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    Hello! Welcome to Breakthroughs, a site devoted to sharing with you the latest, greatest advancements from the College of Science at Oregon State University. From breakthroughs in research to transformational philanthropy to interesting tidbits from the daily life of the College, we'll post frequently to keep you up-to-date. Please visit often and absolutely let us know what you might like to learn more about. Enjoy, and of course, GO BEAVS!
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The number of OSU undergraduate chemistry majors has more than doubled since 2000 and growth continues.


Meeting the demand for science. As greater numbers of advanced technologies are launched based on new materials and processes, chemistry research and education play an increasingly central role in our economic and physical well-being. At Oregon State University, chemistry faculty and students are conducting nationally-recognized research, making discoveries that lead to better understanding, new products, and improved human health. At the same time, the department is educating more students than any other similar program in the state — and demand is rising.

The Chemistry Department maintains the largest Ph.D. program on campus with strong support from privately funded graduate fellowships and sponsored research.

With excellent faculty and first-rate instrumentation, the Department of Chemistry has extensive research
capabilities. The Department also collaborates with many OSU units, including physics, biochemistry, engineering, computer science, pharmacy, the Linus Pauling Institute, and environmental and molecular toxicology. The OSU Department of Chemistry:

  • Has synthesized potential new chemical treatments for numerous diseases — including cancer and AIDS.
  • Has developed new technology and instrumentation for semiconductors, batteries, lighting, energy production, microreactions, lab-on-a-chip systems, and mass spectrometers.
  • Studies atmospheric transportation and deposition of toxic compounds along the Pacific Coast of North America.
  • Maintains one of the few 1MW TRIGA nuclear reactors for ground-breaking research in nuclear and radiochemistry.
  • Participates with other institutions throughout Oregon and plays a key role in advancing the initiatives of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI).
  • Studies the electronic structures of biologically relevant molecules and inorganic nanomaterials.
  • Has contributed to founding the new field of transparent electronics.
  • Collaborates with high-tech, bio-tech, and pharmaceutical companies throughout the U.S. and world.
  • Earns funding support from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, industry, and private foundations.

The Department of Chemistry has been recognized for its excellence by the Hach Foundation, which funds numerous full-tuition, undergraduate scholarships.

The chemistry department offers an undergraduate program leading to a bachelor of science with accreditation from the American Chemical Society in Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Biochemistry. Eight additional, specialized options are available to target specific career directions: biochemistry, business, chemistry education, chemical engineering, environmental chemistry, forensic science, materials science, and pre-medicine.

Chemistry faculty members teach nearly 40,000 credit hours to chemistry majors and non-majors. In 2005 –2006, there were 200 under­-graduate chemistry majors and 80 Ph.D. students. Approximately 100 additional students each year graduate with the chemistry minor.

Chemistry majors receive real-world training through a distinctive six-term laboratory sequence featuring project-style experiments and use of state-of-the-art equipment. Numerous opportunities also exist for undergraduate research and industrial internships. Graduate education is characterized by special-topics courses, industrial internships, and discipline-specific or highly collaborative research projects.

Chemistry regularly involves its many distinguished alumni and friends in setting new directions and goals for the department.

During Discovery Days, a twice-annual campus event attended by 4,000 K-8 students, OSU chemistry faculty and students present hands-on activities and demonstrations to enhance science education.

The Department of Chemistry is also a major participant in Family Science Nights at local schools. Faculty and students engage elementary students and their parents in activities exploring modern and practical aspects of chemistry.

Graduates are highly sought for positions in education and research, covering both the private and public sectors.

Specific Research areas include:
Organic & Bioorganic Chemistry
Natural products synthesis
Bio-mimetic pathways
Metal catalysis
Enantioselective reaction development
Organotransition metal chemistry

Bioanalytical & Environmental Chemistry
Protein function and proteomics
Separations & microreactors
Environmental analysis of pollutants
Mass spectrometry
Surface science
Lab-on-a-chip technology

Materials & Physical Chemistry
Optical and electronic materials
Theory & computational analysis
Laser spectroscopy
Printed electronics

Nuclear Chemistry
Nucleus-nucleus collisions
Separation processes
Thermodynamics of complexation

The research activities of the Department benefit society. OSU chemists have patented new compounds that are currently in evaluation for treating cancer and osteoarthritis. A nonlinear crystal developed in the Department is being commercialized by a Corvallis startup company, Deep Photonics, Inc., for use in high-tech materials processing and life-altering vision correction.

The Department of Chemistry has 17 faculty members with honors including:
3 Sloan Foundation Fellowships
5 National Science Foundation Career Awards
4 OSU Distinguished Teaching & Advising Awards
3 OSU Distinguished Professor Awards
1 American Chemical Society, Chemistry of Materials Award
1 Fulbright Fellowship
2 Humboldt Fellowships
1 Royal Society University Research Fellowship
1 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar
1 Exxon Solid State Chemistry Fellowship
1 W.M. Keck Foundation Award
1 ONAMI Signature Faculty Fellowship
1 Dupont Charles J. Pedersen Award

Members of the chemistry faculty are leaders in their fields. They are regularly featured in peer-reviewed journals and mainstream media, including the Oregonian and the New York Times.

For more information, please contact:
Department of Chemistry
College of Science
Oregon State University
153 Gilbert Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97331-4003
phone: 541 737-2081
fax: 541 737-2062

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