News

4/2/2020

By Elizabeth Chapin

Dibakar Bhattacharyya has been a fixture in the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering for more than 50 years and is renowned for his research, which focuses on incorporating life sciences materials with synthetic membranes for filtering and producing clean water.

Today, the director of UK’s Center of Membrane Sciences, known to friends and colleagues as “DB,” is contributing his decades of membrane expertise to help address the spread of the novel coronavirus. He has the concept and the means to develop a medical face mask that would capture and deactivate the COVID-19 virus on contact.

“We have the capability to create a membrane that would not only effectively filter out the novel coronavirus like

4/1/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating shortages of sanitizing products in hospitals. Across the nation, spirits distillers are stepping up to help and using their products and equipment to make hand sanitizer for health care workers. At the University of Kentucky, The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits is making sanitizer and going a step further by creating an instructional video for distillers who want to do the same.

“There is a method that has evolved over the past few weeks using high-proof ethanol and glycerin,” said Seth DeBolt, director of the Beam Institute and horticulture professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We have had requests for sanitizer just within the university and also questions from craft distillers

3/30/2020

By Ryan Girves

Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 50 outstanding University of Kentucky undergraduate research students learned they were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The event was canceled, but UK's Office of Undergraduate Research is noting the achievement. Among them are more than a dozen students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The student conference, which would have been held this past weekend at Montana State University, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and strives to improve the state of undergraduate

3/25/2020
This Living Learning Program gives freshmen a mentored head start on the way to majoring in the sciences and mathematics

By Richard LeComte

Started in 2015, the STEMCats Living Learning Program has helped students majoring within the many and varied areas of the sciences or mathematics find their way to success at UK. And STEMCats peer mentors are a big part of that effort. 

“I have a group chat with my mentees about how things are going,” said Keanu Exum, a STEMCats peer mentor majoring in biology and neuroscience. “I want to make myself known to my mentees — that I am a resource for them.” 

Getting students situated in STEMCats is having a positive effect on the academic careers of the participants, says a study conducted by Carol D. Hanley of International Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. STEMCats is a program

2/25/2020
A photo of Allison Soult

By Ryan Girves 

Allison Soult, senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, will address the University of Kentucky community at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Gatton Student Center as the next speaker in the iPad Initiative Speaker Series. 

Soult will discuss how she and her students use the iPad before, during and after class to enhance learning. She will also share some examples of digital in-class activities and her favorite apps to use in teaching.

Soult’s main interests are in the areas of chemistry specifically relating to issues with student engagement in large lectures and using technology to enhance student learning. Soult, who came to UK in 2002, was the recipient of the Arts and Sciences Outstanding Staff Award in 2008, was co-instructor for UK's

2/24/2020
A photo of Rafael Radi in a lab.

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

Next week, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Department of Chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences will host renowned biochemist Rafael Radi for two special events on campus.

Radi will serve as the College of Medicine's Dean's Distinguished Lecturer at noon Monday, March 2, in Room HG611, the Chandler Hospital auditorium in Pavilion H. The following day, he will present a seminar for the chemistry department at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the William T. Young Library's UK Athletics Auditorium. The events will highlight both clinical and basic science aspects of his research on nitric oxide and its beneficial and harmful effects.

1/29/2020

It was 1949, World War II had ended and twice as many students were enrolled in universities across the country compared to pre-war enrollment, many were on the GI Bill. I was one of those June 1949 GI Bill seniors, graduating from UK with a BS degree in physical chemistry. My name is Alan Veith.

My days at Kastle Hall, the chemistry building at that time, were coming to an end.  I was a lucky senior ; the only BS graduate in chemistry, not planning on postgraduate work, that had an industry job offer at the time of graduation. After a campus interview BF Goodrich (BFG)  had offered me employment in Akron OH.  A 3.44 grade average probably helped.

