Chemistry News

“Promising” and “remarkable” are two words Ames Laboratory scientist and chemistry professor Javier Vela uses to describe recent research results on organolead mixed-halide perovskites.

Professor Javier Vela's new perovskite research discoveries may lead to solar cell, LED advances

Professor Yu named 2016 named 2016 Fellow of the American Physical Society

Congratulations to Professor Edward Yu on his Fellowship in the American Physical Society

Iowa State University Awards 2016

Fifty Iowa State employees, recipients of the 2016 university-wide awards, were recognized during an afternoon ceremony on Monday, Sept. 26.  Chemistry personnel who were honored include:

Professor Keith Woo--Regent's Award for Faculty Excellence
Professor Aaron Sadow--Iowa State University Award for Early Achievement in Research
Renee Harris--Regent's Award for Staff Excellence


Liberal Arts and Science College Awards 2016

Iowa State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences held its Fall Convocation on September 14. Several faculty and staff members from Chemistry were honored with awards:

Outstanding Teaching: Professor Jacob Petrich
Outstanding Teaching (Non-Tenure Eligible): Professor Jesudoss Kingston
Early Achievement in Research: Professor Levi Stanley
Institutional Service Award: Professor Emily Smith
Professional & Scientific Excellence Award: Nancy Olson
Merit Excellence: Carlene Auestad
Learning Community Leadership Award: John Burright


Professor Theresa Windus and team secure $35 million NSF award

The National Science Foundation has committed $35 million to Professor Theresa Windus and her team to improve scientific software that will make it possible to perform virtual experiments and explore laboratory research data with reliable, reproducible results.
Read more about it here.

Five Questions for a Master of Glass

Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Gilman Hall basement is a one-man shop. Trond Forre is a scientific glassblower -- one of only two in the state of Iowa -- and manager of the chemistry department’s glass shop. The Ames native has been at Iowa State since 1988, learning and mastering a craft that’s serving clients on campus and around the world. Read more about Trond here.


Gordon group awards

Congratulations to Dr. Emilie Guidez and Colleen Bertoni from the Mark Gordon group.

Emilie received the Wiley Computers in Chemistry Outstanding Postdoc Award. The program is organized by ACS COMP Division, sponsored by Wiley and presented by the Int. Journal of Quantum Chemistry and the Journal of Computational Chemistry. The award provides $1,000 to outstanding postdoctoral scholars to present their work in COMP symposia at the Fall 2016 Philadelphia ACS National Meeting.

Colleen was named the recipient of the Margaret Butler Fellowship in Computational Science by the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.   The ALCF fellowship began in 2014 and honors the lifetime achievements of Margaret Butler, a pioneering researcher in both computer science and nuclear energy.  Butler served as director of Argonne’s National Energy Software Center and was the first female Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. Colleen will spend the spring 2017 semester as a post-doc at the Argonne National Laboratory.  



Professor Tom Holme wins James Flack Norris Award

Congratulations to Professor Tom Holme for winning the James Flack Norris Award in Chemical Education. The award pays tribute to outstanding contributions to the field of Chemical Education. It was established in 1950 by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society to honor the memory of James Flack Norris, Professor of Chemistry, MIT.

Professor Jacob Petrich receives the ACS Midwest Award

Congratulations to Professor Jacob Petrich for receiving the ACS Midwest Award. The ACS Midwest Award was established in 1944 to publicly recognize outstanding achievements in chemistry in the Midwest region. The award is conferred annually on a scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the advancement of pure or applied chemistry, chemical education, and the profession of chemistry.

Jake will receive his award at the Midwest Regional ACS meeting in October in Mahattan, Kansas.

The Karas Award for Outstanding Dissertation

Dr. Holly Walen, PhD Thiel group 2016, has been named the 2016 Karas Award winner for Outstanding Dissertation at Iowa State.  The Karas Award has been established to recognize excellence in doctoral research at Iowa State University. Each year the two winners of this award become Iowa State University’s nominees to the national competition for the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/University Microfilms International (UMI) Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Holly was also an honorable mention winner for the Zaffarano Prize for superior performance in publishable research.  To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time someone has been named in both awards.

She is currently holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science working at the Surface and Interface Science Laboratory at RIKEN. Congratulations Holly!


John Verkade

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of professor John Verkade on April 6 following a 15-month illness.
Please see the link below for more information on his visitation and funeral service:!/Obituary

Chemistry undergrad Jeffrey Gustafson showcases his research at the annual Capitol event March 29

Jeffrey Gustafson, a student in the Theresa Windus group, will present his research titled: "Computation applied to the Future of Rare Earth Separations" at the annual Research in the Capitol event on March 29th. 

More than 60 undergraduate students from Iowa's three Regent universities (Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa) will display their research posters and describe their work.The event highlights the importance of research to the undergraduate learning experience, as well as the depth and variety of research being done.

See the complete list of presenters here.

Jeffrey Gustafson, Kiron, chemistry: "Computation Applied to the Future of Rare Earth Separations," Theresa Windus, chemistry. - See more at:
Jeffrey Gustafson, Kiron, chemistry: "Computation Applied to the Future of Rare Earth Separations," Theresa Windus, chemistry. - See more at:

Summer courses in Chemistry

9 GREAT reasons for taking chemistry at ISU in the summer:

1.  Smaller class size and more personal attention.

2.  Fewer distractions (fewer classes and fewer social and sporting events).

3.  8-week semester allows students to focus on the class.

4.  Get ahead/stay on track in your academic career.

5.  Improve your GPA.

6.  Avoid summer learning loss and stay sharp for fall semester.

7.  Enjoy summer in beautiful AMES, Iowa!

8.  Chemistry is fun all year round!

9.  No need to move back home with your parents!

See the full list of courses here:

Summer 2016 courses in Chemistry

Questions?  Email or call 515/294-6352 or visit 1608 Gilman Hall

Javier Vela named LAS Equity Advisor

Javier Vela has been named to a three year term as a LAS Equity Advisor. The Equity Adviser's role is to chair the college’s Diversity Committee, to provide guidance and training to support the goal of recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and to provide information and be available for consultation on issues including recruiting, hiring, mentoring, professional development, promotion, leadership opportunities, and departmental climate as they relate to support for women and minority faculty. The Equity Advisor also serves as a resource to all departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State on matters of diversity, inclusion, and equity.  See the LAS press release here:

Congratulatiuons Javier!!