Stewart awarded American Chemical Society grant for atmospheric chemistry research
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jacob Stewart has been awarded a $70,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF) to support his research into the fundamental properties of conjugated organic compounds using infrared laser spectroscopy.
Conjugated organic compounds are important in atmospheric chemistry and are widely used in the chemical industry. Stewart, who specializes in atmospheric chemistry and laser spectroscopy, and his students will be studying isoprene, an important naturally occurring atmospheric compound and a precursor to natural and synthetic rubbers, and piperylene, which is used in manufacturing plastics, adhesives and resins.
With support from ACS PRF, Stewart and his students will build a supersonic expansion spectrometer, an instrument that will allow them to study these compounds at extremely cold temperatures, which will make it easier to interpret and understand the infrared spectra.
The three-year grant will support a total of seven research students, who will work fulltime over the summers in Stewart’s lab. It will also provide funding for specialized supplies and for Stewart and his research students to attend academic conferences.
The goals of ACS PRF are to support fundamental research in the petroleum field and to develop the next generation of engineers and scientists through support of advanced scientific education. The Undergraduate Research grant, which Stewart was awarded, supports the research programs of established scientists and engineers at departments that do not grant Ph.D.s and provides financial support for students at those institutions to become involved in advanced research activities, in preparation for graduate school or employment.