Faculty Directory
Seth W. Snyder

Adjunct Professor


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech B224
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

Email Seth W. Snyder


Master of Biotechnology


Mechanical Engineering

Chemical and Biological Engineering


Master of Biotechnology Program


PhD Biophysics, Univ. of Virginia, 1989

MS Physical Chemistry, Univ. of Virginia, 1985

BA Chemistry & Environmental Studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1980


Seth W. Snyder is the director of Clean Energy & Transportation at Idaho National Laboratory. In this role Dr. Snyder leads a division with a $25 M budget and a staff of about 100.  The division has core research areas in bioenergy, vehicle technologies, and power systems.  The division is rapidly developing new program in advanced manufacturing and hybrid energy systems.  He serves as the relationship manager for the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office and on the Steering Committee for the DOE SMART Mobility Consortium

Until October of 2017, Dr. Snyder was the leader of Argonne National Laboratory’s water initiative.  In this role, he coordinates work with other Department of Energy National Laboratories to address the Energy-Water Nexus and presented at the Big Ideas Summit.  He advised Current on the science and engineering of water. He is the acting CTO for DRINC, a public/private clean-water research consortium.  He served as a trainer for new DHS agents on infrastructure risk in the water and chemical industries. He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC) and Institute of Molecular Engineering (IME) and the Northwestern – Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering (NAISE). He served on the advisory board for the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.

He developed technology and engineering in renewable energy, water, and energy efficiency. His work has resulted in three R&D 100 Awards and an FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.  He published more than sixty papers in more than forty different journals, has eighteen issued patents, and has had presented at more than one hundred conferences over the past decade.  He founded AD Up Water LLC to commercialize his group’s enhanced anaerobic digestion (wastewater) technology. With AD Up, he was recognized as a finalist or semi-finalist in three venture capital competitions.  He an collaborates with Ben Gurion University on membranes for wastewater treatment.

As the leader of Process Technology Research, Dr. Snyder led a program with eight principle investigators and a staff of fifty.  As the technology manager for the Bioenergy program, he grew the program from a zero start to nineteen active projects with six million dollars in funding.

He served as the President of the Council for Chemical Research, a 501(c)(3). He teaches a graduate-level course on energy and an undergraduate course on sustainability at Northwestern University.  He published a book, “Commercializing Biobased Products”, for the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is working on two other books, “Water Is” and “Energy Economics”. Dr. Snyder has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual major in Chemistry and Environmental Studies.  He has an M.S. in Physical Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Virginia.  He originally joined Argonne as a postdoctoral fellow in Photosynthesis.  He joined Abbott Laboratories as a postdoctoral fellow in Alzheimer’s Research and later as a Senior Research Biochemist in pharmaceutical discovery research. 

His interest in teaching and mentoring developed from his work with students from Northwestern, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, National Taiwan University, University of Seoul, Xiamen University, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

His interest in business development stemmed from his work as a Commissioner of Economic Development for the Village of Lincolnwood.  His interest in the environment and water stemmed from internship in the US EPA’s drinking water branch.  His interest in energy stemmed from an internship with Buckminster Fuller, where he published the World Energy Data Sheet.

Research Interests

Dr. Snyder teaches a course on Energy Systems.