College of Science & Engineering


Seminar Schedule

Seminars are usually held on Friday afternoon in room SL SL 120 at 3:15 pm, unless otherwise noted.  Graduate student seminars are on Fridays in SL 130 or SL 120 at 3:15 pm, unless otherwise noted.  Refreshments are provided 15 minutes prior to the seminar in CB275, except during Summer Quarter.

The department strives to offer a diverse and vibrant seminar program. Each year leading researchers from outside the department, as well as faculty and graduate students from Western, present and discuss their cutting-edge research. This is an excellent opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to actively participate in the scientific community. In addition, many outside seminar speakers are recruiting graduate students for their respective programs and are eager to discuss their program. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!  

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Fall Quarter 2019

September 27th @ 3:15 in SL 130
"The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School"
WWU Chemistry Faculty Panel
October 4th 
No Seminar on account of Chempalooza
October 11th  @ 3:15 in SL 120
"Fifty years of Silicon Chemistry"
Dr. Jerry Larson
Former Vice President of Research and Development
Gelest, Inc. 
October 18th
Life Sciences Symposium 
Talks: 10am-4:30pm (CF 115, SL 140) 
Poster Session: 4:45pm-6pm (SL Lobby)
You can register here. Registration is free, and not required to attend the event.
October 25th @ 3:15 in SL 120
“Mechanistic studies on CO2 reduction over oxide supported metal catalysts: The critical role of in situ-formed active sites at the metal/oxide interface”
Dr. Janos Szanyi
Staff Scientist and Team Lead (Catalysis Science)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
The conversion of CO2 to energy carriers and/or value-added chemicals is one of the most extensively studied catalytic processes today. Under atmospheric pressure CO2 reduction with H2 yields CO and CH4 via the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) and methanation reactions, respectively. However, at elevated pressures CO2 can be hydrogenated to alcohols and/or higher hydrocarbons. In the past several years we have been focusing on understanding the reaction mechanisms of CO2 reduction at atmospheric pressure and the processes that guide selectivity to either CO or CH4 on oxide-supported metal catalysts. In these studies we apply traditional kinetic measurements as well as operando infrared spectroscopy combined with transient isotope labeling. We use steady state isotope transient kinetic analysis (SSITKA) to obtain kinetic data as well as information about the nature of adsorbed surface species in the same experiment. Non-steady state measurements clearly identify a carboxyl species as key intermediate in the RWGS reaction and confirm the minority role of formates in the overall reaction mechanism. Combining the experimental studies with high level DFT calculations we were able to identify the formation of transient active sites that are only form under reaction conditions at the metal/oxide interface. As H2 heterolytically dissociates at the interface it produces a partially negatively charged metal atom and a non-native hydroxyl. The activation of CO2 at this site is facile, and the reaction to produce CO proceeds through the carboxyl intermediate. We also determined the generality of the heterolytic H2 dissociation as a key step in the overall CO2 reduction process for a series of oxide-supported Pd catalysts. A linear correlation between the reactivity (expressed in turn-over frequency) and the equilibrium constant of OH formation (KOH) was generalized for oxide-supported Pd catalysts.
November 5th @ 3:15 in CF 110
November 8th @ 3:15 in SL 120
November 15th @ 3:15 in SL 120
November 19th @ 3:15 in SL 120
November 22nd @ 3:15 in SL 120
November 29th 
No Seminar, Thanksgiving Week

Click here to access the Seminar Archive.

Click here to access WWU Chemistry Research Publication Collections (including graduate thesis collection).