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April 2019

Department Head Martin Gruebele sitting at his desk 
Martin Gruebele 

Greetings from the Department Head

We recently wrapped up another season of faculty and graduate recruiting, as well as the first week back to classes after spring break. It’s hard to believe—before you know it, we’ll be saying goodbye and best wishes to another graduating class of students at convocation in May.

For now, I invite you to catch up on the latest department happenings.

 Illini Success logo

Illini Success: School of Chemical Sciences graduates are successful at landing first destinations 

For chemical sciences bachelor’s degree graduates, Illini Success survey data shows a strong, steady picture of success.

 Marina Philip headshot

The grad-roots movement toward mental wellness 

Marina Philip is a PhD candidate studying analytical chemistry in the Jonathan Sweedler group. With a background in journalism, Marina’s extracurricular efforts focus on outreach, diversity, and fostering positive communication within the department and throughout the community.

Here she discusses student-driven initiatives to address mental health concerns within the department.

 Scott Denmark and group in his office

Creating a more efficient alternative to traditional catalyst design

For centuries, chemists have been preoccupied with the question of how molecular structure relates to function. New research from the Denmark laboratory uses a computer-driven workflow and machine learning to develop a more efficient and versatile method of selective catalyst prediction.

 Zan Luthey-Schulten headshot

Luthey-Schulten invested as Murchison-Mallory Endowed Chair in Chemistry

On March 14, Professor Zaida (Zan) Luthey-Schulten was invested as the Murchison-Mallory Endowed Chair in Chemistry at a ceremony on the Urbana campus. The chair was established by Dr. Meredith Mallory Jr. in 1995 to aid the university in its efforts to provide fundamental instruction to undergraduate students in fields such as engineering and medicine, as well as chemistry.

Read more>>

 Lauren Hagler & Tabitha Miller pictured with their certificates at the recognition reception

Graduate students Lauren Hagler and Tabitha Miller recognized for excellence

Lauren Hagler (Zimmerman lab) and Tabitha Miller (Fout lab) were recently recognized for public engagement and research excellence by the Graduate College.

Tabitha, who was selected primarily for non-research activities appreciated the confirmation that “a PhD isn’t just about research, and that as scientists, our commitment to professional development and outreach is just as important.”

Read more>>

 Martin Burke headshot

Health Make-A-Thon program helps break healthcare barriers

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine wants Champaign county residents to submit their ideas for improving health care. Marty Burke, professor of chemistry and associate dean of the medical school, discusses how the program is removing traditional barriers to healthcare innovation.


Alumni News & Updates

  • Kevin E Howard (PhD, ’88, Rauchfuss) is retiring from Dow after a 30-year career in corporate research and development. Congratulations, Dr. Howard!
  • William Nebergall (MS, '39, Reedy) is one of the 2019 National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees. He achieved this award with his development of stannous fluoride toothpaste (US Patent No. 2,876,166). Read more here.

In Memoriam

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Upcoming Events

Alumni Panel on Entrepreneurship
May 9, 2019 (Urbana, IL)

Speakers: Drs. May D. Lee (PhD, ’76, Rinehart) and Ving J. Lee (PhD, ’75, Rinehart)
May 12, 2019 (Urbana, IL)

Alumni Reception with Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company
May 23, 2019 (Naperville, IL)


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