University of Richmond Chemistry Professor Michael Norris Receives Jeffress Trust Award to Advance Fossil Fuel Research

July 10, 2020

Note: The photo above was taken prior to March 2020.

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Michael Norris, assistant professor of chemistry, has received a $104,500 award from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust for his research on using carbon dioxide to create useful fuels as part of a solution to the current global energy crisis. Jeffress Trust grants support research in chemical, medical, or other scientific fields.

"Finding a way to generate methanol from CO2 would represent an important breakthrough in curbing global warming and providing a carbon-neutral energy source compatible with our current infrastructure,” Norris explains. “We plan to interrogate the ability of simple chemical systems to affect this transformation of CO2 to methanol." 

The award will include support for three undergraduate researchers, a year of salary for a post-baccalaureate fellow, supplies, and travel expenses.  

Norris has taught at the University of Richmond since 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ursinus College and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He recently received undergraduate new investigator funding from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.

Norris is one of four UR faculty to receive Jeffress Trust awards this year.