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UVM Chemistry News
Adam Whalley

Adam C. Whalley joins the Chemistry faculty as an Assistant Professor

Adam Whalley, Ph.D., arrived at UVM in August 2012 to begin his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Adam comes to UVM after finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. Adam received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University in 2009. Adam's area of research is synthetic organic chemistry with a focus on materials research. Please visit his research page.


Bruker Avance NMR

The Department of Chemistry was awarded a grant from the NSF to purchase a new 500 MHz NMR

The Department of Chemistry was awarded a Major Instrumentation Research grant for >$500,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to purchase a new 500 MHz NMR to replace our 20 year old Bruker AXR 500 MHz NMR that was at the end of its useful life, and has not been supported by the manufacturer for several years. The grant was to purchase a Bruker AVANCE III 500 MHz high-field NMR spectrometer with multi nuclear observation capability for routine and rapid measurement of a number of nuclei. The new Bruker Avance III was installed in the Department instrument room at the end of summer 2012.

The Bruker Avance is normally fitted with a direct detection SMARTProbeTM for liquids with digital tuning for observation over the range from 15N to 31P as well as 19F with 1H decoupling. The probe also provides enhanced 1H observe capabilities, making it best suited for rapid acquisition of 1D experiments. There is also has a VTN mutlinuclear double resonance magic angle spinning MAS-II solid state probe for running solid samples and an inverse triple resonance (TXI) probe for liquid samples for observation of 1H while decoupling 13C and 15N, including 2D lock.

The grant application was written by Profs. Petrucci and Matthews with the major users contributing to the application of Profs. Brewer, Hondal, Landry (requiring solid sample analyses), Waterman & Waters. The impact to the Department faculty and students since the installation of the new Bruker Avance has been huge. The added capabilities and incredible improvements in amplifier and probe design, software control including autoshimming have made spectra acquistion far more simple and time efficient.

The Department also operates a 2nd NMR, a Varian UNITY INOVA 500 MHz spectrometer with multi nuclear observation capability for routine measurement of standard nuclei (1H, 13C, 15N, 19F & 31P) and other nuclei as needed. This NMR is ideally suited for performing 2-dimensional and more complicated NMR experiments.


Rory Waterman

Rory Waterman is promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry and awarded tenure

Rory Waterman, Ph.D., arrived at UVM in the fall of 2006 to begin his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In May 2012, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry and awarded tenure. Prof. Waterman has a national and international reputation in the area of organometallic chemistry (visit his research page) and has added prominence to UVM Chemistry.


Douglas J. Chieffe, Benjamin A. Vaughan and Meredith J. Zeller receive the Department of Chemistry Senior Awards for 2012

Doug ChieffeBen VaughanMeredith Zeller

Douglas J. Chieffe was awarded the American Chemical Society Green Mountain Section Award, and Benjamin A. Vaughan & Meredith J. Zeller received the Charles E. Braun Award.

The American Chemical Society Green Mountain Section Award is given to an outstanding senior chemistry major for academic performance in chemistry. The Braun Award is given to an outstanding senior chemistry major for performance of research in chemistry in memory of Charles Braun, former Department Chair and the first Dean of the Graduate College.

Link to past awardees

Both Ben Vaughan and Meredith Zeller will begin graduate studies working toward a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry. Ben will attend the University of Virginia, and Meredith will attend the University of North Carolina this fall.

Doug Chieffe will begin work as a medical assistant at the Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) Milton Family Practice while he prepares to apply to medical school. UPDATE: Doug has been admitted to the UVM College of Medicine and will begin as a medical student this fall 2013.


Matt Liptak

Matthew D. Liptak joins the Chemistry faculty as an Assistant Professor

Matthew Liptak, Ph.D., arrived at UVM in August 2011 to begin his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Matt comes to UVM after finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Rochester. Matt received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. Matt's area of research is bioinorganic chemistry as well as physical inorganic chemistry. Please visit his research page.


Waterman and X-ray diffractometer

Prof. Rory Waterman receives an NSF award for a new X-ray diffractometer

Prof. Rory Waterman was awarded about $300,000 to purchase a new X-ray diffractometer (XRD) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award comes from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant program at the NSF through the Division of Chemistry. The award is to support the research of Prof. Waterman, other professors and students in Chemistry and in other departments on campus (e.g. Geology and Physics) who have a demonstrated need for a single crystal XRD to collect structural data on crystalline solids at UVM for the first time in more than a decade.

