Karl Mueller, PhD
Pennsylvania State University
Professor of Chemistry
Professor Karl Mueller was born and raised in western New York State, where he first became passionate about the chemical sciences and mathematics while attending Tonawanda High School. Further educated at the University of Rochester (B.S., Chemistry, 1985), Cambridge University (C.P.G.S., Natural Sciences/Chemistry, 1986), the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D., Chemistry, 1991), and the University of British Columbia (postdoctoral researcher, 1991-1992), he won predoctoral awards from the University of Rochester (Wilson Scholar, 1981), the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States (Churchill Scholarship, 1985), and the National Science Foundation (Graduate Fellowship, 1987).
Professor Mueller has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Penn State University for over twenty years, receiving additional honors from the Dreyfus Foundation (Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, 1992 and Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1997), the National Science Foundation (Young Investigator Award, 1994), the Research Corporation (Cottrell Scholar Award, 1996), the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (Young Investigator Award, 1996), and the Sloan Foundation (Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 1999). His research team develops and exploits solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to address complex problems and is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and industrial sponsors. His current graduate and undergraduate students are exploring areas as diverse as ionic conduction in polymer electrolytes, the structure and formation of plant cell walls, surface reactivity in the environment, and transport of pollutants through engineered soil surrogate systems.
In 2010 Professor Mueller was recruited as a Laboratory Fellow by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where his main research interests include the study of structure and dynamics in battery materials and catalyst systems. He continues to hold a dual appointment with Penn State University, and at PNNL he is a PI within the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR, a DOE-funded Energy Hub). On the administrative side of his PNNL duties, he is a member of the lab-level Science and Technology Council, the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows, and both the Strategy and Leadership Teams within the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) scientific directorate. For the past year and a half he has served as acting Chief Science Officer for EMSL, a position where he is responsible for decisions on scientific planning and investments as well as the leadership of strategic planning and scientific outreach.
Dr. Mueller is the author of over one hundred research communications, articles, and book chapters, which have been cited over 2950 times. He was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his “distinguished contributions to the field of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, particularly for applications of novel methods to understand complex materials and e