr. Getman started her independent career in August 2011. She presently lives in Upstate South Carolina with her husband and their two children, who are seven and five years old.

Dr. Ryan Mullen (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Ryan Mullen

Ryan Gotchy Mullen was a postdoc with Edward Maginn and Steven Corcelli at the University of Notre Dame from 2015-2017 where he developed reaction ensemble Monte Carlo for the Cassandra molecular simulation software. Ryan received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014, where he received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the NSF to study rare events using molecular simulations. Prior to attending UCSB, he worked at ExxonMobil modeling natural gas fields and served as an interim supervisor to 17 engineers and technicians. He is currently a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, collaborating with Nir Goldman on modeling reactive plutonium. Ryan and his wife Mary Karlee have 5 children.

Dr. Christopher Shuck (Drexel University)

Christopher Shuck

Christopher Shuck is a postdoctoral researcher working with Prof. Yury Gogotsi at Drexel University. His work focuses on synthesis of a new class of 2D materials, MXenes. MXenes are materials produced from selective etching of MAX phase materials. This new class of materials includes millions of new compounds with individually tailorable properties. These materials have been shown to have applications in electrochemical energy storage, water desalination, gas sensing, among others. In addition to research, Dr. Shuck is directly involved in the mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students, writing grants, teaching courses, and managing the research group.

Dr. Frank Kelly (ExxonMobil)


Frank Kelly is the Modeling Advisor for ExxonMobil Research - Process Technology. He obtained a B.S in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1983 and a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988. He joined the Mobil Research and Development Company in 1988 as a Research Engineer in Paulsboro, NJ. At Paulsboro, Frank performed research in catalytic lubes hydroprocessing and solvent lube refining, where he developed a liquid-liquid lubes extraction model using the SOL framework invented at Mobil. Following an assignment at Mobil’s Adelaide, Australia Refinery, Frank returned to Paulsboro where he became the group leader for crude oil characterization. Following the Exxon-Mobil merger, Frank moved to Fairfax, VA in 2000 with ExxonMobil Engineering to lead the consolidation of Exxon and Mobil crude characterization technologies. In 2002, Frank joined ExxonMobil’s Refining & Supply organization as the European Oil Industry Analyst, responsible, among other things, for assessing changes in supply/demand fundamentals. In 2005, Frank returned to Engineering where he led several optimization initiatives. In 2013, Frank returned to Research in Clinton, NJ, where he managed a team of 20 research engineers in Modeling & Optimization, and served as the R&D portfolio manager in the modeling & optimization areas.