News

February 19, 2020

heavy elements

As we push the Periodic Table of the Elements further and further into the unknown, its familiar columns and rows are threatening to crumble. What’s next for this science icon? Superheavy elements exist for a fraction of time and are nearly impossible to catch. But understanding them could force us to reimagine the most iconic scientific symbol of all time..

February 11, 2020

SkyDeck features College startups

UC Berkeley is not just one of the best research universities in the world, but also a unique place for entrepreneurs, students and alumni to grow and build their own innovative startups. Many of the ideas are based on issues young entrepreneurs first encountered in Berkeley classes or labs. Two College of Chemistry startups presented among 23 young companies last week at Berkeley SkyDeck’s annual Demo Day, where entrepreneurs pitched new devices, apps or inventions that, they hope, will provide big, bold fixes to the world’s problems, from climate change to disease.

February 3, 2020

Catalysis Pioneers

Alexis Bell, The Dow Professor of Sustainable Chemistry at Berkeley and Frances Arnold, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, and an alumna of the College were both cited on the list of catalysis pioneers listed in the ACS publication ACS Axial.

January 24, 2020

Halide perovskite crystal that emits blue light. Courtesy Peidong Yang.

University of California, Berkeley, scientists have created a blue light-emitting diode (LED) from a trendy new semiconductor material, halide perovskite, overcoming a major barrier to employing these cheap, easy-to-make materials in electronic devices.

January 23, 2020


 U.S. National Archives)Eric Seaborg, a writer and author, outdoorsman and environmentalist, has a love for hiking that he shared with his father, the late chemist and Nobel laureate Glenn Seaborg (1912-1999) who blazed trails in element and isotope discoveries during an illustrious career at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley.

January 13, 2020

Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry, has won the 2020 Wolf Prize in Medicine, a prestigious international prize awarded in Israel for unique contributions to humanity.

Polly Arnold. Photo courtesy Chemistry World, Carlos Chavarra.Polly Arnold is a champion of actinide chemistry and diversity in science. Kit Chapman asks her what comes next as she starts her new role at a US national lab

‘Do I have imposter syndrome?’ Polly Arnold raises an eyebrow at the question, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. ‘Yes, of course I do. Everybody who didn’t go to Eton has imposter syndrome. Not just the women, it’s the men who didn’t go to a brilliant school, too. The only people who don’t have imposter syndrome are those told from childhood they’re born to rule.’

January 7, 2020

fossil fuel

Electricity generation is projected to play a central role in global decarbonization efforts. On the one hand, electricity generation is supposed to scale up rapidly, as we use electricity to replace fossil fuels in everything from powering vehicles to heating buildings and cooking food. At the same time, decarbonization necessitates a radical transformation in the way we produce electricity, since worldwide, over 60% of electricity is currently produced using fossil fuel technologies.

December 31, 2019

sconverting yeast into THC and CBD

In a paper published earlier this year in the journal Nature, scientists explain the process in which they are using yeasts to manufacture cannabis compounds. These test tube shenanigans are being conducted more as a way for scientists to gain a better understanding of THC and CBD rather than a means for bypassing the cannabis plant in one’s quest for buzz or therapeutic benefits.

December 11, 2019

smokestacks

In new research reported in Nature, an international team of chemical engineers have designed a material that can capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses better than current commercial materials. One way to ameliorate the polluting impact of flue gases is to take the CO2 out of them and store it in geological formations or recycle it; there is, in fact, an enormous amount of research trying to find novel materials that can capture CO2 from these flue gasses.

December 10, 2019

Frances Arnold joins the Board of Alphabet

Alphabet Inc. has announced the appointment of Frances Arnold (Ph.D. '85, ChemE) to its Board of Directors. Ms. Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry and the Director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at the California Institute of Technology. A renowned innovator, she is also a celebrated leader in science having won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018. Her appointment is effective immediately and she will serve on Alphabet’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

December 7, 2019

Joaquin Resasco

Alum Joaquin Resasco (Ph.D. '17, ChemE) has been named one of "Forbes 30 under 30 in Science" for 2020! Resasco has been reconginzed for his work aimed around shifting the decades-old paradigm of using petroleum for chemical energy into one that uses water and the atmosphere as stock for commodities, powered by renewable energy. To that end, he’s focused on designing catalysts that can be used for the sustainable production of essential chemicals and polymers.

December 5, 2019

Nitash Balsara

Protein-like molecules called “polypeptoids” (or “peptoids,” for short) have great promise as precision building blocks for creating a variety of designer nanomaterials, like flexible nanosheets – ultrathin, atomic-scale 2D materials. They could advance a number of applications – such as synthetic, disease-specific antibodies and self-repairing membranes or tissue – at a low cost.Scientists at Berkeley Lab are the first to use cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to image atomic changes in artificial proteins known as “peptoids.” Their findings have implications for the synthesis of soft, 2D materials for a wide variety of applications.

November 26, 2019

Ellen Pawlikowski

Clayton Radke, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is the recipient of a 2020 IOR Pioneer award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for his important scientific research into surface interfaces. Professor Radke will be presented with the award during the SPEIOR conference in April, 2020. Radke's research focuses on combining principles of surface and colloid science towards engineering technologies where phase boundaries dictate system behavior.

November 20, 2019

Alexis Bell

The College of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Alexis Bell, The Dow Professor of Sustainable Chemistry, has been made a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The Membership of RAS is formed of its Members (Academicians), the Corresponding Members, and Foreign Members. All categories of membership are elected by the General Assembly of the RAS out of the candidates elected at the General Meetings of the Departments held prior to the General Assembly of RAS, which convenes every three years. All Academy members are elected for life.

November 19, 2019

Douglas Clark

Douglas S. Clark was presented the 2019 D.I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering at the Annual Meeting in Orlando on November 11, 2019, where he delivered his award lecture titled “From Artificial Cofactors to Synthetic Arrays: Teaching Old Enzymes New Tricks.”

November 18, 2019

UC Berkeley startups to watch

Even the hippest chemist doesn’t know how many potentially world-changing chemistry start-ups are out there. As we at C&EN present our fifth class of 10 Start-Ups to Watch (two companies are founded by UC Berkeley faculty and alum), we can confirm that there are definitely hundreds, and perhaps thousands. That makes the job of picking just 10 a challenge—though an inspiring one. This year’s choices were selected after vigorous debate by our writers and editors. We made our own lists based on our day-to-day reporting and scoured the hundreds of firms nominated by readers and advisers from around the world. We picked winners for their groundbreaking chemistry as well as the importance of the problems they are tackling.

Gilman Hall

We are delighted to announce student Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering recipients of recent scholarships and awards administered by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). All winners were invited to the Annual Student Conference which included four days of career information, social events, and competitions.

November 15, 2019

John Hartwig

John Hartwig is the Henry Rapoport Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He received the 2019 Wolf Prize in Chemistry. His research aims to find new metal-catalysed reactions, and he was one of the developers of the Buchwald-Hartwig amination, one of the most-used reactions in drug discovery. He spoke with Katrina Krämer at the 2019 American Chemical Society national meeting in Orlando, Florida.

November 4, 2019

Alumni in the news

Professor Emeritus Klaas Bergmann has been awarded the 2020 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics by APS Physics “for the invention of Stimulated Raman Adiabatic Passage (STIRAP) that became universally used for coherent transfer in quantum systems with unprecedented efficiency and robustness."

Dr. Lisa Onishi, Chemical Engineer, Researcher and Senior Process Engineer at Intel, has been recognized with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her "dedication, achievements, and leadership as a professional engineer".