Chemistry News

Theresa Windus Theresa Windus, has been named as an AAAS Fellow in this year’s class.

Theresa Windus is being recognized for “leadership in the development of advanced high-performance computing algorithms, and for development of a broad understanding of the chemistry of heavy elements.”

Windus’ work in computational science has helped researchers in chemistry, biochemistry, materials and engineering use high-performance computers to advance their work.

She is internationally recognized for developing software that allows scientists to effectively use the world’s largest supercomputers.


AAAS Fellows

This year’s class of AAAS Fellows includes 396 members who are being recognized by their scientific peers. They will be formally announced this week in the journal Science and recognized in February at the AAAS annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows goes back to 1874.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and science academies that serve 10 million people. AAAS also publishes Science and other scientific journals.  Forr AAAS story see:

Zach Robole receives Iowa Space Grant Consortium undergraduate scholarship

Zach Robole, undergraduate student in the Brett VanVeller group, has been named a recipient of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium undergraduate scholarship.  

Congratulations Zach!!

Professor Arthur Winter receives Trapp Innovation Award

Arthur Winter, associate professor of chemistry, was honored with the 2017 Trapp Innovation Award. The award provides funding to a faculty member who is pursuing new or unique research in chemistry or the physical sciences. Read more about his innovative research here.

Congratulations Art!

Professor Brett VanVeller received the Cassling Family Award for Early Achievement in Teaching

Brett VanVeller, assistant professor of chemistry, received the Cassling Award for Early Achievement in Teaching. The award recognizes an early career faculty member with outstanding teaching performance.

VanVeller’s students describe him as “passionate,” “enthusiastic,” and “charismatic.” He holds innovative office hours in a large conference room where students gather to discuss and work through problems together and have student-led discussions. At the graduate level, he has restructured a foundations course to accelerate the research productivity of first-year graduate students.

“Brett’s emphasis to build upon concepts and examine the ‘how’ and ‘why’ is an eminently sound approach to help students succeed, not only in the difficult subject of organic chemistry, but in other courses as well,” said Gordon Miller, University Professor in chemistry. “He is highly respected and admired by students for his energy, clarity, and passion, and his faculty colleagues are adapting their own philosophies of student-instructor interaction based on some of Brett’s ideas.”

The Cassling Awards were donated by Randal S. and Lori S. Cassling, in honor of Randal’s parents, Robert and Rita Lenore Dunn Cassling. Robert Cassling was a 1956 graduate of Iowa State University while Rita attended Iowa State and was a former homecoming queen.

Congratulations Brett!!

Ann Lii-Rosales wins Minnesota AVS poster competition

Ann Lii-Rosales, a graduate student in the Thiel group, has won the $1,000 poster prize at the Minnesota Regional AVS meeting. She will be travelling to the national meeting in October to compete as a finalist for the student prize of the Nanoscience & Technology Division.

Congratulations Ann!


Professor Levi Stanley wants to make pharmaceutical practices more green

Manufacturing medicines can be expensive and create a lot of waste. Levi Stanley, an expert in the field of catalytic chemistry, wants to make pharmaceutical practices a little more green.

Beatrise Berzina receives a Baxter Young Investigator Award

Beatrise Berzina, graduate student in the Robbyn Anand group, has been selected to receive a Baxter Young Investigator Award. Baxter's Young Investigator Awards seek to stimulate and reward research applicable to the development of therapies and medical products that save and sustain patients' lives.

Congratulations Beatrise!!

Professors Winter and Smith work to enhance the view of the microscope

Professors Arthur Winter and Emily Smith, along with Chamari Wijesooriya from the Smith group, are working to enhance the view of the microscope with STORM (Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy).

Arthur White chosen as a finalist for the Reaxys Prize

Arthur White, graduate student in the Vela/Miller group, has been selected as a finalist for the Reaxys Prize.

The Reaxys PhD Prize is the most prestigious prize recognizing young chemists’ work by celebrating the very best in chemistry research being performed worldwide. This year, 45 finalists chosen from 550 entries, are invited to present their research at the Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium on 19 and 20 October organised in Shanghai. The very top finalists will have the opportunity to give an oral presentation and 3 winners will be selected that day by the members of the Reaxys Advisory Board and PhD Prize Coordinators.

Congratulations Arthur!!

