News

4/17/2018

By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory

 

Chad Risko, an assistant professor of chemistryin the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, didn’t always know there was a career to be had in doing research – until a mentor encouraged him to study chemistry as an undergraduate.

“From there, and when I went to graduate school, is where I think the research bug really took hold,” Risko said. “Being in the lab, working with people, trying to understand new ways to solve problems – that really motivated me to pursue a career in research.”

Now, as a chemistry professor and affiliated researcher in UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), Risko says mentoring students

3/29/2018

By Dr. James Holler

Recently, the UK Chemistry community was saddened to learn of the death of Bob Guthrie, Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. Bob was born on June 27, 1936 in Bronxville, New York, and after his family relocated, he grew up and received his early education in New Orleans. He knew from a very early age that he wanted to achieve significant goals in his life.

Following graduation from high school, Bob matriculated at Oberlin College and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958. While at Oberlin, he began serious study of chemistry under the tutelage of famed chemical educator J. Arthur Campbell. Bob’s next stop on the road to success was the University of Rochester, where he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1962 with Marshall Gates, renowned for the first synthesis of morphine.

The last step in

3/28/2018

Do undergraduates make critical contributions to cutting-edge research? The answer is a decidedly yes, and not in small numbers.  Professor D. Allan Butterfield has matriculated more than 160 undergraduates in his laboratory over the 43 years he has been at UK.  Nearly all of these undergraduate researchers performed independent research under the aegis of CHE 395, “Independent Research in Chemistry.”  Approximately 60-plus refereed scientific papers have resulted from the work of these undergraduates [nearly 10 percent of Prof. Butterfield’s total publications (H-index = 96)].  This current spring 2018 semester, four CHE 395 students are in Prof. Butterfield’s laboratory.  The following is a brief synopsis of their research, their thoughts about their education at UK, and their future plans. 

       Angela Hinchie and Eric Vogt are collaborating on

3/22/2018

By Stephanie Swarts

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 exceptional undergraduates as new scholars for the university’s Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues, and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of students’ junior and senior years; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK’s 12 new Gaines Fellows are:

3/8/2018

by Susan Odom

Kentucky’s middle school girls and their parents/guardians are invited to join us for the second annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference at the University of Kentucky campus on Saturday, April 21, 2018.  This day of hands-on workshops will give middle school girls the chance to meet STEM role models and get exposure to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. This is the second iteration of the conference, which is organized by members of the Colleges of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Engineering.

Co-organizers, including Ellen Crocker (Forestry and Natural Resources) and Carmen Agouridis (Biosystems & Ag Engineering), joined forces to bring Expanding Your Horizons back to UK for a second time. The EYH team is back with more person – in particular, woman! – power than

3/7/2018

By Jenny Wells

 Chad Risko, an assistant professor of chemistryin the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and researcher at the Center for Applied Energy Research, has been selected to receive a 2018 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. Risko is one of 31 academic scientists at 22 institutions to receive the honor this year.

Risko’s research is inspired by complex synthetic materials and the desire to discover fundamental connections among the

2/19/2018
most_read

There are lots of different ways to look at the reach of an article. One way to consider the influence of an article is just by looking at how many people chose to read it. To that end, the American Chemical Society has compiled lists of the five most-read chemistry articles that appeared in each ACS Publications journal in 2017, including research, reviews, perspectives and editorial pieces. These lists show a perspective on where the chemistry community allocated their attention over the past year. Among these highly read papers in the Physical Chemistry category is listed the outstanding work of Ph.D. student Alexis J. Eugene and Associate Professor Marcelo I. Guzman, "

2/15/2018

By Jenny Wells

Chad Risko, an assistant professor of chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a 2018 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Started in 1994, Risko is the first recipient of the award at UK, a designation that recognizes top early-career scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy.

Cottrell Scholars focus on the dual role of the teacher-scholar. Through his Cottrell award, Risko will develop a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) with specific focus on the application of computing and data science in chemistry. Though the concept of big data is

1/26/2018

By Jenny Wells

For the second semester, University of Kentucky’s #IAmAWomanInSTEM project has awarded scholarships to 11 UK students for project proposals that promote STEM education and careers for women.

Females are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue an education in the STEM disciplines, which include science, technology, engineering, math and health care. The #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative, which launched at UK in 2016, seeks to change that by recruiting hundreds of female student ambassadors who are encouraging the study of STEM and health care (STEM+H) among women at UK, and empowering them to persist in those fields.

"We are very grateful for the support from the UK Women & Philanthropy as our STEM+H students are growing in their creative roles and expanding their service

1/4/2018

By Carol Lea Spence

Amelia Baylon, NRES student, helps middle-school students measure a tree during 2017 Expanding Your Horizons STEM workshop. Photo by Carol Lea Spence.

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons invite University of Kentucky undergraduate and graduate students to apply to be workshop leaders at this year’s conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 21 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to and create excitement for 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 don’t see women in a

12/21/2017

By Dominique Page

Six University of Kentucky students took honors at the Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS) Annual Meeting held Nov. 3-4, at Murray State University. With more than 500 scientists and students in attendance, hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students from Kentucky and regional colleges and universities participated in the research competitions.

The UK students who won awards in the KAS student competitions are as follows:

Eashwar Somasundaram, a chemistry senior and Lewis Honors College student from Williamson, Kentucky, took second place in undergraduate poster presentation in the Physiology & Biochemistry category; Harrison Inocencio, computer science junior and Lewis Honors College student from Lexington, took second place in undergraduate oral presentation in the Computer & Information Sciences category
12/11/2017

By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky recently announced the 16 undergraduate winners of the 53rd annual Oswald Research and Creativity Competition.

