News

4/10/2019

By Jenny Wells

Travis (TJ) Schuyler (left) with Gary Pundsack, CEO of Stratodynamics Inc., hold the HiDRON glider. Schuyler, with UK chemistry Professor Marcelo Guzman, engineered the atmospheric-sensing equipment that was integrated into the glider.

A University of Kentucky doctoral student and chemistry professor have measured environmental variables during high-altitude, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights for the first time, reaching a better understanding of meteorological conditions to enable the next generation of weather forecasting models.

Travis Schuyler, a doctoral candidate in the UK Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences, working with Marcelo Guzman, built a

3/29/2019

Researchers from the University of Kentucky departments of Chemistry, Food Science, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (BAE), as well as the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) were recently awarded funding from the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant program in order to demonstrate an integrated approach to replace coal and petroleum-generated products with sustainable, biomass-based products. Ideally, the research will lead to jobs for rural Kentuckians suffering from the slowing coal industry as well as help the United States reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

The team, led by Drs. Justin Mobley (Chemistry) and Rachel Schendel (Food Science), has partnered with Buffalo Trace Distillery in order to exhaustively utilize agricultural residues (corn stover and spent distillers grains) generated by Kentucky’s bourbon industry and produce value-added products. In

3/28/2019

By Carol Lea Spence

The University of Kentucky is hosting the third annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference for middle school girls and their parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 20. This day of hands-on workshops will inform young Kentucky girls and their parents about exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Women continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and they hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Many higher education institutions like UK struggle against the problem of poor retention of female undergraduates in a lot of science, engineering and math majors,” said Ellen Crocker, assistant professor in

3/6/2019

UK CAER's Jesse Thompson (left) and Ayo Omosebi (right) will be developing a system that may offer a viable option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2019) — The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has received an $800,000 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into valuable products.

Jesse Thompson, a UK CAER research program manager and adjunct faculty member in the UK Department of Chemistry, and Ayo Omosebi, a UK CAER senior research engineer, will be developing a system that may offer a viable option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. James Landon, a UK CAER principal research engineer, and Kunlei Liu, UK CAER associate director of research, are also part of the

2/28/2019

By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky Chemistry-Physics Building is getting a much-needed transformation.

The central campus staple is currently undergoing a two-phase construction project that will result in a renovation of the third floor, as well as a completely new exterior façade of the building, including a three-story entrance/atrium.

The first phase of the transformation — the third floor renovation — is already underway, and will produce 15 research labs, plus support spaces, equipment spaces and offices. The second phase will bring a new exterior façade, which will include a replacement of the building exterior and roof; construction of a new stair tower, a freight elevator, a new loading dock and entrance additions; and mechanical upgrades in the penthouse.

"When the renovation is complete, this building will be a more pleasant, open

2/5/2019
Sensor package for HiDRON. Photo credit: T.J. Schuyler

Travis J. Schuyler and Marcelo I. Guzman Contribute the First Stratospheric Measurements with an Innovative Drone Glider.

Photo by Travis J. Schuyler: Sensor System to be mounted into the HiDRON.

 

Recent work by members of the Department of Chemistry has measured environmental variables during high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flights. The project goal is to reach a better understanding of meteorological conditions in the upper troposphere and the stratosphere to enable the next generation of weather forecasting models. In order to accurately sample atmospheric weather conditions in the stratosphere, the project has designed a sensor system integrated into a high-altitude glider, called the HiDRON. The HiDRON is a high-altitude in-situ measurement platform developed by earth observation company, Stratodynamics Aviation Inc.

1/4/2019

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Justin Mobley and Dr. Jesse Thompson as Adjunct Faculty at the level of Assistant Professor. 

Dr. Justin Mobley is a native of Kentucky who earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Western Kentucky University.  He graduated from the WKU Honors College, completing a capstone project entitled “Synthetic study of para-substituted 5,6-fused ring pyridazines.”  Dr. Mobley completed his Ph.D. at UKy in 2016 under the guidance of Prof. Mark Crocker at the Center for Applied Energy Research (UK-CAER), where he studied oxidative catalytic lignin depolymerization. He went on to a Post-Doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under Prof. John Ralph where he studied lignin utilization as well as biomass characterization using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy.  In October of 2017, Dr. Mobley joined the Dept. of

11/29/2018

 

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons are looking for University of Kentucky students who are interested in being workshop leaders for the 2019 conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 20 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they may not realize the variety of career options and opportunities that exist for women,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Expanding Your Horizons

11/27/2018

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons are looking for University of Kentucky students who are interested in being workshop leaders for the 2019 conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 20, 2019, for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they may not realize the variety of career options and opportunities that exist for women,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

11/19/2018

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2018) — The University of Kentucky has been named a partner on a $120 million, five-year second phase of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Innovation Hub focused on advancing battery science and technology.

Susan Odom, an associate professor of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator of the UK project. Odom and her team will study solvation of organic redox couples in complex environments, which are relevant to numerous energy storage technologies, including redox flow batteries — a technology of interest for large-scale grid storage.

