UConn Chemist Wins Patent for Tunable Metal Oxide Synthesis Method

By Anna Zarra Aldrich, Office of the Vice President for Research

Altug Poyraz, left, a graduate student, with Steven Suib, distinguished professor and director of chemistry on Jan. 9, 2014. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn chemistry professor Steven Suib has been granted a US patent for a new method developed with his former student, Altug S. Poyraz, now an inorganic chemistry professor at Kennesaw State University. The technology is capable of synthesizing and customizing a type of compound that has unique catalytic and electronic properties.

Suib and Poyraz have patented their process for synthesizing thermally stable mesoporous transitional metal oxides. Their process also allows them to control the size of the mesopores and nano-sized crystalline walls.

Continue reading

Seeking Assistant Professor-in-Residence, General/Organic Chemistry

The Chemistry Department within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at the University of Connecticut, invites applications for a non-tenure track faculty position at the Assistant Professor-in-Residence level, a unionized position that is part of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) bargaining unit.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) is in the midst of a transformational period of growth supported by the $1.7B Next Generation Connecticut (http://nextgenct.uconn.edu/) and the $1B Bioscience Connecticut (http://biosciencect.uchc.edu/) investments and a bold new Academic Plan: UConn’s Path to Excellence (https://academicvision.uconn.edu). See also the CLAS Academic Plan, particularly as it relates to teaching excellence (https://clas.uconn.edu/academic-plan/).

The successful candidate will assist primarily with teaching lecture and laboratory classes in general and organic chemistry, and developing new curriculum materials. Other teaching and technical roles may be assigned as per qualification of the candidate. Continue reading

Award Announcements

Two University of Connecticut Chemistry professors recently received Research Excellence Program (REP) awards. Dr. Eugene Pinkhassik recently received the award for his proposal, “Catch and Release of Nucleic Acids with Porous Nanocapsules.” Dr. Yao Lin was awarded for his proposal, “Mechanics of Processive Enzymes that Degrade Crystalline Polymers and Its Implications in Designing Macromolecular Machines.” Congratulations!

Early College Experience at UConn Chemistry

Last week UConn opened its doors to 34 high school students from Berlin High School and Orville H. Platt High School (Meriden, CT) for a day of science lectures, demonstrations and hands on laboratory activities. The trip was coordinated by the Early College Experience office and Dr. Fatma Selampinar, with science activities hosted by Dr. RougeDr. Quardokus and their students (Molly W., Cynthia G., Veronica H., Alyssa H., Saketh G. and Halle Barber, UConn ‘20). In the morning, the students had a chance to visualize atoms and learn about the forces they exert on other nearby atoms. Later in the afternoon, they had a chance to visualize DNA, interpret a gel and learn that DNA can be used as a nanomaterial, not just a genetic code. To wrap up the day the students were taken on a tour of the Mass Spectrometry Facility, with an educational demo by Lei Wang. A fun day of science and outreach ranging from materials to chemical biology was had by all!

Undergraduate Student Awards


Presented to the top graduating senior.

Vincent Pistritto



Presented to a student who displays an aptitude for a career in Analytical Chemistry.

Lacie Dube



Recognizing achievements by an undergraduate in organic chemistry pursuing a career in chemistry.

Vincent Pistritto

Continue reading

UConn Nanochemistry Lab Earns Proclamation for Art Exhibit

From Collin Sitz at the Daily Campus:

Caterina Riccardi, a member of the project’s team of eight chemistry graduate students, said the exhibit was created by using “a scanning or transmission electron microscope, which employs a beam of electrons to create an image rather than a light beam used in conventional optical microscopes.”

The University of Connecticut’s Kumar research group will accept a proclamation by Connecticut state senator and UConn alum Mae Flexer Monday for its exhibit “Art in Nanochemistry”.

Dr. Challa Kumar, who has led this lab art project since 2014, said he conceived the exhibit, a 22-photograph set of materials on a nanometer’s scale, in an effort to reach out to the public and promote science in a way that everyone can understand.

“We wanted to represent nanochemistry in a way that the general public without a science degree will be able to appreciate it,” Kumar said. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we do some artwork?’ so people can look at it and we can tell them a little bit more about how we made it and why it’s important.”

Continue reading

Chemistry Students Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

The following students in Chemistry have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa this year. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most widely recognized honors society, celebrating achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. Congratulations to:

Halle Barber

Nicole Gomez

Mark Johnson

Aaron Cesar Lopes

Jessica Elena Ortegon

Ayushi Sanjay Pathak

Zachary Daniel Stempel

Taryn Briana Wisniewski

Joe Allen Zavorskas Jr.