News

9/20/2016

By Dave Melanson

Since the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's (CAER) earliest of days, the center's investigators have focused on natural products. It is a new class of organic materials, however, that has resulted in a recent round of research funding that will accelerate the plastic electronics revolution.   CAER researchers John Anthony and Chad Risko, both faculty members in the UK College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry, have received four new federal grants totaling nearly $1.4 million to further their exploration of organic materials that show great promise for a wide array of commercial electronics applications. Anthony and Risko received nearly $540,000 from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer
9/6/2016

By Whitney Harder

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced today a $10 million gift from The Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation to further invest in undergraduate science education.   The majority of the gift — $8 million — will go toward the new academic science building that now takes the name Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building. Another $2 million will fund future academic and research investments yet to be determined.   The legacy of Lexington businessman and philanthropist Don Jacobs and his wife Cathy already lives on across the UK campus — from business education to health care. And now, that same legacy will impact thousands of UK students, who are projected to use the new science building annually.   Don and Cathy Jacobs have now donated funds in excess of $20 million to UK in areas ranging from science and health to the Gatton
8/30/2016

By Jenny Wells

All graduates of the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry are invited to a reunion weekend this fall at UK’s new Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building.   The UK Chemistry Alumni Board will host the reunion Oct. 14-15 and are asking those interested to RSVP by Sept. 23. All graduates, including bachelor's, master's and doctoral students are invited, as well as friends of the department.   “The Chemistry Reunion is a first for our department and should provide a great opportunity for our alumni to reconnect with friends and former classmates,” said Steve Yates, UK chemistry professor and chairman of the reunion committee.   Featured events include an open house at the new science building 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, and a reception at the King Alumni House at
8/1/2016

By Samantha Ponder

The Department of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will host a "Mathematics of Physical Chemistry Boot Camp" to educate students on mathematical concepts that are common in both quantum chemistry and molecular physics. Registration for the August boot camp will close Aug. 10.   This year the college is offering two sessions. One from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 20, and one from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 27. Both boot camp sessions are free.   UK's chemistry boot camp provides graduate and undergraduate students an introduction or refresher class covering a few key mathematical and numerical approaches that they may encounter in their classes or research. The format for each session will include lectures, which will summarize the mathematics and
7/21/2016

Dr. April French was selected as Chair of a new committee of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education's Examination Institute. The committee is responsible for producing the 2018 General, Organic, and Biochemistry Examination. This appointment is a significant recognition of stature in the chemistry education community and the ACS exams play an important role in the education of future chemists.

French's PhD research focused on informal scientific education occurring within science museums, and her experience in teaching includes general, organic, and biological chemistry courses. French currently serves as a Senior Academic Coordinator in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky where she supervises the General Chemistry Laboratories. 

7/15/2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2016) — Alexis Eugene, a University of Kentucky doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. More than 700 applications were submitted for the 2016 awards, and Eugene was one of only 73 who received a fellowship in earth science. Eugene will collaborate with members of NASA's Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment by analyzing the chemical composition of cloud water and aerosol samples collected during flights over the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, she will study what chemicals are there and how they affect the properties of the atmosphere. "For example, looking at how those chemicals might interact with radiation," she said.

Eugene has been working in Assistant Professor

6/20/2016
By Whitney Hale   University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that six UK students and alumni have been selected as recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,800 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2016-17 academic year through the prestigious program.   The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study, conduct research, and/or teach English abroad.   Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more
5/31/2016

The University of Kentucky has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct research with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, nationwide, following FAA regulations.

"UK is among the first universities in the country to receive this new FAA 'blanket' CoA," said Suzanne Smith, director of the UK Unmanned Systems Research Consortium and the Donald and Gertrude Lester Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "Now, UK faculty will be among the first to perform and publish their research on leading-edge autonomy technologies and applications, and the new scientific discoveries that are sure to result."

The FAA's public Certificate of Authorization (CoA) allows UK researchers to fly drones that are less than 55 pounds up

5/25/2016

Allison Soult, a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, received the 2016 Teaching Excellence in Support of Professional Nursing award from the College of Nursing. This award recognizes a faculty member outside of the College who demonstrates excellence in the development and delivery of effective teaching and learning experiences for students in the one of the College’s academic programs. Soult has taught Chemistry for Health Professionals to pre-nursing students for five years.  She has invested time and effort to understanding the needs of the nursing curriculum, has met with students to address questions, has provided thoughtful advice for students with academic difficulties, and is dedicated to her students.

 

5/20/2016
Four years ago, I was interviewing John Anthony in chemistry about his work on solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). He mentioned this crazy undergraduate student, who used to work in his lab, who constantly dyed her hair. She made bright orange and fluorescent pink LEDs that matched her “hair color of the week.” The science behind these organic compounds was intriguing, he told me, although he admitted there wasn’t much demand for those shades of LEDs in consumer electronics.   Fast forward to today, that undergrad—Susan Odom—is now an assistant professor of chemistry with her own lab. Odom tells me the exact same story—as she points out the pink hair photo that used to hang in Anthony’s lab. Odom credits that LED project as the experience that convinced her to pursue a research career.   In the Qualitative Organic Analysis Laboratory course she teaches, the
5/11/2016

The Society of Postdoctoral Scholars at the University of Kentucky is hosting a symposium to feature the work of postdoctoral scholars in Kentucky and surrounding areas. The event will feature a keynote presentation by UK's Dr. Hollie Swanson, a professor in the College of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, oral presentations by Kentucky postdocs, a poster session and a panel discussion on interviewing techniques. 

