Deborah Wiegand promoted to Principal Lecturer

Wiegand 2013 cropThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Senior Lecturer Deborah Wiegand on her promotion to Principal Lecturer, effective September 16, 2016.

Dr. Wiegand joined the Department of Chemistry as Lecturer in 1990, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1995. From 2001-2013, she served as Director of Academic Counseling and the UW Gateway Center and then as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, making wide-ranging contributions to student welfare and improving undergraduate services and education.

Dr. Wiegand returned to Chemistry full-time in 2013 as Senior Lecturer and Director of Entry-Level Programs. She regularly teaches courses in our introductory-level general chemistry sequence and serves as the sole instructor for our General, Organic, and Biochemistry sequence, which targets students preparing for the study of nursing. As Director of Entry-Level Programs, Dr. Wiegand leverages her previous administrative experience to provide critical leadership for our large introductory-level instructional programs. Her administrative contributions include leading a significant revision of our introductory-level general chemistry curriculum and the development of a placement test for introductory chemistry courses; when fully implemented, these will help us to better educate and serve the thousands of students who take our introductory-level courses each year.

Colleen Craig promoted to Senior Lecturer

Craig 2015 DTA photoThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Lecturer Colleen Craig on her promotion to Senior Lecturer, effective September 16, 2016.

Dr. Craig joined the regular faculty of the Department of Chemistry as Lecturer in Autumn 2012 after serving as an instructor for general chemistry courses since Autumn 2009. She typically teaches Introduction to General Chemistry and multiple courses in the introductory-level general chemistry sequence, and she contributes in-depth knowledge about online learning and assessment systems. For her efforts to incorporate innovative technology in the classroom to enhance student learning and engagement, Dr. Craig was one of four Chemistry team members to receive the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology.

Jasmine Bryant promoted to Senior Lecturer

Bryant Headshot_SquareThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Lecturer Jasmine Bryant on her promotion to Senior Lecturer, effective September 16, 2016.

Dr. Bryant joined the regular faculty of the Department of Chemistry as Lecturer in Autumn 2012, though she has previously contributed to the Department in both instructional and administrative capacities. She is unusually versatile as an instructor, successfully teaching large lecture courses in 100-level introductory general chemistry and 200-level sophomore organic chemistry, as well as 300-level inorganic chemistry lecture and laboratory courses. For her efforts to incorporate innovative technology in the classroom to enhance student learning and engagement, Dr. Bryant was one of four Chemistry team members to receive the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology.

 

Robert Synovec wins 2016 Marcel Golay Award

synovec_2016Robert Synovec, Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Education, is the recipient of the 2016 Marcel Golay Award. The Marcel Golay Award was created by PerkinElmer in honor of Marcel Jules Eduard Golay, the inventor of capillary columns. It is presented to a scientist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in capillary chromatography. Prof. Synovec is being recognized for his “outstanding investigations in the areas of complex mixture analysis, multidimensional chromatography instrumentation design, and chemometrics uses for analytical separations.” The award will be given at the 40th International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography, in Riva del Garda, Italy, May 31- June 3, 2016.

To learn more about Professor Synovec and his research, visit his faculty page and research group site.

Brandi Cossairt Wins NSF CAREER Award

Brandi CossairtAssistant Professor Brandi Cossairt has received a CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide program that “offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.” Professor Cossairt received the award for her research proposal, “CAREER: New Models for Controlling InP Nucleation, Growth, and Luminescence using Magic-Sized Clusters and Targeted Surface Chemistry”. Research conducted under this CAREER award aims to address the fundamental challenges in controlling the composition and interfaces of nanomaterials with atom-level precision. Experimental approaches include:

1) testing new models of InP nucleation using isolable, structurally characterized and atomically precise magic-sized cluster intermediates;

2) understanding how surface chemistry impacts the structure and function of InP magic-sized clusters to gain access to general strategies for anisotropic shape control and doping; and

3) discovering new post-synthetic surface chemistry to turn-on and color-tune the luminescence of InP and related QDs using Lewis acid coordination chemistry.

Additionally, the project aims to advance educational goals, including creating an undergraduate specialization in Chemistry for Energy at the University of Washington (UW), developing hands-on demonstration materials and workshops on the topic of colloidal nanoscience targeted to middle and high school students in collaboration with the UW Phi Lambda Upsilon (National Chemistry Honor Society) chapter, and broadening participation in chemistry at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level through work with several organizations.

For more information about this NSF CAREER Award, please visit the award website.

For more information about Brandi Cossairt and her research program, please visit her faculty page and research group site.

David Masiello promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Masiello 2016The Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor David Masiello on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2016.

Research in Masiello group is aimed at building a theoretical understanding of nanoscale optical, magnetic, electronic, and thermal phenomena mediated by surface plasmons. Of particular interest is the fundamental science of light manipulation, especially in metamaterials capable of directing light towards desired pathways, such as optical-frequency magnetism, spatially-directed thermal patterning, room-temperature quantum information processing, and enhanced solar-energy conversion. Theoretical approaches from the Masiello group are currently being used by the experimental community to direct the design of advanced materials with unprecedented functionalities.

To learn more about Professor Masiello’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Gojko Lalic promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Lalic cropThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor Gojko Lalic on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2016.

Professor Lalic is interested in developing new reactions for the synthesis of organic molecules using transition metal catalysis. An essential part of the Lalic group’s approach to reaction development is the exploration of reaction mechanisms, which results in a better understanding of the fundamental reactivity of organic and organometallic compounds.

