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College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry

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  • New X‑ray beamline instrument brings unique capabilities to WSU

    An X‑ray beamline with a first-of-its-kind imaging source is being installed at Washington State University’s Dodgen Research Facility. The instrument, valued at over $1 million, will allow researchers to study a range of materials at nano- and atomic-scales. It’s also perhaps the only X‑ray beamline in the world to be housed in the same facility as a research nuclear reactor, facilitating the study of irradiated materials.

    The 20-foot-long instrument sends a beam of light that can penetrate through a sample which then scatters the beam onto a detector. This allows scientists to see the material’s nanostructures and atomic features. WSU’s X‑ray beamline can analyze a … » More …

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  • Hydrogen production method opens up clean fuel possibilities

    A new energy-efficient method developed by a team of WSU scientists to locally produce hydrogen gas from ethanol and water has the potential to make clean hydrogen fuel a more viable alternative to fossil fuels.

    “Our technology produces pure hydrogen at high pressure with high efficiency and at a low energy cost while also capturing the carbon dioxide by-product,” said Louis Scudiero, professor of chemistry and co-author of a paper on the research published in the journal Applied Catalysis A.

    Like electric battery-powered cars, hydrogen fuel-cell cars don’t emit harmful carbon dioxide during operation and, like traditional gasoline-powered cars, hydrogen-powered cars can be refilled in minutes.

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  • New leaders in arts and sciences bring wealth of experience to posts

    Three academic units in the College of Arts and Sciences are welcoming new leadership this fall.

    In the School of Music, Professor Keri McCarthy succeeds Dean Luethi as director, and in the Department of Chemistry, Professor Cliff Berkman succeeds Kirk Peterson as chair.

    In the School of the Environment—which is part of both CAS and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences—Allyson Beall King, associate professor, career track, succeeds Kent Keller as director.

    “Drs. McCarthy, Berkman, and King bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles,” said Todd Butler, CAS dean. Their respective terms began Aug. 16.

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  • SURCA presents undergraduate research awards

    Several students from across the College of Arts and Sciences were among WSU scholars who presented posters at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) 2022 on March 28.

    SURCA is the unique WSU-wide venue for students from all majors, years in college, and all WSU campuses to share their mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities, and have judges evaluate their work shown on a poster. At this year’s event, around 140 students from four campuses were among those accepted to present 112 posters to 90 judges. Faculty, postdoctoral students, and community experts used a common rubric to evaluate and score presentations across nine … » More …

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  • Kettel Love Story: After more than 70 years, the chemistry is still there

    After 70 years of marriage, Ernie and JoAnn Kettel’s chemistry is undeniable.

    In 1949 they met in a chemistry lab at Washington State College (now WSU). Actually, they’d briefly met a few months before when they both hitched a ride from the West Side of the state to Pullman.

    Raised on a dairy farm in Sequim, Washington, he was on his way to becoming a veterinarian. JoAnn had grown up in Arlington, Washington, and chose Washington State College over University of Washington because she wanted to go to a smaller school.

    The couple plunged into community life. Ernie served on the city council, the planning … » More …

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  • WSU’s nuclear reactor pool gets a new coat

    The tank that holds WSU’s research nuclear reactor will soon be coated with a new, flexible epoxy lining without the reactor ever having to leave its watery home.

    The university’s Nuclear Science Center has a unique reactor pool: a relatively large, rectangular concrete-walled tank about 25-feet deep and filled with 65,000 gallons of water. Near the bottom, the glowing blue reactor core rests in a square box. It’s hooked to a bridge on a track so it can be moved to one side of the pool while work is done on the other, keeping it constantly under several feet of protective, highly deionized water.

    The … » More …

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  • Undergraduate researchers tackle important questions in sciences, humanities

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, relieving chronic pain, understanding protest behavior and conserving wildlife are among the goals of eight faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects funded this spring by the College of Arts and Sciences.

    Students from across the college—in mathematicschemistryforeign languages and politicalpsychologicalenvironmental and biological sciences—are working with faculty researchers to solve questions as diverse as what are a book’s chances of becoming a best seller and which food sources threatened butterflies prefer.

    “The College of Arts and Sciences enthusiastically supports our students’ intellectual curiosity and the wide range of exciting and impactful research they conduct,” said Courtney Meehan, CAS associate dean for research and graduate studies. … » More …

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  • Jeremy Lessmann appointed director of Office of Undergraduate Research

    Washington State University has appointed Jeremy J. Lessmann, chemistry associate professor, as the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (UR).

    “Jeremy brings to his new position a wealth of knowledge about, and experience with, the office and undergraduate research, in general, and we are excited to have him on board as its leader,” said Mary Sánchez Lanier, assistant vice provost.

    Lessmann said, “I am excited to serve all WSU students and the university in this new capacity, and I look forward to helping to advance students’ high-impact learning activities associated with research, scholarship, and creative activities across all majors.”

    Lessmann’s own research interests include novel … » More …

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  • Washington State University Vancouver breaks ground on science building

    Set to open to students in fall 2023, the building will serve as an instructional and research facility featuring lab space, classrooms and offices primarily for those studying life sciences such as biology and chemistry. It will also feature space for programs in nursing, psychology and medicine.

    Along with Netzhammer, WSU President Kirk Schulz and a handful of state legislators spoke to articulate how education projects like this have been critical in recent years.

    “Since the start of the pandemic, a lot of people have become curious about medicinal research and vaccines,” Schulz said. “Even though we planned this building way before that, I think … » More …

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  • WSU’s Aurora Clark honored as fellow of American Physical Society

    Aurora E. Clark, a Washington State University professor and expert in physical chemistry, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society, the nation’s leading association for physicists.

    The prestigious award recognizes Clark’s work in developing innovative methods to advance the study of complex chemical solutions and their interfaces using molecular simulation and integrating methods from graph theory, topology (shape) and geometry.

    “This knowledge underpins the basic science needed to solve a variety of important industrial problems that impact human health, environmental management and technological innovation,” Clark said.

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