I had two careers in my professional life - one in industrial research with BF Goodrich and one in industrial standardization development, with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and also with the

1/13/2020
A photo of chemistry professor Mark Lovell in a lab coat in his lab.

By Madison Dyment

In higher education, the value of following your passion, meeting challenges head-on and working toward something bigger than yourself are all promoted to students by their professors. Sometimes, students are lucky enough to have a teacher who not only encourages this, but lives it too. Mark Lovell, Jack and Linda Gill Professor of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, is one of those teachers.

Growing up in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, Lovell stayed close to home and attended Berea College for his undergraduate degree. Post-graduation, Lovell tried his hand at medical school, but found himself ultimately drawn to graduate school at UK. He received his doctorate here in 1992, working with William Ehmann, a radiochemistry professor at

12/17/2019

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

 

Manufacturing has fueled the economic success of Kentucky for over two centuries, and a new collaborative partnership will help position the Commonwealth for even more success in the years to come.

The Kentucky National Science Foundation's (NSF) EPSCoR, or Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, has awarded the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and six other institutions across the state a five-year, $24 million grant to support the fundamental science needed to advance next generation manufacturing technologies, flexible electronics and robotics. The grant will also support the development of a greater STEM-literate workforce.

"This cooperative project will help bolster Kentucky's economy, create jobs and put the Commonwealth at the forefront of automation and

12/3/2019

By Madison Brown and Jenny Wells-Hosley

Susan Odom, an associate professor of chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of the Women Chemists Committee's (WCC) "Rising Star" award. Odom is one of only 10 scientists to receive this honor.

Rising Star awards are given to women scientists approaching mid-level careers across all areas, including academic, industrial, government and nonprofit, who demonstrate dedication and promise in their prospective fields.

"I am proud to be a part of a lineage of amazing chemists who I admire, including the chemists who nominated me for this award: Jodie Lutkenhaus at Texas A&M University and Jeffrey Moore at the University of Illinois," Odom said. "Both have served as mentors and provided inspiration

11/26/2019

By Whitney Hale

Angela Jones and her fellow Astronaut Scholars were recognized at ASF's Innovators Gala Aug. 24, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Emily Jourdan, courtesy of ASF.

University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced biology and chemistry senior Angela Jones is one of 2019’s 52 recipients to be awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

A nonprofit organization, ASF was established by the Mercury Astronauts in 1984. Its goal

10/25/2019

By Ryan Girves

(Left to right) Shashika Bandara, Samantha Wylie, David Atwood and Anna Soriano. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo

Behind many a success story is a fantastic mentor. That was the case for David Atwood, a chemistry professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. 

"In my first year in college I was interested in physics and chemistry. However, at the time, I didn't have a clear understanding of either major, certainly not with regards to future careers," Atwood said. "In my second year, I took an undergraduate research class that changed the trajectory of my future."

It was because of his mentor that Atwood was able to achieve such success in his career field. Atwood's mentor inspired him to dream big. That very same mentor also

10/21/2019

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

Lipscomb, who graduated from UK in 1941, is one of five Nobel Laureates who grew up in Kentucky. Harvard University photo file.

This Thursday the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry and the College of Arts and Sciences will celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of one of UK’s most illustrious graduates, William Nunn Lipscomb Jr.

Lipscomb, who graduated from UK in 1941, was a world-famous chemist who received the 1976 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Lipscomb’s lifelong interest was the detailed 3D structures of molecules large and small and the nature of their chemical bonds. Several of his discoveries are discussed in first-year chemistry courses.

"Lipscomb is one of five Nobel

10/3/2019

By Dave Melanson

This project will combine graduate student training with cutting-edge research in mine land remediation, water treatment, crop production and power generation and will help address the need for innovators in food, energy and water systems.

A multidisciplinary University of Kentucky team will provide unique graduate educational opportunities in food, energy and water systems, thanks to a new National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) grant.

