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Hilltoppers empowered to meet global challenges through chemistry

Department of Chemistry

WKU Chemistry provides an amazing array of educational and professional opportunities for our students.  Our department is home to a growing number of vibrant and enthusiastic teachers and researchers who are dedicated to their students in the both the classroom and in the research lab. Come explore with us!

Student presentations at the virtualized student research conference

2020 Student Research Conference Virtual Participants

The WKU Student Research Conference is typically held in March to celebrate the work of our many graduate and undergraduate researchers across the university. The Conference offers students an opportunity to talk across disciplines about their projects. This year, the conference was virtualized to allow students to participate as we work together at home. Each presentation is a 10-minute video composed and recorded by the student with the assistance of the research mentor. Please join us in commending these Chemistry and Biochemistry students for continuing their hard work remotely, even in the face of a pandemic. (see pdf version for easier viewing)

Student Name


Christian Alcantar

Mentor: Dr. Rui Zhang

Synthesis and Oxidation of Organic Substrates by Light-Harvesting Metalloporphyrin


Megan Hesse

Mentor: Dr. Matthew Nee

Use of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy to monitor reactions with the pesticide paraquat


Amanda Lee Houchens

Mentor: Dr. Cathleen Webb

Mercury and Other Trace Metal Analysis in Bat Guano


Chloe Jaiswal

Mentor: Dr. Matthew Nee

Analysis of Water Models through Molecular Dynamics


Seth Klaine

Mentor: Dr. Rui Zhang

Photochemical generation and oxidation kinetic studies of chromium(V)-oxo salen intermediates


Connor Schulte

Mentor: Dr. Matthew Nee

Effectiveness of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) beads with incorporated photocatalysts at addressing organic water pollution


Jason Zhang

Mentor: Dr. Yongming Deng

Photocatalytic Facile Access to Cationic Enol Radical from Ynamide and Pyridine N-Oxide: Synthesis of Heterocyclic Compounds.


News: WKU Chemistry receives NSF Grant for new NMR instrument

New NMR 

Led by Dr. Kevin Williams as the PI with his colleagues, WKU Chemistry has recently received a National Science Foundation grant that will fund a new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer featured with autosampler to be installed early 2020. For Dr. Williams and his fellow WKU chemists, the grant couldn’t have come at a better time. The current NMR spectrometer is nearing 16 years in use with a typical operating time of 20 to 30 hours per week.


 Mission Statement:

WKU Chemistry empowers students of all backgrounds to think critically about the molecular sciences and promotes a vibrant regional economy through training, public service, and industrial collaboration. We ignite a spirit of life-long learning through engaged classroom and laboratory instruction, hands-on experience in nationally-recognized research, and direct mentoring by faculty. This enables our students to define their own career path and to make an impact both locally and globally.




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 Last Modified 5/15/20