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Awards enable collaborations with undergraduate institutions

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently made two awards to support research teams led by Professor Ilja Siepmann and co-investigators at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs). The co-investigators are Department of Chemistry alumni. 

The award from the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems is aimed at the development of transferable force fields and efficient Monte Carlo algorithms and their application to phase and sorption equilibria. This collaboration involves Professor Becky Eggimann and her students at Wheaton College who will spearhead the design of an interactive web page for the transferable potentials for phase equilibria (TraPPE) force field.  

The award from the Chemistry Division is aimed at the development and application of Monte Carlo simulation tools for hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography, ion chromatography, and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) chemosensors. This collaboration involves Jake Rafferty at North Hennepin Community College who will analyze simulation trajectories.  

In addition to the PUI researchers, these projects also benefit from collaboration with Peter Koenig at Procter & Gamble and Mark Schure at Dow Chemicals.  

Since 2010, Siepmann has been heading a collaborative project supported by an NSF Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation grant aimed at providing molecular-level understanding of atmospheric nucleation projects that involves Kelly Anderson at Roanoke College. 

Eggimann, Rafferty and Anderson are all Department of Chemistry alumni, conducting their graduate research at the University of Minnesota.