Department of Chemistry News

Professor and Student Develop Device to Detect Biodiesel Contamination

In 2010, a Cathay Pacific Airways plane was arriving in Hong Kong when the engine control thrusts seized up and it was forced to make a hard landing—injuring dozens. The potential culprit? Contaminated fuel. A professor and student team at UT has developed a quick and easy-to-use sensor that can detect trace amounts of biodiesel contamination in diesel.

Professors Receive NSF’s CAREER Award

Three professors at UT have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards. David Jenkins, an assistant professor in chemistry; Jaan Mannik, an assistant professor in physics; and Jeff Reinbolt, an assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering, will use the monetary awards to support their research and educational activities.

Kovac Honored by the College of Arts and Sciences for STEM Education Efforts

Chemistry Professor Jeffrey Kovac has been honored for his contributions to STEM education by serving as director of the Tennessee Governor’s Schools for Sciences and Engineering and the Tennessee Science Olympiad State Tournament. Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recently presented Kovac with a plaque on behalf of the college.

UT/Y-12 Partnership Furthers Promising Research

Research and development efforts can be time-consuming.Many projects end up taking years to complete and most researchers at the Y-12 National Security Complex must divide their time between numerous projects. Y‑12’s formal partnership with UT offers a simple solution: graduate research assistants.

Professor in Chemistry Receives NSF’s CAREER Award

David Jenkins, assistant professor of chemistry, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Research Highlighted by American Physical Society

A piece by Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Molecular Biophysics, and Alexei Sokolov, Governor’s Chair for Polymer Science, is currently the spotlight on the American Physical Society’s Physics page. Entitled “Elastic and Conformational Softness of a Globula Protein,” the piece examines certain protein behaviors such as why protein flexibility sometimes increases dramatically with temperature.

Hazari Demonstrates the Magic of Chemistry

Al Hazari

It’s National Chemistry Week, and at UT that means it’s time for Al Hazari’s annual Magic of Chemistry show. Hazari, professor of chemistry, has used chemistry to perform “magic tricks” in his show for twenty-two years. This year’s show will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, in Room 555 of Dabney-Buehler Hall.

UT Receives NSF Award to Commercialize Discovery

Jimmy Mays, right, shows Joy Fisher the mechanical strength of a piece of Superelastomers™ material.

Jimmy Mays, a chemistry professor at UT Knoxville, has developed a substance that promises to replace conventional rubber in many products with something that is stronger, greener, and easier to recycle. Now he’s joining forces with the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to turn his new discovery into a game-changing business.

Professor Receives NSF CAREER Award

Jon Camden

Jon Camden, a UT assistant professor of analytical chemistry has received a National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his work in surface nonlinear spectroscopy.