Abhaya K. Datye


Phone: (505) 277-0477

Physical Address

Room 1404
Farris Engineering Center

Photo: true

Distinguished Regents' Professor

Research Group Website
Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. University of Michigan, Chemical Engineering, 1984

M.S. University of Cincinnati, Chemical Engineering, 1980

B.S. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Chemical Engineering, 1975


Google Scholar Link

Abhaya Datye has been on the faculty at the University of New Mexico since 1984 after receiving his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan (advisor Johannes Schwank).  He has authored 250 publications, 7 patents and has presented 166 invited lectures around the world. His published work has received 22,221 citations with an h-index of 77 (Google Scholar).  He is a fellow of the AIChE, the Microscopy Society of America and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has been actively involved in the North American Catalysis Society, serving as co-chair for the Denver NAM 2017, program co-chair for the Snowbird NAM 1995 and Vice Chair for the International Catalysis Congress 2020.  He was the Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Catalysis in 2010. He has served on the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Advisory board (2014 – 2020) and on the Frontiers of Catalysis board at Haldor Topsoe in Denmark. He esd elected as a board member for the North American Catalysis Society (2017-2021 & 2021 – 2024) and he is serving on the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences (BESAC) advisory committee.

His research group has pioneered the development of electron microscopy tools for the study of catalysts.  His current work involves fundamental studies of catalyst sintering, especially the stabilization of isolated single atoms on supports for high temperature catalytic applications such as exhaust catalysis and alkane dehydrogenation.  His research has been recognized through numerous awards, including the Robert L. Burwell Lectureship of the North American Catalysis Society (2019), Walter J Weber Distinguished Lectureship from the University of Michigan Chemical Engineering (2019), Eastman Lectureship from the University of South Carolina (2019) the John Matthews Lectureship from the Microscopy Society of South Africa (2012) and the 2008 Award for Excellence from the NSF IUCRC program, In 2016, the ACS publication Chemical & Engineering News included his research on single atom catalysis as one of the top 10 stories for the year.



The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. 87131
1/10 - Regents Professor
9/07 - Distinguished Professor
8/07 - Director, graduate program in Nanoscience and Microsystems
8/02 - 12/07 Associate Chair, Chemical & Nuclear Engineering
8/04 - 9/07 Site Director, Center for Ceramic and Composite Materials (CCMC)
9/00 - 8/02 Interim Assoc. Chair of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering
8/99 - 8/04 Executive Director, Center for Ceramic and Composite Materials (CCMC)
4/94 - Director, Center for Microengineered Materials (CMEM)
5/93 - 9/07 Professor of Chemical & Nuclear Engineering
5/90- 5/93 Associate Professor with tenure 
5/88- 5/90 Associate Professor
8/84- 5/88 Assistant Professor 


1976 - 78, Hindustan Organic Chemicals, Rasayani, India, Scientific Officer.
1975 - 76, Hindustan Lever Ltd., Research Center, Bombay, India, Research Assistant.

Sabbaticals and Visiting Appointments

University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France, Summer 2004, Visiting Professor.
University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Honorary Professor, 2003-present, Dept. of Chemistry.
Haldor Topsøe, Lyngby, Denmark, 1999, to apply advanced TEM techniques to the study of industrial heterogeneous catalysts
High Temperature Materials Lab Fellowship, 1994, Oak Ridge National Lab, to work on electron holography using the Hitachi HF 2000 FEG-TEM.
BP Research Center, Sunbury on Thames, UK, 1991 to work on in-situ and controlled atmosphere EM of catalysts

Honors and Awards:

NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, 2008 Award for Excellence
Elected vice chair of the Gordon research conference on Catalysis, 2008 and chair, 2010
Best paper Materials Science, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2006,
University of New Mexico
UNM Regents Professor, 2010
UNM Distinguished Professor, University of New Mexico, 2007
Senior Teaching Excellence Award, 
2008 School of Engineering
Senior Research Excellence Award, 
1998 College of Engineering
Junior Research Excellence Award, 
1989, College of Engineering
Outstanding Teacher Award, 
1988, Chemical & Nuclear Engr. Graduate students
Presidential Lectureship, 
1986-88, Univ. of New Mexico
University of Michigan
Outstanding graduate student, 
1982, Department of Chemical Engineering

Publications And Presentations:

220 journal publications, 71 conference proceedings, 6 book chapters, 1 book,  6 issued patents and 1 pending patent application and 140 invited talks

Invited Talks (140)

Publications (203, h-index 59)

12,365 citations (as recorded in the Web of Science)

Research Funding (Total $30,991,307.00 as Pi or Co-PI)

Recent Publications

Coordination structure at work: Atomically dispersed heterogeneous catalysts, Z Zhang, H Li, D Wu, L Zhang, J Li, J Xu, S Lin, AK Datye, H Xiong, Coordination Chemistry Reviews 460, 214469, 2022.

All the lonely atoms, where do they all belong?, JR Regalbuto, AK Datye, Nature Nanotechnology, 1-2, 2022.

Gas-Phase Hydrogen-Atom Measurement above Catalytic and Noncatalytic Materials during Ethane Dehydrogenation, SA Steinmetz, AT DeLaRiva, C Riley, P Schrader, A Datye, ED Spoerke, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2022.

MgO (111) Nanocatalyst for Biomass Conversion: A Study of Carbon Coating Effects on Catalyst Faceting and Performance, RI Balderas, AE Settle, A York, DR Conklin, HN Pham, PC Metz, K Page, Catalysis Letters, 1-11, 2022.

Dehydroaromatization Pathway of Propane on PtZn/SiO2 + ZSM-5 Bifunctional Catalyst, CW Chang, HN Pham, R Alcala, AK Datye, JT Miller, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2021.

Teaching Interests

  • NSMS 512 Characterization of Nanostructures
  • NSMS 595 Journal Club
  • ChNE 253 Chemical Engineering Calculations II
  • ChNE 461 Chemical Reactor Engineering
  • ChNE 561 Kinetics of Chemical Processes
  • ChNE 314L Chemical Engineering Lab I
  • ChNE 378 Structure and Interfacial Phenomena in Semiconductor Materials
  • ChNE 561 Kinectics of Chemical Proceses
  • ChNE 252 Introduction to Transport Phenomena
  • ChNE 311 Unit Operations
  • ChNE 575 Characterization of Solid-State Materials
  • ChNE 575 Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • ChNE 370 Introduction to Materials Science
  • ChNE 515 Catalysis and Surface Science
  • ChNE 501 Graduate Seminar
  • ChNE 451 Senior Seminar
  • ChNE 542 Graduate Thermodynamics
  • ChNE 442 Intro to Chemical Thermodynamics

Research Interests

  • Microengineered materials for catalytic applications, especially for conversion of biorenewables
  • Structure and properties of small metal particles in heterogeneous catalysts
  • Ceramic interfaces, thin films and coatings
  • Materials characterization by electron microscopy