Susan Odom, an associate professor

10/30/2018

By Torrie Johnson

The SEC (Southeastern Conference) Faculty Travel Program will support more than 100 SEC faculty members during the 2018-2019 academic year, the league office announced Monday. Nine University of Kentucky faculty members will participate. Established in 2012 by the SEC provosts, the program is designed to provide financial assistance from the SEC office that bolsters intra-SEC collaboration.

Identified participants will travel to other SEC universities to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, conduct research and deliver lectures or performances. Areas of interest for this year’s class include music, engineering, anthropology, law, medicine and African-American studies, among others.

“The SEC Faculty Travel Program has been a tremendous resource for faculty at universities across the SEC,” said Ellen Reames, associate professor

10/26/2018

Dr. Russell J. Mumper has been named The University of Alabama’s vice president for research and economic development effective Jan. 1, 2019.

A vice provost from the University of Georgia who previously led four research centers or institutes co-founded five start-up companies, and received nearly $30 million in research grants and contracts, Mumper was selected following a national search.

“Dr. Mumper has demonstrated, at multiple institutions, that he has the broad-based knowledge and leadership skills necessary to significantly grow and sustain impactful research and economic development enterprises,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “I’m confident he is the ideal candidate to build on The University of Alabama’s unique strengths and enhance our research prominence.”

During his 27-year-career, Mumper, who has served as vice provost for academic affairs at UGA

10/26/2018

This article is part of a series of articles on “UK Chemistry Alumni: Where Are They Now?”  Here we feature former student Jonathan Barnes, PhD, who was a student at UK from 2000 to 2006, earning both BS and MS degrees in Chemistry.  Jonathan is now an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis (link to his website). Here Jonathan answers some questions about his time at UK and offers some advice to current and future chemistry students. 

 

Why did you choose UK for your undergraduate studies?

I chose UK to pursue my undergraduate studies because I thought I wanted to go to medical school and I knew UK’s med school was quite good.  I also grew up a huge Kentucky basketball fan, so I couldn’t wait to be a part of Big Blue Nation!

10/18/2018

Professors Anne-Frances Miller, Susan Odom, and Dong-Sheng Yang have received four new grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  These highly-competitive awards will fund research projects on electron transfer in flavoproteins (Miller), high potential redox couples (Odom), high concentration electrolytes (Odom), and spectroscopy of transient organometallic complexes (Yang).

Prof. Miller has a strong history of studying enzymatic redox catalysis, including the enzymes superoxide dismutase and nitroreductase. A major portion of Miller’s research involves enzyme engineering, focusing on rational design of flavoenzymes to modify their electronic characteristics. Miller explains, “Just as electrical wires carry power to every room in our houses, cells have dedicated proteins carrying a current of electrons from reactions

10/11/2018

Assistant Professor in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry

University of Kentucky

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky is seeking candidates for a tenure-track assistant professor faculty position to start Fall 2019.  We encourage candidates with research in the broad areas of biological chemistry or materials chemistry, as well as the ability to take advantage of collaborative opportunities in the Department and on-campus.  A Ph.D. in Chemistry or a related field and postdoctoral experience (minimum of six months) is required.

Interested applicants should apply online at: http://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/203079. Applicants must include the following: 1)

10/2/2018

This text was lifted from the following article: http://www.caer.uky.edu/caerblog/post/2018/10/01/Burt-Davis-Legendary-UK...

Burtron H. “Burt” Davis, a University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research investigator and one of the most revered Fischer-Tropsch synthesis researchers in the world, passed away Friday, September 28 in Lexington, Kentucky. Service details can be found here: http://www.johnsonsfuneralhome.com/book-of-memories/3619109/Davis-Burtron/obituary.php

Born in Points, West Virginia, Dr. Davis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from West Virginia University in 1959 before earning a master’s

10/1/2018

By Dave Melanson

Yang Song, a doctoral student in the UK Department of Chemistry and researcher in at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), helped lead the research effort on this project.

When Mark Crocker and the biofuels research team at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) began their work to convert lignin into biofuels and chemicals, some called it a biofuels gold rush.

Little did anyone know how important gold would become to the actual research.

Utilizing a gold-based catalytic system developed in CAER’s Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Laboratory, the center’s researchers have discovered a method to turn lignin into valuable aromatic compounds. The

10/1/2018

Alexis Eugene's (Guzman group) NASA Graduate Fellowship on "Contribution of Model Aqueous Aerosol Formation from 2-Oxocarboxylic Acids to Earth’s Radiation Balance" was renewed. Congratulations, Alexis!

 

9/28/2018

By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association — with a committee chaired by UK Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement G.T. Lineberry — regularly honors outstanding UK faculty members with the UK Alumni Professorship Award.

This year, the honors went to Dibakar (D.B.) Bhattacharyya of the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering; D. Allan Butterfield of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry; Seth DeBolt of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Horticulture; Brent Seales of the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science; and Susan S. 

9/19/2018

Prof Mark Crocker's research on the catalytic oxidative depolymerisation of lignin, which could make cellulosic ethanol biofuels commercially viable, was featured in Chemistry World in an article titled "Gold Rush for Lignin Conversion."  Read the article here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/gold-rush-for-lignin-conversion/3009...

 

 

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