Seminar Home Schedules Students Faculty
Visiting Speakers Student Speakers Additional Guest Speakers

Below is a list of the speakers scheduled for the Powell Seminar Series, which is held weekly on Fridays at 1:30pm during the Fall2020 and at 2:15pm during the Spring2021. During the Fall 2020 and Srping 2021 Terms, the Chemistry Department's Powell Seminar Series will be held remotely via Zoom. Besides presenting interesting research, the visiting seminar speakers are valuable sources of information about graduate school and/or the chemical industry. Please note that the visiting seminar speakers are all willing to spend time with students after their presentation. If you are potentially interested in attending graduate school, you might want to consider asking some of these suggested questions of the visiting seminar speakers, especially those presenters who are faculty from other universities.

Unless noted below, all presentations given by both visiting guest scientists and Senior Chemistry Majors, during the "Regular" Powell Chemistry Seminar Series, will be held remotely via Zoom (by invitation) on Fridays as designated in the schedule below. If you are interested in attending these stimulating chemistry research presentations, but are not on the formal Seminar Zoom Invitation List, please contact either Professor Raymond N. Dominey or the Chemistry Department Administrative Assistant to request being added to the invitation list for one or more Seminars.

Fall Semester Student Presentations
Spring Semester Student Presentations


Powell Seminar Series – Fall 2020 – Fridays at 1:30pm, via Zoom
Date Presenter, Seminar Title Host
Aug 28 Orientation/Introduction to Seminar
Sept 04 Pof. James Ferri,    Chemical & Life Science Engineering, VCU
Title: "Probing Droplet Interfaces and Emulsion Dynamics in Microgravity"
Selected References: (1) Diffusing wave spectroscopy (DWS)methods applied to double emulsions, (Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 2018, 37, 74–87, DOI:; (2) Diffusing-wave spectroscopy in a standard dynamic light scattering setup, (Phys Rev E 2017, 96, 062611); (3) Diffusing-Wave Spectroscopy, (Phys Rev Let 1988, 60, 1134-1137).
Sept 11 Dr. Samer Gnaim,    Scripps Research, La Jolla, CA
Title: "Electrochemically Driven Desaturation of Carbonyl Compounds"
Selected References: Electrochemically Driven Desaturation of Carbonyl Compounds (ChemRxiv 2020)
Deadline for choosing paper/mentor and submitting presentation dates!
Sept 18 Prof. Oleg Ozerov,    Texas A & M University
Title: "New Chemistry With Boron and Aluminum in Pincers"
Selected References: (1) Addition of O-H, N-H, and F-H Bonds across a Boryl-Iridium Unit (Organometallics 2019, 38 (21), 4076-4081); (2) Selective ortho-C–H Activation of Pyridines Directed by the Lewis Acidic Boron of PBP Pincer Iridium Complexes (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 32 (139),17297-17300); (3) Boryl/Borane Interconversion and Diversity of Binding Modes of Oxygenous Ligands in PBP Pincer Complexes of Rhodium (Organometallics 2017, 36, 1718-1726)
Sept 25 Dr. Craig A. Taatjes,    Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff, Combustion Chemistry Department, Sandia National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA; Editor in Chief, International Journal of Chemical Kinetics
Title: "Understanding complex chemical systems step by step" (Abstract)
Selected References:(1) Rebecca L. Caravan, Michael F. Vansco, Kendrew Au, M. Anwar H. Khan, Yu-Lin Lie, Frank A. F. Winiberg, Kristen L. Zuraski, Yen-Hsiu Lin, Wen Chao, Nisalak Trongsiriwat, Patrick J. Walsh, David L. Osborn, Carl J. Percival, Jim Jr-Min Lin, Dudley E. Shallcross, Leonid Sheps, Stephen J. Klippenstein, Craig A. Taatjes & Marsha I. Lester “Direct kinetic measurements and theoretical predictions of an isoprene-derived Criegee intermediate” (Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 2020, 117, 9733-9740; doi:10.1073/pnas.1916711117 (2020)); (2)Craig A. Taatjes, “Criegee Intermediates: What Direct Production and Detection Can Teach Us about Reactions of Carbonyl Oxides” (Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem., 2017, 68, 183-207, doi:10.1146/annurev-physchem-052516-050739).
Oct 02 Student Presentations
Ariana Kim,
Title: "A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere",
Selected Reference(s): Joule, 2018, 2,1573-1594
(Dominey, L)
Student B1 B
Oct 09 Paul Hargarten,    Biostatistician, UR Chemistry & BMB Alum
Title: "Biostatisics: A Different Career Path for Biology, BMB, and Chemistry Students"
Selected References: (1) Michelson, S., Schofield, T., 1996. The biostatistics cookbook: the most user-friendly guide for the bio/medical scientist. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht ; Boston. p. 1-2; (2) Zapf, A., Rauch, G., Kieser, M., 2020. Why do you need a biostatistician?, BMC Med Res Methodol 20, 23.
Oct 23 Student Presentations
Grace Ann Robertson,
Title: "One-pot silyl ketene imine formation-nucleophilic addition reactions of acetonitrile with acetals and nitrones",
Selected Reference(s): Tetrahedron Lett., 2020, 61, 151537
(Downey, R)
Student B3 B
Oct 30 Student Presentations
RJ Conk,
Title: "Synthesis and Efficacy of Pyridinium Substituted Macrocyclic Metal Complexes for CO2 reduction",
(Norris, R)
Student B4 B
Nov 06 Student Presentations
Peace Nyeche,
Title: "Encapsulation of Small Molecules in the Virus-Like Particle Qβ",
Selected Reference(s): "Physalis Mottle Virus-Like Particles as Nanocarriers for Imaging Reagents and Drugs"
(Pollock, R)
Student B5 B
Nov 13 Student Presentations
Graysen Boroughs,
Title: "Metal-Ion Assisted Hydrolysis of Phosphate Ester Bonds",
(Williams, R)
Student B6 B
Nov 20 Student Presentations
Student A7 A
Student B7 B
Nov 27 Thanksgiving Break
Dec 04 Reserved

