Laurence Russell Weatherley

Laurence Weatherley
  • Albert P. Learned Distinguished Professor

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Learned Hall, room #4132B


The main thrust of my research is in liquid-liquid systems. In particular I am interested in intensifying both mass transfer rates and reaction rates by the application of both high voltage and low voltage electrical fields. Two liquid-liquid reaction systems forming our current focus are (1) Transfer hydrogenation reactions using a homogenous catalyst (2) Enzymatically catalyzed reactions in liquid-liquid systems, for example natural oils undergoing hydrolysis or interesterification. A closely related thread of my research is the study of immobilization of enzymes on to novel polymeric supports to optimize reaction performance with emulsified substrates. We are also exploring the acceleration of reaction rate using immobilized enzymes in the presence of low voltage electric fields.  Another technique we are exploring is the application of centrifugal fields to these and other multi-phase processes.

Selected Publications

Wang, N, Allgeier, A.M., and Weatherley, L.R. (2020). Controlling reaction rate of phase transfer hydrogenation of acetophenone by application of low external electric field. AIChE J. 7079.

Anand, A., Gnanasekaran, P., Allgeier, A.M., and Weatherley, L.R. (2020) Study and deployment of methacrylate-based polymer resins for immobilized lipase catalyzed triglyceride hydrolysis. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 123, 164–176.

Wang, N., Kaminski, K., Petera, J., Allgeier, A.M. and Weatherley, L.R. (2019). Electrostatically Enhanced Catalytic Phase Transfer Hydrogenation of Acetophenone under Low External Electric Field. Chemical Engineering Journal. Chemical Engineering Journal, 374, 1096–1101

Weatherley, L.R. and Anand, A. (2018) The Performance of Microbial Lipase Immobilized onto Polyolefin Supports for Hydrolysis of High Oleate Sunflower Oil. Process Biochemistry, 68, 100-107.

Weatherley, L.R., Gangu, A.S. Scurto, A.M. and Petera, J. (2018) Process Intensification of Enzymatic Biotransformation Processes – Green Chemistry Series 55, Intensification of Biobased Processes, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018, 268-288.

Weatherley, L.R., Petera, J. and Qiu, Z. (2017). Intensification of Mass Transfer and Reaction in Electrically Disturbed Liquid-Liquid Systems. Chemical Engineering Journal 322, 115–128.

Z.Qiu, J Petera, L.R.Weatherley (2012) “Biodiesel production using an intensified spinning disc reactor” Chemical Engineering Journal ,210,597–609.

J. Petera, L.R. Weatherley, D. Rooney, K. Kaminski (2009) A finite element model of enzymatically catalyzed hydrolysis in an electrostatic spray reactor, Computers and Chemical Engineering 33, 144– 161

Total publications to date>250


  • Current: Distinguished Professor KU
  • 1998-2004: Chaired Professor, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • 1992-1998: DuPont Chair, Queens University of Belfast, Ireland
  • 1979-1992: - Faculty, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh