Successful Opening Event for Chemistry Division

Seventy people gathered in the lobby of Life Sciences Building on August 28 to welcome new students and faculty in the chemistry division of the biological and chemical sciences department, and to celebrate the division’s new home and office space.

Professor Ishaque Khan, executive associate chair of chemistry, noted that the formation of the new College of Science and an increased emphasis on strengthening sciences at IIT “make this an exciting time for chemistry at IIT.” The excitement was evident as students perused a cross-section of the current research carried out in chemistry labs on campus. Senior graduate students presented a dozen posters that represented each of the main branches of chemistry. Posters in bioorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, and chemical physics demonstrated the division’s cross-disciplinary research efforts. The research projects focus on the development of nanomaterials, chemical sensors, hydro-treating catalysts, and new materials for much-needed biomedical applications. Other efforts aim at solving critical global problems in the areas of environmental pollution control and energy storage.

Khan welcomed the new members of the department: Richard Guan, professor, who joins IIT from the University of Texas at Arlington; Ben Zion, lecturer; and Gwynne Fox, department coordinator. Maria Tanner, lecturer, was welcomed into her new role as associate chair. Khan also recognized the new 2012-2013 Kilpatrick Fellow in Chemistry, graduate student Kadir Aydemir.

The IIT chemistry community was delighted with the excellent turnout for the opening welcome event. Students shared a pizza lunch and especially enjoyed the ice cream, which was prepared from a chemist’s secret recipe provided by Tanner. Using real cream, fresh fruit, and liquid nitrogen, IIT chemistry students churn up the best ice cream in the city of Chicago!