Powell Seminar Series – Spring 2021 – Fridays at 2:15pm, via Zoom
Date Presenter, Seminar Title Host
Jan 22 Dr. James N. Singletary,    Senior Research Associate, duPont Safety & Construction, duPont, Midlothian, VA, USA;
Title: "Polymer Science and Modern Fibrous Armor" (Abstract)
Selected References: K.F. Mulder, “A battle of giants: the multiplicity of industrial R&D that produced high-strength aramid fibers.” (Technology in Society, 1999, 21, 37-61; doi:10.1016/S0160-791X(98)00036-0)
Jan 29 Prof. Jonah Jurss,    Associate Professor of Chemistry, The University of Mississippi
Title: "Catalytic CO2 Reduction with Earth-Abundant Complexes Featuring Redox-Active Macrocycles" (Abstract)
Selected References: 1) Durable Solar-Powered Systems with Ni-Catalysts for Conversion of CO2 or CO to CH4, (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 6617−6622; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b00937); (2) Robust and Selective Cobalt Catalysts Bearing Redox-Active Bipyridyl‑N‑heterocyclic Carbene Frameworks for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction in Aqueous Solutions, (ACS Catal. 2019,9, 7398−7408; DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.9b00708); (3) Electrocatalytic CO2 reduction with nickel complexes supported by tunable bipyridyl- N-heterocyclic carbene donors: understanding redox-active macrocycles†, (Chem. Commun. 2018,54, 3351; DOI: 10.1039/c8cc00266e).
Feb 05 Dr. Pedro Arrechea,    IBM Research - Almaden
Title: "Redox Mediators in Lithium-O2 Batteries" (Abstract)
Selected References: TBA
Feb 12 AXE UR Chemistry Alum Guest Seminar Speaker:
Dr. Bruce Cooper

Director, Metabolomics Profiling Facility
Bindley Bioscience Center at DiscoveryPark-Purdue University
Title: "Metabolomics" (Abstract)
Selected References: (1) Pharmacokinetics of ketorolac tromethamine in horses after intravenous,intramuscular, and oral single-dose administration, (J. vet. Pharmacol. Therap. 2015, 39, 167-175. doi: 10.1111/jvp.12260);
(2) Elucidating mechanisms involved in flavor generation of dry-aged beef loins using metabolomics approach, (Food Research International 2021, 139, 109969).
AXE Grand Alchemist, Carolina Montoya
Feb 19 Prof. Rou-Jia Sung,    Assistant Professor of Biology, Carleton College
Title: "Snakes on a membrane? Exploring functions of the novel prototoxin ly6 protein family" (Abstract)
Selected References:(1) Ly6h Regulates Trafficking of Alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Nicotine-Induced Potentiation of Glutamatergic Signaling, (The Journal of Neuroscience, 2015, 35, 3420 –3430; DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3630-14.2015); (2) BiochemAR: An Augmented Reality Educational Tool for Teaching Macromolecular Structure and Function, (J. Chem. Educ. b>2020,97, 147−153; DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00691).
Feb 26 2021 W. Allan Powell Lectureship
Prof. Joseph S. Francisco

