Rising atmospheric concentration of CO2 is forecasted to have potentially disastrous effects on the environment from its role in global warming and ocean acidification. Converting CO2 into valuable chemicals and fuels is one of the most practical routes for reducing CO2 emissions while fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy sector. In the past few years our group has investigated the catalytic reduction of CO2 using a combination of kinetic studies, in situ characterization and density functional theory calculations. In this talk we will present several examples on (1) CO2 conversion by thermocatalysis, (2) CO2 reduction by electrocatalysis, and (3) simultaneous upgrading of CO2 and shale gas. We will use these examples to highlight the importance of using fundamental chemical engineering principles to guide the selection of reaction conditions and catalyst compositions.