Professor Kirill Kovnir named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Professor Kirill Kovnir, who is joining the faculty in August, has been named a Fellow to the Royal Society of Chemistry. In order to be nominated as a fellow, candidates must have made 'a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science'.  Congratulations Kirill!

Professor Wenyu Huang's “Ship in a bottle” method improves catalysts

A new "ship in a bottle" strategy, designed by assistant professor Wenyu Huang and his colleagues, improves catalysts for MRI imaging and fuel cells by protecting nanoparticles from aggregating, thus increasing surface area.

Ames Laboratory celebrates 70 years of science on the ISU campus

The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is celebrating 70 years on the Iowa State University campus. The close university-laboratory ties have helped recruit researchers, educate students, build research teams and make scientific discoveries possible.

Faculty and Staff awards from ISU and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Iowa State University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has honored Chemistry faculty and staff with awards. They will be awarded at the Fall Convocation ceremony on Tuesday, September 5 at 3:30 PM in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

Emily Smith received the ISU Mid-Career Achievement in Research Award. This award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in research and/or creative activity at the mid-career stage. Emily joined the department in 2006 in our analytical chemistry group.

Igor Slowing received the ISU Professional and Scientific Research Award. This award recognizes Professional and Scientific staff members for excellence in research. Igor received his PhD at Iowa State under the last Victor Lin in 2008. He joined the Ames Laboratory as a staff scientist in 2009 and then came to Chemistry in 2013 as an Adjunct Assistant Professor.

Brett VanVeller received the LAS Early Achievement in Teaching Award. This award recognizes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching performance unusually early in their professional career. Brett is an organic chemist who joined the department as an Assistant Professor in 2014.

Javier Vela received the LAS Institutional Service Award. This award recognizes a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty or staff for a history of exemplary institutional service that has benefitted the department, College and/or the University. Javier is a synthetic inorganic and materials chemist. He joined the department in 2009.

Gordon Miller received the LAS Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring. This award recognizes the effectiveness of major professor who serve as mentors and who enrich the student-professor relationship by support and attention to detail which enables students to finish their work in a time and scholarly manner. Gordie is an experimental and theoretical solid state chemist who has mentored students in the department since in 1990.

George Kraus received the LAS Achievement in Intellectual Property Management. This award recognizes faculty and staff members four outstanding LAS/ISU based achievements in producing intellectual property. George joined our faculty in 1976 as an organic chemist.

Levi Stanley received the LAS Award for Learning Community Leadership. This award recognizes faculty and staff members for outstanding coordination and leadership for a learning community in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is an organic chemist who joined the faculty in 2012.

Theresa Windus received the LAS Outstanding Teaching Award. This award recognizes members for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time in education. Windus, a theoretical and computational chemist, received her PhD from ISU in 1996 and joined the department as a Professor in 2006.

Cristina Bonaccorsi received the LAS Undergraduate Introductory Teaching Award. This award recognizes outstanding performance in teaching undergraduate introductory classes. Cristina was a post-doc under the late Victor Lin and joined the department as a Lecturer in 2007.

Kathy Burke received the LAS Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer. This award recognizes lecturers or senior lecturers for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time in undergraduate education. Kathy is a Lecturer who brings experience from teaching in both two-year and four-year undergraduate chemistry programs.

Steve Heideman received the LAS P & S Excellence Award. This award recognizes Professional and Scientific employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields. Steve is the Teaching Laboratory Manager and assists with the departmental IT needs.

Ed Jack received the LAS Merit Excellence Award. This award recognizes Merit employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields. Ed is one of the storekeepers in Chemistry Stores.

Professor Javier Vela named an IUPAC Young Observer

Congratulations to Javier Vela for being selected to represent the United States as Young Observer at the IUPAC World Congress and General Assembly in Sao Paulo, Brazil in July 2017.

Established by the U.S. National Committee (USNC) for the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 1977 to foster interactions with internationally acclaimed scientists in various fields, the IUPAC Young Observer Program strives to introduce the work of IUPAC to a new generation of distinguished researchers and to provide them with an opportunity to address international scientific policy issues.



Professor Mark Gordon Festschrift-celebrating a milestone birthday

Virtual Special Issue “Mark S. Gordon Festschrift” .  Among the many research paths Mark Gordon has explored are the development of fragmentation methods such as the effective fragment potential (EFP) and the effective fragment molecular orbital (EFMO) methods, the study of heterogeneous catalysis, and the study of the fundamentals intermolecular interactions.