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Dario Prieto,   Ph.D.

Montana Tech faculty member Dario PrietoAssistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
1300 West Park Street, Butte, MT 59701
Science & Engineering Building, Room 314
Phone: 406.496.4186
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Dr. Dario Prieto studies ways to control mechanical, electronic, and chemical properties of materials by modifying their surfaces. Dario completed his PhD at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, where he developed materials to minimize automotive emissions. Afterwards, as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, he studied gas-to-liquids reactions for the petrochemical industry. Before joining the faculty at Montana Tech, Dario was an industrial scientist at the SABIC Technology Center in Houston, TX, where he led projects on methane gas utilization.

At Montana Tech, Dario teaches courses on Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics. His current research projects include composite materials for ballistic and aerospace applications, industrial utilization of mining byproducts, and reaction engineering around thermodynamic limitations.


Dario received his PhD from Northwestern University (2013) and his BS from Rice University (2008)—both in chemical engineering, but with significant incursions into chemistry, materials science, and mechanical engineering.

Career in Brief

• Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Montana Tech
• Visiting Assistant Professor, General Engineering, Montana Tech
• Scientist, SABIC Technology Center, Houston, TX
• Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Courses Taught

• Fluid Mechanics (EGEN 335)
• Applied Thermodynamics I (EGEN 324)
• Applied Thermodynamics II (EGEN 424)

Research Interests

Dario oversees the Surface Engineering boratory, which currently focuses on:
• Synthesis-structure-function relations
• Catalysis and adsorption
• Waste re-valorization
• Composite materials

Selected Publications 

Please refer to Google Scholar for a full list of publications.

Hwang, Prieto-Centurion, Bhan, Isotopic tracer studies of methanol-to-olefins conversion over HSAPO-34: The role of the olefins-based catalytic cycle, Journal of Catalysis 2016, 337, 52-56

Roberts, Prieto-Centurion, et al., In Situ Characterization of Highly Dispersed, Ceria-Supported Fe Sites for NO Reduction by CO, Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2015, 119, 4224-4234

Prieto-Centurion, Eaton, et al., Catalytic Reduction of NO with H2 over redox-cycling Fe on CeO2, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2015, 168, 68-76

Ould-Ely, Prieto-Centurion, et al., Wet Chemical Synthesis and Characterization of Polypodal In2O3 Nanoparticles, CrystEngComm 2013, 15 (1), 6918-6922

Prieto-Centurion, Boston, Notestein, Structural and electronic promotion with alkali cations on silica-supported Fe(III) sites for alkane oxidation, J. Catal. 2012, 296, 77-85