Grate has been at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) since 1992, where he is currently a Laboratory Fellow, a Wiley Research Fellow in association with the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, and a Battelle Distinguished Inventor. He has been an Affiliated Professor with the Chemistry Department at the University of Washington since 2004. He was a scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1984 to 1992.
Grate’s research areas of interest fall in the fields of interfacial chemistry and materials science, and his work has been prominently featured on the covers of several leading journals including Analytic Chemistry, Chemical Reviews, Langmuir, and Chemical Communications.
Grate became a pioneer in the development of polymer-coated vapor sensors by developing a systematic understanding of vapor-polymer interactions as they relate to sensor selectivity, and determining the basis for selecting sets of sensor coatings to maximize selectivity in an array of acoustic sensors.
As a member of The Electrochemical Society, Grate participated in the founding of the Sensor Division and has been a continuous member of the Executive Committee of the Sensor Division since its inception.