Alexander C. Davis

Research Group Staff

Researcher - now a Collaborator at NIST


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Research Interests

​My research interests are focused on the mitigation of the impact of anthropogenic carbon sources on our environment.  This is accomplished through the study of the combustion and atmospheric decomposition mechanisms of traditional and alternative fuel sources.  My work utilizes high level DFT and ab initio computational methods to determine the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of key reactions in the overall mechanisms.  The resulting parameters can be used to model combustion and atmospheric systems.  These models are crucial in the development of novel engine systems, such as the HCCI, and in the assessment of alternative fuels for use in our energy economy.  By understanding the fundamental chemistry of traditional and alternative fuels, efforts can be made to improve the efficiency of their use, and to direct public policy toward to the most promising fuel candidates that will have a minimal impact on the environment.​

Selected Publications

  • ​Davis, A.C. and J.S. Francisco, Ab initio study of chain branching reactions involving second generation products in hydrocarbon combustion mechanisms. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2012. 14(4): p. 1343-1351
  • Davis, A.C. and J.S. Francisco, Reactivity Trends within Alkoxy Radical Reactions Responsible for Chain Branching. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011. 133(45): p. 18208-18219.
  • Davis, A.C., and Francisco, J.S., Ab Initio study of key branching reactions in biodiesel and Fischer-Tropsch fuels, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133(47): p. 19110-19124 
  • Davis, A.C., and Francisco, J.S., Ab Initio study of hydrogen migration across n-alkyl radicals, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2011, 115, 2966-2977.
  • Davis, A.C., and Francisco, J.S., Ab Initio study of hydrogen migration across 1-alkylperoxy radicals, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2010, 114, 11492-11505.


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Purdue University, USA, 2005-2011
  • M.S., Chemistry, University of Western Australia, Australia, 2003-2005
  • B.S., Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry, Purdue University, USA, 1996-2001

Professional Profile

  • Alex now works at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in USA.
  • ​Alex was working as a research consultant in the Clean Combustion Research Center at KAUST. He assumed his duties in May 2012.
  • Alex Davis received a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Environmental Chemistry from Purdue University. He then moved to Perth, Australia and completed a M.S. degree in Chemistry working on a collaborative project between the University of Western Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Alex then returned to the US to complete a PhD in Chemistry at Purdue University.

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • ​American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Combustion Institute.

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Clean Combustion Research Center (KAUST) collaborator

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