The Department of Chemistry has hired two new assistant professors, Drs. Charles Machan and Sen Zhang, who will be joining the faculty in August. Brief descriptions of their background and research interests are given below.
Dr. Machan received his Ph. D. from Northwestern working with Professor Chad Mirkin and is currently a research associate at the University of California at San Diego in Professor Cliff Kubiak’s group. His specialization is in electrocatalysis and spectroelectrochemical characterization methods. He has 16 publications, many of which are in top-tier chemistry journals. Dr. Machan’s research at UVa will focus on developing new inorganic and organometallic catalysts with biologically inspired macromolecular structures for energy-relevant small molecule transformations. Given the major role of electrocatalysis in energy-related catalysis, Dr. Machan add an important new dimension to the Chemistry Department’s research portfolio, and he will provide new courses on important topics of inorganic and electrochemistry not currently offered at UVa.
Dr. Zhang received his Ph. D. from Brown University working with Professor Shouheng Sun and is currently a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania in Professor Christopher Murray. His research has involved developing heterostructured nanomaterials for energy and fuel conversion. He has worked in both materials science and engineering and chemistry departments, and he has 26 publications in top-tier chemistry and materials science journals. Dr. Zhang’s research at UVa will focused on new nanomaterials, especially applied to catalytic processes related to alternative energy. Dr. Zhang’s expertise in nanomaterials will provide a complement to the expertise at UVa and offer opportunities for collaborations within chemistry as well as other department, and he will teach courses that our department currently does not offer such as nanomaterial synthesis and characterization.