Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
Surendranath and Willard are two of 24 top early career academic scientists selected to receive this designation, which comes with a $100,000 reward for each recipient for research and teaching. The Cottrell Scholar Award develops outstanding teacher-scholars who are recognized by their scientific communities for the quality and innovation of their research programs and their academic leadership skills. In addition, the award provides entry into a national community of outstanding scholar-educators who produce significant research and educational outcomes.
“The Cottrell Scholar (CS) program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards,” said RCSA Senior Program Director Silvia Ronco.
Ronco added the program is designed to foster synergy among faculty at major American research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions.
Cottrell Scholars engage in an annual networking event, providing them an opportunity to share insights and expertise through the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative. This year’s event will be held in mid-July in Tucson, Arizona., and is expected to draw about 100 top educators from around the U.S.
“Outstanding candidates are admitted to the ranks of Cottrell Scholars through a stringent peer-review process based on their innovative research proposals and education programs,” Ronco said.
Cottrell Scholar Award proposals contain a research plan, an educational plan and a clear statement on how the CSA will help applicants become truly outstanding teacher-scholars and future academic leaders. The project plans must be for a period of three years. The ability of applicants to mount a strong and innovative research program and achieve excellence in education and their potential leadership skills are key criteria in the selection of the awards.
Professor Surendranath's proposal was entitled Bridging Heterogeneous and Molecular Electrocatalysis: Inner-Sphere Electron Transfer at Graphite-Conjugated Molecular Active Sites. Research in the Surendranath Group focuses on the investigation and manipulation of chemical reactions occurring at solid-liquid interfaces. In particular, the Group aims to use electricity to rearrange chemical bonds by controlling interfacial reactivity at the molecular level. The chemistry of these interfaces is at the heart of nearly all contemporary challenges in renewable energy storage and utilization in a wide variety of devices ranging from batteries, to fuel cells, to electrolyzers and, therefore, addressing these challenges is essential for enabling a low-carbon energy future.
Professor Willard's proposal was entitled Simulating the Effects of Nanoscale Disorder on Energy Transport in Molecular Semiconductors. The Willard Group uses theory and simulation to explore the role of molecular fluctuation in a variety of chemical phenomena. They are particularly interested in systems for which a mean field approach, i.e., the averaging out of molecular-level detail, fails to reproduce experimental results. This is often a consequence of complex molecular scale behavior such as collectivity, spatial or dynamic heterogeneity, or the coupling of fast and slow time or length scales, which can give rise to interesting and unexpected macroscopic phenomena.