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Posts under tag: UO Graduate Students

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December 7, 2017

Haugland Fellowship Awarded to Kira Egelhofer

Photo - Kira EgelhoferKira Egelhofer has been selected as the next recipient of the Rosaria Haugland Graduate Research Fellowship. The Fellowship, established by Dr. Rosaria Haugland in 2004, is awarded every three years by the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to an outstanding graduate student in Chemistry.  It covers the recipient’s stipend, tuition, and miscellaneous fees for a three-year period. Kira was selected from a pool of applicants by a faculty committee who were impressed by Kira’s science and her work to engage women and minorities in STEM.

Kira grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, with a passion for nature and outdoor learning.  In high school, a tough-but-inspiring female science teacher sparked Kira’s interest in chemistry, and led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a thesis project in Environmental Chemistry.

Kira entered the UO chemistry PhD program in 2015, and jump-started her studies in solar energy by taking masters courses the preceding summer that were offered by the UO masters internship program, and taught by Fuding Lin, Benjamin Alemán, Jim Hutchison, and Mark Lonergan.

Now in her third year, Kira is a member of the Lonergan lab.  Her research involves measuring the selectivity and recombination of contacts to solar cells. “We are interested in these parameters because they impact solar cell efficiency,” Kira explains. “More specifically, I seek to understand how and why very thin layers of semiconducting or insulating materials inserted between the bulk material and contact of the solar cell impact selectivity and recombination. This information helps us rationally design solar cells with improved characteristics, such as efficiency.”

In addition to her research, Kira has been a member of the UO Women in Graduate Sciences since her first term at the UO. The goal of WGS is to involve and retain more women in the sciences.  Kira enjoys the opportunity to promote science with K-12 students, young adults, and the wider community through a variety of WGS outreach activities.  She currently serves as the organization’s Fundraising Chair, and is looking forward to their hosting a visit from Astronaut Wendy Lawrence for WGS’s annual fundraiser in March.

As for what the future might hold after completing her doctoral degree, Kira has no firm plans, but a few possibilities appeal to her – such as writing for scientific journals with a focus on communicating science to the general public, or working in solar energy research and development, perhaps even for NASA or SpaceX.


– By Leah O’Brien

November 8, 2017

Dissertation Defense – Luke Wheeler, November 14th

Good luck to Luke Wheeler as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
11:30 AM in 220 Deschutes

The title of his thesis is: “The Evolution of Metal and Peptide Binding in the S100 Protein Family.”

After finishing at the UO, Luke will be heading to the University of Colorado Boulder for a postdoctoral position in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

November 6, 2017

Surprise Result from Harms Lab Experiment May Help Explain a Protein Puzzle

This illustration shows predicted evolutionary routes for different proteins. Blue paths are falsely predicted as accessible, red paths are falsely predicted as inaccessible.Using computer simulations, UO Biochemist Mike Harms and graduate researcher Zach Sailer thought that they could manipulate a protein one mutation at a time and predict its evolution. They failed, but the team harvested information that may be useful for understanding problems such as antibiotic resistance.

Read the full article in AroundtheO

November 3, 2017

1st Annual Sustainable Invention Immersion Week

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact may not have broken ground yet, but its impact got a jump start by sponsoring five, $500 Knight Campus Student Innovation Fellowships for underrepresented students in STEM disciplines who participated in the Sustainable Invention workshop that kicked off the 2017-18 academic year.

The week-long workshop, titled Sustainable Invention Immersion Week, took place September 10-15th at 942 Olive Street, the UO’s innovation hub in downtown Eugene. Participating students had the opportunity to learn from experts in design, business, chemistry and communication as they worked in interdisciplinary teams to create their own green product over the course of the event. The teams then pitched their product ideas to win funding to move their idea forward. Awards were given for the top four product ideas.

The five Innovation Fellowship recipients were Genevieve Dorrell (undergrad, biochemistry), Carl Hartzell (post bac, physics), Ruth Maust (graduate student, chemistry), Makenna Pennel (undergrad, chemistry, honors college) and Pallavi Webb (undergrad, CIS). The fellowship funds could be used to offset academic expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies and travel to scientific meetings.

Photo Julie Haack

Julie Haack

The workshop was organized by professor Julie Haack, the assistant department head of the UO’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Kate Harmon, the undergraduate program manager and management instructor at the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.  Their goal is for Sustainable Invention Immersion Week to become an annual event, with a changing theme that will be tied to what’s happening at the Knight Campus.

Read more in AroundtheO or visit the event website:

October 31, 2017

Upcoming Defense – Marco Esters, November 7th

Good luck to Marco Esters as he defends his thesis for his  PhD in Chemistry!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
10:30 AM – Klamath 331

October 24, 2017

Dissertation Defense – Kyle Hite, Ocotber 31st

Photo: Kyle Hite

Good luck to Kyle Hite as he defends his thesis for his  PhD in Chemistry!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
2:00 PM in KLA 331 Klamath

The title of his thesis is: “Understanding the Charge Density Wave in VSe2 Containing Heterostructures.”

Kyle is currently working at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and has been with the company since mid-August.

October 23, 2017

Dissertation Defense – Annie Greenaway, October 30th

Photo of Annie GreenawayGood luck to Annie Greenaway as she defends her thesis for her PhD in Chemistry!

Monday, October 30, 2017
2:00 PM in 331 Klamath

The title of her thesis is “Close-Spaced Vapor Transport for III-V Solar Absorbing Devices.”

October 10, 2017

Dissertation Defense – Keenan Woods, October 17th

Good luck to Keenan Woods as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
11 AM in 331 Klamath Hall

The title of his dissertation is “Amorphous Metal Oxide Thin Films from Aqueous Precursors: New Routes to High-κ Dielectrics, Impact of Annealing Atmosphere Humidity, and Elucidation of Non-uniform Composition Profiles.”

After graduating, Keenan will be joining Applied Materials in San Jose, Califonia, as a Process Chemist.

Dissertation Defense – Adam Jansons, October 17th

Good luck to Adam Jansons as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
3 PM in 220 Deschutes

The title of his dissertation is “Living Nanocrystals: Synthesis of Precisely Defined Metal Oxide Nanocrystals Through a Continuous Growth Process.”

August 3, 2017

Dissertation Defense – Donald Clayton, August 10th

Good luck to Donald Clayton as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!

Thursday, August 10, 2017
2 PM in 331 Klamath

The title of his dissertation is “Characterization of Lithium Aluminum Oxide Solid Electrolyte Thin-films from Aqueous Precursors.”

Donald will be teaching chemistry at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

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