The photo shows Prof. Waterman standing next to the Bruker Smart Apex II XRD instrument that was installed early summer 2011. Since the instrument was installed several UVM research groups as well as collaborations off campus has already been collected a myriad of crystal structure data, and the first publications with data from the new instrument having already been submitted.

A diffractometer provides students a direct link between the physical phenomena students learn in the class room (here, the interaction of light and solids) to determine molecular structure. X-ray diffraction is an ideal technique to visualize molecules, and a number of graduate and undergraduate students are already using this instrument to do exactly that.


Matthias Brewer

Matthias Brewer is promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry and awarded tenure

Matthias Brewer, Ph.D., arrived at UVM in the fall of 2005 to begin his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In May 2011, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry and awarded tenure. Prof. Brewer has been a rising star in the Department of Chemistry (see his research page) and has increased the profile of UVM Chemistry nationally.


William Geiger

Prof. William E. Geiger, Jr. became Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the May 22nd, 2011 UVM Commencement

“When Camus said ‘To think is to re-think,’ he was not likely to be reflecting on a chemistry professorship. But his thought describes the challenge and the wonder of preparing course material, considering research pathways, and learning of new experimental results by one’s students and colleagues. It is a gift to have a profession that is also a dear hobby.”

—William E. Geiger, Jr.

Prof. Bill Geiger who is also the Pomeroy Professor of Chemistry began at UVM in 1974 and has had a long and illustrious career. He will become an Emeritus Professor, but will not retire. Bill will continue his research and supervise his graduate students and postdoctoral fellow through his continued funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Bill will also continue to teach our key CHEM 202 Advanced Chemistry Laboratory course for chemistry majors offered every fall. If you visit the Department of Chemistry, please stop by to see Bill in his office and laboratory.

See the UVM Commencement website for details about Prof. Geiger

Proclamation read at the May 22nd, 2011 UVM Commencement:

William E. Geiger, Jr., you arrived in Vermont in 1974 after receiving your Ph.D. from Cornell University and serving as an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University. Your internationally recognized scholarship in Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry and your continuous contributions to the teaching and service missions of the university resulted in your appointment as the Pomeroy Professor of Chemistry in 1997. You are in continual demand as a lecturer having given over 150 presentations at professional meetings and at other institutions. You have been a visiting faculty member at institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa. Your many graduate students and post doctoral research associates have gone on to distinguished careers in both academia and the private sector at home and abroad.

Your research, while varied, has always centered on the most fundamental question of chemical reactivity, electron transfer. You have developed and brought to bear several forefront techniques and approaches to these studies, and your pioneering methodologies have been adopted by many laboratories worldwide. This work, which has received continuous support from the National Science Foundation, has resulted in over two hundred peer reviewed publications, many of which are foundational documents in the field. One publication has been cited over one thousand times in the chemical literature.

You are a person of the highest intellectual and personal standards, a generous collaborator, a caring and dedicated teacher, and a colleague whom one can trust to always put the good of the department and the university above any short-term gains for yourself. The university is a better place thanks to your presence and contributions. You deserve and have our respect, gratitude and affection.

—proclamation written by Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Christopher W. Allen


CAS Honors Day 2011
(Photo by Sally McCay)

Eliza M. Arsenault and Spencer O. Scholz receive the Department of Chemistry Senior Awards for 2011

Shown in the photo are Eliza, Spencer and Prof. and Chair Dwight Matthews at the UVM College of Arts & Sciences Honors Day on May 20, 2011 where Eliza & Spencer received their awards.

Eliza Arsenault was awarded the American Chemical Society Green Mountain Section Award, and Spencer Scholz received the Charles E. Braun Award.

The American Chemical Society Green Mountain Section Award is given to an outstanding senior chemistry major for academic performance in chemistry. The Braun Award is given to an outstanding senior chemistry major for performance of research in chemistry in memory of Charles Braun, former Department Chair and the first Dean of the Graduate College.

Link to past awardees

Eliza has enrolled in the College of Education's Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program for fall. After receiving her MAT degree, Eliza plans to teach at the high school level.

