Dr. MacDonald’s work involves electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and corrosion science, with emphasis on the growth and breakdown of passive films, chemistry of high temperature aqueous solutions, electro-catalysis, advanced batteries and fuel cells, stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue, materials for nuclear power reactors, and the deterministic prediction of localized corrosion damage.
As Director of the Center for Electrochemical Science and Technology, he explores fundamental issues in electrochemical science and technology, identifies and quantifies technology opportunities arising from the fundamental studies, and helps transition these opportunities to the marketplace. He is also committed to educating students in electrochemistry and electrochemical technologies. At present, he actively studies charge transfer theory and applications, as well as practical projects related to nuclear power and chemistry / electrochemistry of high temperature aqueous systems. He continues to develop various sensors for use in high temperature harsh corrosive environments and strives to explore new hydrogen production and storage materials and focus on boron/hydrogen system at this point in time.
- Passivity and passivity breakdown on metals
- Deterministic prediction of corrosion damage
- Advanced batteries and fuel cells
- Chemistry and electrochemistry of supercritical aqueous systems
- Nuclear power generation
- Frumkin Memorial Medal, International Society of Electrochemistry (2014)
- U. R. Evans Award, The British Corrosion Institute (2003)
- H. H. Uhlig Award, The Electrochemical Society (2001)
- Fellow, Royal Society of New Zealand, (“National Academy” of New Zealand) (1997)
- Wilson Research Award, College of Earth and Minerals Sciences, Pennsylvania State University (1996)
- Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (“National Academy” of Canada) (1996)
- Fellow, The Electrochemical Society (1995)
- Member, USAF Scientific Advisory Board, Protocol Rank: DE-4 (Lieutenant General equivalent) (1993-1997)
- Michael Faraday Medal, Scientific Council & Industrial Research - Central Electrochemical Research Institute (2012)