The Chemical Catalysis Program of the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation will support the research program of Professor Albert Stiegman at Florida State University. Dr. Stiegman and his students will carry out studies targeting the development of microwave absorbing catalytic materials that will be tested in partial oxidation catalysis reactions driven by microwave energy. The goal of this work is to obtain the fundamental understanding needed to implement energy efficient catalytic process routes taking advantage of the local microwave heating of the catalytic surface. In addition to the examination of a range of spinel structured oxides with high microwave absorption cross sections, nano particles of gold and other noble metals will be investigated in this context. The research will train students in this broadly interdisciplinary area, which includes synthesis, materials characterization, spectroscopic studies, and catalytic evaluation. Fundamental understanding obtained in this work will impact the design of more efficient and energy conserving catalytic process chemistries. Graduate and undergraduate research students will be recruited to the research team through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.