Spencer will be in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) this fall beginning work on his Ph.D. in chemistry. Spencer will follow in the footsteps of his faculty mentor at UVM, Matthias Brewer, who also graduated from UVM with an undergraduate degree in chemistry and completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin.


Petrucci Anal. Chem. cover

Prof. Giuseppe Petrucci and his students' article in Analytical Chemistry is the cover for April 1, 2011 issue

James Zahardis (postdoctoral fellow), Scott Geddes (recent Ph.D.) and Prof. Giuseppe Petrucci published a feature article in the American Chemical Society journal of Analytical Chemistry that appeared in the April 1, 2011 issue. The article entitled Improved Understanding of Atmospheric Organic Aerosols via Innovations in Soft Ionization Aerosol Mass Spectrometry can be found on line as a PDF.

Prof. Petrucci joins others in the department who have anchored the cover of prestigious journals including
Eliza Arsenault

Eliza M. Arsenault wins the 2011 Mariafranca Morselli Leadership Award

Eliza M. Arsenault, a graduating senior chemistry major, received the Mariafranca Morselli Leadership Award from the Women's Center. The Mariafranca Morselli Leadership Award is presented annually to an undergraduate woman majoring in a scientific discipline who has demonstrated leadership qualities, academic excellence and who has contributed significantly to the awareness on campus of the rights of women.

Eliza will remain at UVM after graduation. She is enrolled in the College of Education's Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program for fall and will be supported by a Graduate Teaching Assistantship awarded by the UVM Graduate College to teach in the Department of Chemistry. After receiving her MAT degree, Eliza plans to teach at the high school level.

Mariafranca Morselli was a Emerita Professor of Botany and was an international scientific leader within her field of maple research. Her unending devotion and commitment to science and the Women's Movement made her an advocate for university women and the leadership they exemplify within the local and international community.


Encyl. Mass Spec. vol. 5

Prof. Matthews publishes Volume 5 of the Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry: Elemental and Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

Prof. Dwight Matthews and Prof. Diane Beauchemin (Queen' University, Kingston, Canada) have completed and published the 5th volume of the Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry. The Encyclopedia is a ten-volume project by the series editors Prof. Michael Gross (Washington Univ. in St. Louis) and Prof. Richard Caprioli (Vanderbilt Univ.) to produce an exhaustive set of information on mass spectrometry.

Volume 5 is devoted to elemental and isotope ratio mass spectrometry, is 1,088 pages, contains fourteen chapters and 97 contributions by a range of authors, including the volume editors, Profs. Beauchemin and Matthews.

Volume 5 of the Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry can be purchased directly from the publisher, Elsevier, or from Amazon and focuses on (1) the plethora of atomic ionization techniques that have been coupled to MS for elemental analysis, the measurement of isotope ratios, and even the determination of inorganic compounds and (2) the precise measurement of isotope ratios of organic elements as small gas molecules by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS).

Chapter 1 contains a description of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) MS, its requirements for sample preparation and introduction. The chapter also covers argon ICP, ion extraction, various mass analyzers, and the numerous application areas including environmental, geochemical, biomedical, nuclear, semiconductor, and speciation. Other atomic sources include the microwave plasma, which can be used as either an atomic ionization source or as a soft molecular ionization source, flames, spark sources, and glow discharges, including the types of mass spectrometers and separation approaches to which interfaces can be made.

Chapter 2 discusses the application of electrospray ionization MS to inorganic analysis. Secondary ion and neutral MS (Chapter 3) can be used to determine trace elements in solids, particularly on their surface, with high spatial resolution. Atmospheric aerosols can also be studied using laser(s) for desorption and ionization of analytes in solids (Chapter 4). Thermal ionization MS, where sample atoms or molecules are ionized as they evaporate from the surface of a hot filament, is the focus of Chapter 5. Special applications are in Chapter 6, which covers accelerator MS, and Chapter 7, where large calutrons can be contrasted to the small analyzers that are taken aboard spacecraft, for example.

Chapter 8 focuses on IRMS for precise isotope ratio measurements. The highest level of precision can only be accomplished through use of a mass spectrometer specifically designed for the purpose of making differential measurements. A key advance is direct conversion of organic compounds into small gas molecules for measurement, leading to important uses ranging from geology to biomedical sciences.

Last modified July 12 2013 08:17 AM

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