Established in 1964 by former UK President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Program encourages research and creative activities by undergraduate students at UK. The objectives of the program are to stimulate creative work by undergraduate students and to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement.

Categories include biological sciences; design, including architecture, landscape architecture and interior design; fine arts, including film, music, photography, painting and sculpture; humanities, from creative and critical-research approaches; physical and engineering sciences; and social sciences. All submissions are sent anonymously to faculty reviewers in related

11/14/2017

By Tatyanna Pruitt

 

Jared Delcamp never questioned where he would go to college.

“Growing up in Kentucky and watching the Wildcats play makes you ready to be a part of the Big Blue Nation,” he said.

A native Kentuckian, Delcamp was born and raised in Monticello and chose to study medicine when he first came to the University of Kentucky as an undergraduate in 2000. He credits chemistry professor John Anthony with mentoring him throughout his college career, but when Delcamp first met Professor Anthony, he thought he wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

“I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do chemistry or medicine,” Delcamp said. “I thought chemistry was cool, but when you’re from a small town, if you’re smart, you’re supposed to be a doctor.”

It only took one semester for Delcamp to decide that he was passionate about chemistry. As an

11/3/2017
Pete Kekenes-Huskey

Chemistry professor Pete Kekenes-Huskey is a recipient of the Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator grant from the American Chemical Society that supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels.  The $110,000 award will seed the development of computational models for predicting methane transport in zeolitic materials, which could help improve our ability to extract valuable chemicals from an abundant catalyst. Methane is a primary content of raw natural gas that is released as a byproduct of shale oil extraction and is a very useful precursor to sought-after chemical products, including more useful liquid hydrocarbons. Methane processing has been explored in zeolite catalysts, which are inexpensive, porous, highly adsorbent, naturally-occurring minerals. Zeolites are already valued at $30 billion for petroleum refinement, but for methane

10/24/2017

By Jenny Wells

In celebration of the American Chemical Society's National Chemistry Week, the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will host a demonstration show for school-aged children and their families this week. The "Reaction Attraction" will begin 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in Room 121 of the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building (JSB).

This public event serves as the department's primary outreach activity during National Chemistry Week..

"Young and not-so-young scientists will enjoy the colors, sounds, smoke and fire at a show guaranteed to entertain and even educate," said Steven Yates, professor of chemistry and Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor. "UK Professor Jack Seleque, a master showman who looks every bit the part of a

10/13/2017


Associate Prof. of Chemistry Beth Guiton has been appointed to the  Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Physical Chemistry for a two year term, beginning January 2018. Guiton's research interests focus on inorganic nanomaterials and in-situ transmission electron microscopy. The Guiton Research Group investigates chemistry at the nanometer length scale, working at the intersection between solid state chemistry and advanced characterization, in particular using in situ microscopy techniques.

For more information about the Guiton Research Group please visit the Guiton Group website.

Guiton received her bachelor's degree from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and her master's from Harvard University, followed by a doctorate from the University of

10/2/2017

By Susan Odom

This fall the Chemistry Department welcomed its new graduate class of 22 students. Now in their second month at UK, students are settling into new roles as teaching assistants in laboratory courses and in general chemistry recitations while taking a variety of courses in analytical, biological, inorganic, materials, organic, and/or physical chemistry.

Some students were particularly excited to have the opportunity to take a new course offered by Prof. Chad Risko called Organic Materials: Electronic and Photonic Properties. Risko reports, "The students are quite engaged in the lectures, especially since we are able to bring together diverse concepts that are taught in other chemistry courses to build the knowledge required to understand these intriguing materials.”

In addition to their coursework and teaching responsibilities, one of the major goals

9/29/2017

By Gail Hairston and Allison Perry

Of the 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, a significant number experience a serious side effect called chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI). While easily recognized, little is known about the etiology of this condition, also known informally as “chemo brain.” CICI can significantly reduce patients’ quality of life with serious, even devastating, symptoms such as memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, negative impacts on multitasking, confusion and fatigue.

Three University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers are tackling this problem head-on, serving as principal investigators on a new $2.3 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health:

Allan Butterfield, professor in the UK
9/29/2017

Jeff Lomprey (PhD, ’93).  After graduating from UK in 1993, I held two postdoc positions: Dartmouth College (1993-1995; Russell Hughes) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1995-1996; Mac Toth).  Following the Oak Ridge position, in 1997, I was lured to Gentex Corporation by former UK Professor of Chemistry, Tom Guarr, to work on the development of and improvements for the company’s electrochromic review mirrors.  One of the major challenges at that time was producing mirrors with a predictable extended lifetimes.  Working with Tom, we developed additives to the electrochromic solutions in the mirrors that would, in essence, provide a buffer within the electrochromic system maintaining an electrochemical balance in the mirror.  The project was successful and the company continues to this day to incorporate the technology that Tom

9/18/2017

By Bryant Welbourne and Kathy Johnson

Eight University of Kentucky faculty members are among more than 100 faculty members from all 14 Southeastern Conference universities taking part in the 2017-18 SEC Faculty Travel Program. Now in its sixth year, the program provides support for selected individuals to collaborate with colleagues at other SEC member institutions.

The UK faculty and their departments are: Babak Bazrgari, Biomedical Engineering; Kenneth Campbell, Physiology; Tom Clayton, English; Kenneth Graham, Chemistry; Ji Youn Kim, 

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