Rice University logoGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering




EMAIL: wgchap@rice.edu
PHONE: 713-348-4900
OFFICE: B241 Abercrombie Building

Research Group


Walter G. Chapman

William W Akers Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering,

Associate Dean for Energy, George R. Brown School of Engineering


A challenge of modern chemical engineering is to design molecular structures for specific applications. In the Chapman group, researchers use molecular simulation and statistical mechanics to predict how intermolecular forces and molecular architecture determine fluid properties and micro-structure of complex fluids and soft materials. The computational materials design approach developed in Chapman’s group enables engineers and scientists to predict phase behavior, interfacial properties, and meso-scale structure of complex fluids, e.g., associating mixtures, patchy colloids, polymer solutions, nano-particle / polymer blends, confined fluids, gas hydrates, and asphaltenes. The research group works on a broad range of fundamental and applied projects. Applications of the research are found in performance polymers, chemical and biochemical separations, interfacial phenomena such as for enhanced oil recovery, flow assurance, distribution of components in shale formations, and soft materials such as patchy colloids. Graduates of the Chapman group have taken positions in various industries including academia, energy, and chemicals.


Professor Walter Chapman is the Associate Dean of Engineering for Energy Research and the William W. Akers Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rice University. He is widely recognized for his molecular models to predict phase behavior and interfacial properties of complex fluids in the energy and polymer industries.

Among Walter’s publications are the highest cited papers in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (I&ECR) and in Fluid Phase Equilibria. Walter has been recognized with the Donald L. Katz award from the Gas Processors Association, multiple university wide teaching awards, and an Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Clemson University where he received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. After a brief career with Shell Development Company, Walter joined the Rice faculty in 1990. His wife and two sons are also engineers.