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Assistant Professor Caricato Wins NSF CAREER Award

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Photo of Prof. CaricatoMarco Caricato, assistant professor of chemistry and active researcher at the CEBC, was selected to receive a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.  This marks the 15th CAREER award for chemistry faculty at the University of Kansas.

The prestigious, five-year, $625,000 award recognizes junior faculty who are rising stars in research and education.  The award will support Caricato’s research to develop new theoretical models and computer software to simulate how light interacts with solid chiral materials. 

Chiral objects are mirror images of each other—like left and right hands. All sorts of molecules can have this trait, including amino acids, sugars and DNA. Caricato’s models will help scientists characterize and design new chiral materials that could be useful for electronics, catalysis and many other applications.

Caricato also has plans for an ambitious outreach program. His goal: bring computational chemistry into Kansas high school classrooms.

“Computer simulations have enormous educational potential in this technological age,” said Caricato.

By collaborating with local high school teachers, Caricato plans to create activities that engage students in experiences not currently available in high school classrooms.  He started this project as part of the CEBC’s NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers program.  Working with Stan Spurlin, chemistry teacher at Olathe East High School, the team has begun developing novel tools that allow pre-college-aged students to explore bonding and intermolecular forces.

Ultimately, this project will help inspire the next generation of rising stars in science, technology, and engineering careers.

CEBC Calendar

March 4, Thursday - Industry Colloquium 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Allyn Kaufmann, US Whitespace & Innovation Lead
"Serial Innovation in Consumer Heathcare - Intersection of Chemistry and the Consumer"

March 10, Wednesday - Mandatory Safety Meeting 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Mandatory for all CEBC researchers working at 1501 Wakarusa

March 25, Thursday - Industry Colloquium 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Nikola Juhasz, Global Technical Director, Sustainability
Sun Chemical Corporation, Carlstadt, NJ
"Sustainability of Packaging Industry"

April 1, Thursday - Industry Colloquium 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Sagar Sarsani, Project Leader
Sabic, Sugarland, TX
"Chemical Industry R&D Career Pathways"

April 12 & 13, Monday & Tuesday - Spring Advisory Boards Meeting
& Project Evaluations

1:00-3:00 p.m. each day, via Zoom
Click here to register

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