Christopher Hendon, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Energy and Sustainable Materials Initiative

Christopher Hendon

Practice Areas: Computational Chemistry, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Materials Science, Catalysis, Energy Conversion, Surfaces, Porous Materials, Specialty Coffee

Christopher H. Hendon is a computational chemist (think chemistry without the chemicals) and an international expert on the science of coffee. He co-wrote a book on the chemistry of water and coffee with UK coffee purveyor Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. Together, the two have won national barista championships and transformed the art and science of espresso worldwide. As part of the University of Oregon’s Energy and Sustainable Materials Initiative, Christopher is searching for innovative answers to vexing energy problems and cheaper, greener ways to make batteries, solar cells, and other products. Collaborating with colleagues from across disciplines, he’s looking for ways to create new designer materials and to make manufacturing more sustainable.

Though coffee is not his research focus at the university, Christopher’s obsession with espresso continues, along with his commitment to local roasters and the specialty coffee industry. He also uses coffee as an effective, accessible way to introduce the general public to the impact of science and how the scientific method works. 

Contact: | @chhendon


Recent Media: 
UO chemist is chosen to forge a path to better espresso (Around the O, Nov. 13, 2020)
University of Oregon in Eugene Awarded Grant for New Espresso Brewing Control Chart (Specialty Coffee Association, Nov. 12, 2020)
Expert says we are all making coffee wrong and tells the one thing we should not do (RSVP Magazine, Oct. 15, 2020)
You can brew better coffee at home. A chemistry professor explains how. (The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2020)
Espresso may be better ground coarser (Scientific American, Feb. 13, 2020)
Using chemistry to get the perfect cup of coffee (Science Friday, Jan. 24, 2020)
Brewing a better espresso with less coffee and more math (Canadian Broadcasting Company, Jan. 24, 2020)
Materials scientists learn we’ve been brewing espresso all wrong (VICE, Jan. 22, 2020)
How to make the perfect cup of coffee – with a little help from science (The Conversation, Jan. 22, 2020)
UO chemist helps find path to consistently good espresso (Around the O, Jan. 22, 2020)
UO, MIT collaborate on material with surprise electrical properties (Around the O, Dec. 4, 2019)
Chemical and physical considerations in coffee production with Christopher Hendon (Bean Scene Magazine, Nov. 12, 2019)
The chemistry of coffee and a gassy alcohol (Chemical & Engineering News, Aug. 30, 2019)
A Bitter End For Regular Joe? Scientists Engineer A Smooth, Beanless Coffee (National Public Radio, July 8, 2019)
The Coldest Brew of All—Coffee Aficionados Freeze Beans to 58 Below Zero (The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 12, 2019)
Endless cups most beautiful (Eugene Weekly, Feb. 7, 2019)
Dr. Coffee to reveal the secrets of a consistent cup at pub talk (Around the O, Jan. 4, 2019) 
Dr. Coffee (Around the O, Dec. 4, 2017) 
Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on chemistry and physics (The Conversation, Sept. 27, 2017)
Specialty Coffee’s Resident Scientist (The Atlantic, April 28, 2016)
Computational chemist to join energy and materials cluster (Around the O, Feb. 22, 2017)