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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

Mike Thorson, PhD

Mike Thorson

Mike Thorson, Ph.D.
Adjoint Professor, PNNL

Dr. Thorson’s web page at PNNL

Office: PNNL
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman


Michael Thorson is a Senior Research Engineer, and Project Manager within the Energy Processes & Materials Division (EP&MD) of the Energy and Environment Directorate (EED) at PNNL. Dr. Thorson joined PNNL in 2018 with Industrial Research experience from Dow Chemical. Dr. Thorson’s expertise is in reaction engineering, process development, and heterogenous catalysis. His current research work is focused on developing hydrothermal processing by advancing hydrothermal liquefaction for the conversion of wet wastes to fuels and chemicals, where he leads several projects. He has additional work focused on catalyst development to produce renewable fuels and chemicals. Dr. Thorson has research experience with multiple conversion processes in the fields of hydrogenation (e.g. acetylene hydrogenation, herbicide hydrogenation), hydrotreating (biocrudes and co-processing), oxidation (wet air oxidation, ethylene oxide), electrochemistry (CO2 reduction, and other commercially deployed reduction), ketonization, and oligomerization.