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Gordana Dukovic looking at how to use solar energy to produce fuels
Assistant Professor Gordana Dukovic is all for using sunlight and solar panels to produce electricity that can power homes and buildings.
But what she really wants to do is to better understand how to use sunlight to drive useful chemical reactions – essentially using solar energy to produce fuels rather than electricity. A fuel is basically a way of storing energy, she says, and the idea is to produce fuels that can be transported and used as needed, even when the sun is not shining.
“The good news is we have renewable sources of energy, and the sun in particular,” said Dukovic of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The staggering fact is the amount of solar power reaching our planet in one hour is greater than our global energy consumption in one year. The big question is how to capture and convert this essentially infinite supply of solar energy into both electricity and fuels.”
Dukovic and her lab group – which includes two postdoctoral fellows and nine graduate students – are focused on fundamental problems in nanoscience, including using physical chemistry and materials chemistry to develop new materials that may be particularly efficient in harvesting sunlight.
One example is to assemble “nanoscale architectures” that could absorb sunlight and help convert it to fuel, she said. “We are interested, for example, in what happens to an individual photon that is absorbed by a particular material and how that process eventually leads to chemical bonds that would be useful for storing solar energy.”
Born in Bosnia, Dukovic spent time in Croatia before moving to the United States. She received her bachelor’s of science from Rutgers University, her doctorate from Columbia University is 2006 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the CU-Boulder faculty in 2009.
Since arriving on campus, Dukovic has become a rising star. In February, she was selected to receive a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders.
In 2013 Dukovic was named a Beckman Young Investigator by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, an award that provides up to $750,000 over four years to support Dukovic’s research on new materials for solar energy harvesting. In 2013 Dukovic also was named a Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement in Tucson for outstanding research and teaching, which carried an award of $75,000.
In 2012, Dukovic received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. The award is one of the highest honors given by NSF to early-career university faculty in science and engineering, and is intended to advance the development of their research and careers. Dukovic was awarded $600,000 over five years.
“These awards may come under my name, but I could not do any of this work without my students and postdocs,” she said. “They are absolutely critical to the successes in our lab. They spend countless hours getting difficult experiments working and they contribute new ideas to our research.”
Dukovic has had both undergraduate students and graduate students working in her lab since arriving at CU-Boulder.
In addition, she currently is teaching a graduate-level course on the chemistry of solar energy and also teaches the undergraduate physical chemistry curriculum.
Dukovic’s research also is being funded by grants from by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the American Chemical Society.
Gordana Dukovic has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2014
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced that Dukovic was one of 126 people in the U.S. and Canada selected for one of the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships in 2014. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them both as rising stars and the next generation of scientific leaders.
The winners were from 61 colleges and universities. Each Sloan Research Fellowship carries a two-year, $50,000 award.
Dukovic’s research focuses on fundamental problems in nanoscience and how they impact the harvesting of solar energy. Her lab is particularly interested in the design and synthesis of novel nanomaterials and their interactions with light that have applications for solar fuel generation.
See the whole article here:
For more information on Gordana Dukovic's Research, visit: Dukovic Research Group Website
Graduation Pictures - Fall 2013
Congratulations to our Fall 2013 Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduating Class!
We sincerely hope our graduates and their guests enjoyed the afternoon and that many memories were created. Thank you to all who attended and participated in this milestone celebration.
As promised, we are happy to provide pictures of this wonderful event for viewing and downloading at no charge to you! For best resolution and reprinting, please download the full resolution images by clicking the link under the picture where it says "Full Size Image".
All pictures were taken by Nathan Campbell, Chemistry and Biochemistry IT Director, and he is more than happy to answer any technical questions for you.
Prof. Jose Jimenez wins Ascent Award by AGU
The American Geophysical Union's (AGU) has awarded the "Ascent Award" to Prof. Jose-Luis Jimenez. The award "aims to reward exceptional mid-career scientists in the atmospheric and climate sciences," and recognizes Jose's use of innovative measurement technologies to "shift the paradigm underlying primary emission, secondary production, and chemical evolution of carbonaceous aerosols."
For please visit AGU's website for more information on this award: http://atmospheres.agu.org/sectionawards/ascentaward.shtml
Paul Ziemann Joins Department Faculty
The department of Chemistry and Biochemistry would like to welcome Dr. Paul Ziemann!
Dr. Paul Ziemann received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. in Chemical Oceanography from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State, where he studied the formation and properties of metal oxide clusters with Professor Will Castleman. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Particle Technology Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where he developed methods for the sampling and analysis of aerosol particles with Professor Peter McMurry. In 1996 he joined the faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, where he rose to the rank of Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and served as the Director of the Air Pollution Research Center. In the summer of 2013 he moved to the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.
The Ziemann group is interested in experimental and modeling studies of the chemical and physical processes involved in the formation of atmospheric organic aerosol particles.
Gordana Dukovic named Beckman Young Investigator
Gordana Dukovic, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been named a Beckman Young Investigator by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. She is one of 7 early career faculty in the chemical and life sciences to receive this honor this year. The award will provide up to $750,000 over four years to support Professor Dukovic’s research on new materials for solar energy harvesting.
According to the Beckman Foundation, “The Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program is intended to provide research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.”
Professor Dukovic has previously received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and the Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.
Please join me in congratulating Professor Dukovic on receiving this prestigious award!
Professor and Chair
For more information about the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and the Beckman Young Investigator Award, visit:
For additional Information please visit the Dukovic Research Group Website: http://chem.colorado.edu/dukovicgroup
Maciej Walczak Joins Department Faculty
The department of Chemistry and Biochemistry would like to welcome Dr. Maciej A.Walczak!
Dr. Maciej Walczak was born in Poland and received his undergraduate degree (maxima cum laude) from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. In 2003 he moved to the University of Pittsburgh, where he worked on the synthesis and reactions of strained carbocycles. After graduating in 2009, he moved to New York as a Brodeur Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he was involved in the synthesis of glycoproteins, anticancer vaccines, and antimetastatic agents. In the summer of 2013 he started his independent career at the University of Colorado, Boulder as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
The Walczak research group is interested in the development of tools and strategies for constructing molecular complexity at the level of small molecules and biologics.