President’s Distinguished Professor, Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Pennsylvania
9:00am-12:00pm: Prof. Joseph S. Francisco
Guest Lecturer for, and/or Informal Conversation with, First Year Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, or SMART Classes
2:15-3:15pm: Prof. Joseph S. Francisco
Informal Conversation with Department Faculty and Science Students
6:30pm: The Formal 2021 W. Allan Powell Lecture
Prof. Joseph S. Francisco
President’s Distinguished Professor, Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences,
University of Pennsylvania

Public Lecture, Title: “A Fresh Look at the Chemistry Behind Acid Rain and Implications for Climate Geoengineering”

Selected References: (1) Heterogeneous Reactions of SO3 on Ice: An Overlooked Sink for SO3 Depletion, (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 2150-2154; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b11723);
(2) A New Mechanism of Acid Rain Generation from HOSO Formation at the Air-Water Interface, (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 16564-16568; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b07912);
(3) Photochemistry of SO2 at the Air-Water Interface: A Significant New Source of OH and HOSO Radicals, (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 12341-12344; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b07845).
Mar 5 .................... Workshop: Responsible Conduct of Research ....................

Title: Ethics in Technical Writing and Data Presentation

We all have an individual and collective responsibility to protect research integrity, which includes the planning, proposing, collecting, and presenting steps in research. Research misconduct can severely impede the research progress and diminish trust in the sciences. However, sometimes these occurrences can be from unintentional error. In this year’s RCR seminar we will discuss the best practices for data selection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation.
Pollock & Williams
Mar 12 Student Presentations
Will Carrick,
Title: "Palladium-Catalyzed Cascade Saegusa-Heck Reaction: Synthesis of beta-beta0-Diarylacroliens from Arylpropanals and Aryl Iodides",
Selected Reference(s): Eur. J. Org. Chem, 2017, 5880-5883
(Goldman, L/R)
Claire Fuller,
Title: "Macroscopic Contraction of a Gel Induced by the Integrated Motion of Light-driven Molecular Motors",
Selected Reference(s): Nature Nanotech. 2015, 10, 161-165
(Downey/Tyler McQuade, L)
Mar 19 Student Presentations
Sophie Weinberg,
Title: "Synthesizing Bis(phosphino)pyrrole Ligands and their Complexes",
Selected Reference(s): "Study and modular synthesis of unsymmetrical bis(phosphino)pyrrole ligands"
(Johnson, R)
A & B
Mar 26 Student Presentations
Emily Kuhlmann,
Title: "Adhering homogeneous molecular electrocatalysts entrapped in micelles to electrode surfaces",
Selected Reference(s): "TBA"
(Norris, ?)
Scott Isaacson,
Title: "Controlled Supramolecular Assembly Inside Living Cells by Sequential Multistaged Chemical Reactions",
Selected Reference(s): J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 37, 15780–15789"
(Williams, L)
Apr 02 Student Presentations
Jiwon Kang,
Title: "Using silica gel particles and HPU/TPU films to attachmolecules onto an electrode surface",
Selected Reference(s): "TBA"
(Norris, R)
Mimi Tran,
Title: "Increasing chloride in rivers of the conterminous U.S. and linkages to potential corrosivity and lead action level exceedances in drinking water",
Selected Reference(s): Science of the Total Environment 2018 613–614, 1498–1509
(Stevenson, L)
Apr 09 Student Presentations
Nicole Bialick,
Title: "Enhancing the Antibacterial Performance of Titanium Dioxide Nanofibers by Coating with Silver Nanoparticles",
Selected Reference(s): ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2020, 3, 5743−5751
(Chistine Helms, L)
A & B
Apr 16 Reserved for UR Student Research Symposium
Apr 23 Reserved for Chemistry Department Awards Ceremony and Reception

*UR chemistry alum