To learn more about Professor Lalic’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

AJ Boydston promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Boydston 2015 DTA photoThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor AJ Boydston on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2016.

Research in the Boydston group focuses on various aspects of macromolecular design, synthesis, and function. By controlling the microstructures of polymer and network materials, the Boydston group is discovering ways in which macroscopic mechanical forces can be used to guide precise, molecular-level chemical transformations. Materials that display this mechanochemical transduction capability may find application in numerous fields, including biomedical engineering, drug delivery, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and autonomously self-healing systems.

To learn more about Professor Boydston’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

David Masiello receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Masiello 2016David Masiello, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). President Barack Obama named 106 researchers as recipients of the award, granting them the U.S. government’s highest award for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Masiello received the award “for his cutting-edge research in the emerging field of theoretical molecular nanophotonics, and for his comprehensive educational and outreach programs including an exemplary focus on enhancing the scientific communication abilities of young researchers.” Masiello’s research group focuses on the development of novel, rigorous and computationally tractable theoretical descriptions of the structure and dynamics of nanoscale systems, as well as their interactions with the electromagnetic field.

PECASE recognizes scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Winners demonstrate the ability to broadly advance fundamental research and help the United States maintain its position as a leading producer of scientists and engineers. Masiello was one of three UW faculty members to receive this honor.

“The awardees are outstanding scientists and engineers,” said NSF Director France Córdova. “They are teacher-scholars who are developing new generations of outstanding scientists and engineers and ensuring this nation is a leading innovator. I applaud these recipients for their leadership, distinguished teaching and commitment to public outreach.”

To learn more about Professor Masiello and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group site.

Brandi Cossairt named 2015 Packard Fellow

Brandi CossairtThe David and Lucile Packard Foundation has named the University of Washington’s Brandi Cossairt as one of 18 Packard Fellows for 2015. The Packard Foundation chooses scientists in the early stages of their careers and supports the more innovative avenues of investigation that traditional funding may not give them the freedom to explore.

“It is really an honor — humbling and amazing,” said Cossairt, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Chemistry. The fellowship includes a five-year research grant of $875,000.

Cossairt and the members of her lab — at last count nine graduate students, one postdoctoral fellow and several undergraduates — pursue research to synthesize and manufacture new molecules for applications in green technology such as solar energy and fuel production.

“I like to group chemists into two categories — makers and measurers,” said Cossairt. “We’re definitely makers.”

Cossairt works on crystal formation at the “nanoscale,” a window of size between 1 and 100 nanometers. For reference, 1 nanometer is 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. This range of exploration is intermediate between the scale of individual molecules or atoms and larger — but still microscopic — realm of bacteria or crystalline aggregates. It is also a scale with unique properties, especially for the nanocrystals Cossairt studies.

“The properties of materials at this scale just tend to be really different than if they were smaller or larger,” said Cossairt. “In the nanoscale, when you change the size of these nanocrystals, their electronic structure changes. You can alter what color of light they absorb and what color they emit, for example.”

Light emitted from nanocrystals

Light emitted from nanocrystals synthesized in the Cossairt lab for display applications.  Courtesy of the Cossairt group.

Many of Cossairt’s research projects explore the light-interacting properties of nanocrystals. One goal is to synthesize new light-emitters for energy-efficient lighting and electronic displays. Other projects aim to produce new, efficient light-absorbing compounds for solar cells.

Cossairt’s research also explores new methods for fuel production. Just as she hopes semiconductor nanocrystals could harvest light for solar energy, she is looking at how nanocrystals could harvest light directly for fuel formation, such as splitting water molecules to produce hydrogen. In a separate project, Cossairt and her team are exploring how nanocrystals could absorb a pollutant, such as carbon dioxide gas from industrial output, and convert it into octane, a useful hydrocarbon fuel.

In addition to these green applications for nanocrystals, Cossairt and her laboratory study new ways to manufacture nanocrystals quickly and efficiently.

“The tools to work at this scale are developing, and if you don’t make your crystals the same size they won’t all have the same properties,” said Cossairt. “What we really try to do is to make these nanomaterials cheaply and uniformly.”

Indium phosphide nanocrystal

A single crystal X-ray diffraction structure — the first of its kind — of an indium phosphide nanocrystal synthesized in the Cossairt lab. Courtesy of the Cossairt group.

Part of Cossairt’s motivation in these projects is a sense of social responsibility for the challenges of the 21st century.

“As a scientist, I ultimately want to do things that help people,” she said. “We need green energy, and lots of it, and my background in materials science and chemistry makes this application the right space for my training.”

Cossairt earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She began to study nanocrystal properties as a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University before joining the UW faculty in 2012. Cossairt is the third Packard Fellow to come from the UW Department of Chemistry and the ninth overall for the university, seven of whom are still at the UW.

Every year, about 50 universities are invited to nominate two faculty members who are in the first three years of their careers for consideration as a fellow. A 12-member scientific panel recommends fellows each year for final selection by the Packard Foundation Board of Trustees, in fields from biology to engineering.

“The previous Packard Fellows have been astounding, so I feel like I’m in great company,” said Cossairt.

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For more information, contact Cossairt at 206-543-4643 or cossairt@uw.edu.

See the original post of this story by James Urton, News and Information, at UW Today here.