Marc Donohue, a professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has research interests in thermodynamics, diffusion, adsorption, catalysis, advanced materials and the psychology of leadership. He shared a joint appointment with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Donohue served as vice dean for research for the Whiting School of Engineering from 2007 to 2011and as chairman of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from 1984 to 1995. He also has directed the Engineering school’s Advanced Technology Laboratory and its Center for Educational Outreach.
Funded by the Department of Energy, one of his current research projects is developing a new exhaust-gas catalyst system to reduce emissions for automobiles, power plants, and other industrial processes. He is working with other scientists at Johns Hopkins to produce a commercially viable system that kicks in just after an engine turns on, allowing it to begin mitigating emissions when the engine is running rich.
Donohue is also known for work with Union Carbide on spray paint and coating technology that replaces toxic paint thinners with supercritical carbon dioxide. The result, via a process called UNICARB, is a reduction of solvent emissions of up to 80 percent in spray applications. He holds three patents for this work.
Donohue has served many roles with the Council for Chemical Research, including chair of the board of directors and chair of the administration committee. He is currently a campus representative for that organization. Donohue also has chaired sessions for the American Society for Engineering Education and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is editor in chief of the Journal of Biomolecular Research and Therapeutics and serves on the editorial boards of Technology Transfer Tactics, the Journal of Modern Physics, Advances in Applied Physics and the Journal of Thermodynamics.
Donohue received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, NY, in 1973, with Great Distinction as the class valedictorian. He then earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977. Donohue was an assistant professor of chemical engineering for the Clarkson College of Technology for two years before joining the Whiting School of Engineering faculty in 1979.