2012 Graduate research awards

The 2012 Departmental awards ceremony has been held on April 10th, 2012. Six of the eight awards for graduate research went to EFRC-associated graduate students. ASU EFRC staff congratulates graduate award recipients, their mentors, and all personnel who contributed to the success.


Anindya Roy has won 2012 Leroy Eyring Award. As a member of the Ghirlanda Lab and Subtask 3 team Anindya is involved in de novo design and synthesis of artificial metal binding peptide motifs that mimic catalytic active sites of natural hydrogenases. Anindya has synthesized a series of artificial peptide scaffolds and explore the ways of using this structural framework to assemble a di-iron organometallic complex and the iron-sulfur molecular electron wires in one functional unit that is able to produce hydrogen. Professor Ghirlanda, his advisor, has no doubts that Anindya will have a great career in the sciences.


Ben Sherman has been named 2012 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant in Chemistry. He is working on a collaborative project of Subtask 1 and Subtask 2 focusing on a design and development of metal based water oxidation catalysts such as iridium oxide or cobalt oxide. Ben and his colleagues direct their efforts towards improvement of stability and efficiency of the catalysis by designing a system, in which porphyrins sensitize and stabilize the catalytic properties of metal oxide water oxidation catalysts. The goal is to ensure that photochemically driven redox potential of the complex generates enough driving force to efficiently oxidize water by water splitting catalyst attached to semi-conductor electrode. Professor Tom Moore, Ben’s advisor, thinks that he is fortunate to have him working in the team: “His insight and skills in electrochemistry are absolutely essential to successful designs”.


Alex Volosin is 2012 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant in Chemistry. He is involved in Subtask 5 projects designing nanostructured electrodes that will assemble the water oxidation and fuel production catalysts in the solar fuel cell. He is exploring new synthetic approaches for nanoporous transparent (semi) conducting metal oxide materials. Working in Don Seo Lab Alex has developed a protocol of one-pot synthesis of highly mesoporous antimony-doped tin oxide and learned how to change the size of the pores in the transparent electrode material to accommodate complexes of different size. Professor Don Seo says: “He is full of imagination in combination with critical thinking, sharp observations and superb experimental skills”


Kim Rendek has been named 2012 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant in Chemistry. She is a researcher in Subtask 2 team working on an assembly of artificial oxygen evolving complex in DNA nanostructures, which are used as a structural framework for embedding water oxidation catalysts into the solar cell electrodes. Kim has crystallized the DNA tetrahedron and is planning to use x-ray crystallography for the determination of the structure of the DNA tetrahedron. Professor Fromme, Kim's advisor: "Kim is an outstanding graduate student working on an exciting and challenging project"


Chelsea McIntosh has received a 2012 George Yuen Memorial Award. Her research in Anne Jones Lab is centered on molecular mechanisms that control functioning of natural hydrogenases, which serve as models for proton reduction catalysts in the solar fuel cells. Recently Chelsea and the researchers from Subtask 3 team have proved that the [NiFe]-hydrogenase of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 works bidirectionally with a bias to H2 production. Professor Anne Jones: "She is extremely well-rounded: good at experiments, comfortable writing, and conscientious as a teacher".


Bradley Brennan has been named 2012 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant in Chemistry. Brad has been involved in a variety of solar energy related projects during his graduate career. His dissertation reports an investigation of new ways to chemically attach light-harvesting dyes to semiconductors for use in dye-sensitized solar cells for converting sunlight into electricity, and similar cells being developed in our Center for production of fuels. The new methods provide a much more stable linkage between the dye molecules and the semiconductor. He has also carried out extensive work on a new class of porphyrin conducting polymers that may be useful for organic photovoltaic cells. Professor Devens Gust: "Brad is an extremely hard working, dedicated and creative scientist".





Congratulations to John Tomlin, a graduate student from Devens Gust's Lab, who has received a certificate in Recognition for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant.






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