A native of Kansas City, Matt majored in physics at Grinnell College. He became interested in research with applications in energy, and went on to earn his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research, performed in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, focused on understanding and predicting adsorption on metal surfaces, with applications to catalysis and materials synthesis.
For his postdoctoral work, he joined the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. His research at Harvard has focused on using multiscale modelling, excited state dynamics, and machine learning to study the synthesis, structure, and chemical properties of nanostructured materials. He joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University as an assistant professor in January 2019.