Javier Vela

University Professor

Javier Vela is a University Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the editorial advisory boards of ACS Energy Letters, Chemistry of Materials, Chemistry–An Asian Journal, and ChemNanoMat. Along with former and current coworkers, Dr. Vela is the author of over ninety peer-reviewed scientific publications and patents on nanostructured materials, inorganic compounds, and their application to energy conversion, chemical catalysis, and fluorescence imaging. He has directed seventeen doctoral and four master’s theses and successfully mentored numerous undergraduate researchers.

Dr. Vela has been a faculty scientist with the Ames National Laboratory since 2010. He is an active member of the American Chemical Society, and has served as Councilor for the Ames local section and as Treasurer of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry. He served as Equity Advisor for the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2015 to 2021. Dr. Vela holds a BS (Lic.) in Chemistry from UNAM and a PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of Rochester. After postdoctoral stints at the University of Chicago and Los Alamos National Laboratory, he joined Iowa State University in 2009. He was granted tenure in 2015 and became a full professor in 2019. He was named University Professor in 2020, and held the rotating John D. Corbett Endowed Professorship in Chemistry from 2020 to 2023. Dr. Vela grew up in Xalapa, Veracruz (Mexico) and is a proud US Citizen by naturalization.

Area of Expertise: 
Inorganic Chemistry
Applied Nanoscience
Energy Conversion
Chemical Catalysis
Quantum Dots
Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2005
M.S., University of Rochester, 2003
B.S. (Lic.) with Honors, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), 2001
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