This UK-based NRT, which is titled IN FElloWS, and an Academy of Innovators at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems, will be led by Mark Crocker, associate director at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and a professor in UK’s College of Arts &

9/30/2019

The Einstein Foundation of Berlin (Germany) has awarded a prestigious three-year fellowship to Prof. Anne-Frances Miller (Department of Chemistry) to support collaborative research to take place in Berlin.  In search of insight as to how new materials and devices can make more versatile and efficient use of energy, Prof. Miller has been studying enzymes from ancient lineages of bacteria.  While on sabbatical two years ago, she initiated high-level computations and spectroscopic studies to complement her biochemical work, funded by the N.S.F. That work has now caught the attention of a wider community, and Miller has won a fellowship to spend summers in Berlin extending her studies.  This provides an unparalleled opportunity to exploit cutting edge capabilities in Berlin and add scientific personnel to the project under her direction and that of her collaborator, Prof. M. A. Mroginski

8/15/2019
Marcelo Guzman's NSF-funded project will focus on how gases, such as ozone, react with pollutants in the atmosphere. The research may help reduce air pollution levels and consequently, human cardiovascular diseases.

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2019) — University of Kentucky Chemistry Professor Marcelo Guzman has received a prestigious three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research, education and outreach efforts in the field of environmental and atmospheric chemistry.

The $461,000 project, titled "Heterogeneous Aging Mechanisms of Combustion and Biomass Burning Emissions," will focus on how gases, such as ozone, react with pollutants emitted from power plants and forest fires.

"My work with environmental chemistry focuses on the interaction of gases with organic compounds present in low water activity environments such as the atmospheric aerosol, clouds and fog," Guzman said. "

7/22/2019

By Beth Goins

 

STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – is not silent. It certainly isn’t still or stoic.

That much becomes clear within a few minutes of visiting See Blue STEM Camp, Robotics Camp, and Chem Camp at the University of Kentucky in June. The hallowed halls of higher education, normally fairly quiet in the lull between semesters, ring with excitement as hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students become budding engineers, mathematicians, chemists, scientists and computer programmers.

Exclamations such as “Wow!” “Oh no!” or “Yay!” echo from room to room, punctuating evolving stories of problem-solving, teamwork and perseverance through trial and error. In many rooms, students are at work with heads leaning in together to get a closer look at a tablet, circuit component, crayfish, microscope or storyboard.

7/19/2019

By Jenny Wells

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 19, 2019) — Saturday, July 20, 2019, will mark 50 years since human beings first landed and walked on the surface of the moon. Nearly 650 million people around the world watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped down from the lunar module and left their footprints on the lunar surface. It was described by "CBS Evening News" anchor Walter Cronkite as "the greatest adventure" in man’s history, and remains one of humankind’s greatest symbols of achievement.

As the United States and the world reflect on this historic moment, the University of Kentucky is remembering its own people who played important roles in making it happen. From working on the Saturn V rocket, to designing the parachutes that deployed when the astronauts returned, to analyzing the

6/19/2019

By Autumn Miller

The University of Kentucky is always looking for ways to ensure students have access to the best course material. With textbook prices on the rise, some students have decided to forgo buying textbooks. As an active contributor to student success, the UK Libraries started the Alternative Textbook Grant Program in 2016 to help faculty offer free or affordable course material. For the upcoming year, 10 grants are being awarded.

The Alternative Textbook Grant Program provides UK instructors with assistance in finding or creating educational material that best suits their pedagogical needs and effectively reduces their students’ financial burdens. In past years, the

6/3/2019

By Lindsey Piercy

Although students are excited to start their journey in higher education, there is often a feeling of apprehension. One of the most anxiety-producing tasks? Registering for classes.

Choosing from a variety of professors, scheduling your courses and getting enough credit hours can be extremely stressful. That's why the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky has spent the last three years rethinking and restructuring the process.

Dean Mark Kornbluh takes great pride in offering innovative core classes — courses that were originally designed with freshmen in mind. “We want to make sure our incoming students start their college career on the right foot, with all of the

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