The symposium will allow for the exchange of ideas across a broad range of fields and abstract submissions are welcome from any discipline. Postdocs from Kentucky and Ohio are especially encouraged to submit abstracts and graduate students are also welcome to participate. The objective of the symposium is to share research across many different fields and talks should be general and accessible to an audience outside of the speaker's area

5/4/2016

Finding the time scale for the effective transfer of electrons is not an easy task.

With the increasing need for renewable fuels scientists have attempted to harvest abundant sunlight while simultaneously reducing CO2. However, the process is generally inefficient and many aspects needed for improvement remain unknown. Chemists at the University of Kentucky have now contributed new knowledge to explain how sunlight energy is stored in chemical bonds creating energy rich molecules from depleted ones. The stable photocatalyst generates organic fuels with a rate of production that depends on the time spent on the surface by precursor molecules.

Finding the time scale for the effective transfer of reducing electrons in a photocatalyst capable of reducing species containing double bonds or CO2 is not an easy task. What is needed is a reducing electron that is generated upon

5/2/2016

Darius Allen Shariaty was recognized as the American Chemical Society's Division of Organic Chemistry as the most outstanding, senior organic chemistry student at the University of Kentucky. Selection is based on aptitude for organic chemistry as evidenced by formal course work as well as research accomplishments during the course of their undergraduate studies, and lastly by a desire to pursue a career in chemistry.  Shariaty will receive one free year of membership as an Affiliate of ACS's Division of Organic Chemistry.   Shariaty's research experience began in Prof. Arthur Cammers' group in the Department of Chemistry at UK and now continues under the guidance of Prof. Susan Odom (chemistry) and Prof. Y. T. Cheng (engineering).

5/2/2016

The Journal of Physical Chemistry A recognized an article by University of Kentucky Chemistry Professor Marcelo Guzman as the most read article for the last 12 months. Guzman’s publication, "Heterogeneous Oxidation of Catechol" has been in the top most read category every month since its release. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A publishes studies on kinetics and dynamics; spectroscopy, photochemistry, and excited states; environmental and atmospheric chemistry, aerosol processes, geochemistry, and astrochemistry; and molecular structure, quantum chemistry, and general theory. The attention the article has attracted highlights the high quality

4/27/2016

An ultra-high resolution microscopy image of a thermoelectric material with the beautiful skutterudite structure will be featured on the July 2016 cover of the Journal of Materials Science. Chemistry graduate student Bethany Hudak contributed the image to the an article on skutterudite thermoelectric materials which was published online in March 2016. Bethany's analysis demonstrated the direct observation of the relationship between atomic structure and thermoelectric properties in these materials.

Bethany is a doctoral student in the research group of Assistant Professor Beth Guiton

4/27/2016

Steve Yates, a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy and Director of the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory (UKAL), recently received two grants.  One of these awards [1] is a renewal of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which extends continuous NSF funding of work at UKAL to greater than fifty years.  This research is focused on advancing our fundamental understanding of the atomic nucleus.  The nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons, is billions of times smaller than is visible with the human eye. Some nuclei are spherical in shape, while others are deformed in oblate (like a Frisbee) or prolate (like a football) shapes; the shape of the nucleus is unique for each isotope of each element.  Because we cannot take an ordinary photograph of the nucleus to investigate its

4/27/2016

Ryan Loe, a chemistry graduate student in the Crocker group, submitted to the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) has been funded to work on the project titled “EAPSI: Improving and Understanding the Catalysts Used to Convert Biological Oils to Diesel Fuel”. This funding will allow Ryan to visit the University of Queensland for a research stay this summer with joint support from National Science Foundation and the Australian Academy of Science.  The project’s abstract is copied below:

Biodiesel constitutes the major renewable fuel derived from lipid-based feedstocks such as vegetable oils and animal fats; however, several issues hinder biodiesel from being completely fungible with traditional petroleum diesel. Biodiesel’s poor cold flow properties, storage stability, and engine compatibility problems stem from its oxygen content. Recently,

4/26/2016

By Terrence Wade

(April 26, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering are proud to have Nobel Prize Winner Frank Wilczek on campus this week as he delivers his lecture “Some Intersections of Art and Science.” The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Memorial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will cover topics of profound reasons rooted in the nature of human cognition and perception and why art and science have a lot to offer one another. Wilczek will display some important historical examples of their synergy and point out some emerging opportunities. Several striking images will be an integral part of the presentation.

Wilczek is one of the world's

4/25/2016

By Whitney Harder

(April 25, 2016) — A new instrument to be developed by University of Kentucky researchers will overcome current limitations in fluorescence microscopy and could accelerate basic scientific discoveries. The multimodal and cost-effective imaging and data collection platform is being funded by a three-year, $589,250 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program.

Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) have become essential tools to understand biochemical and cellular processes. But these tools are limited — they are often highly labor intensive and thus have been primarily restricted to single sample analysis followed by costly manual data processing. 

UK Department of

4/21/2016

By Whitney Hale

(April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, 

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