College of Chemistry welcomes new professors

December 5, 2017

The College of Chemistry is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Kwabena Bediako and Dr. Jon Rittle as assistant professors in the Department of Chemistry commencing July 2018.

Kwabena Bediako, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Assistant Professor Kwabena BediakoDr. Bediako received his Ph.D in Chemistry at Harvard University. His dissertation topic was The Electrocatalytic Evolution of Oxygen and Hydrogen by Cobalt and Nickel Compounds and is available online. Currently he is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Philip Kim, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University.

Dr. Bediako’s research focus at Berkeley will include inorganic materials chemistry, electrochemistry, low-dimensional materials, quantum transport, and optoelectronics.

Research efforts in his lab will involve the mesoscopic investigation of interfacial charge transfer and charge transport in two-dimensional (2D) materials and heterostructures. The research will emphasize the design of materials with modular interfaces that can be controlled at atomically precise length scales to study and overcome contemporary challenges in electrochemical energy conversion and quantum electronics.

Research projects will include mechanism-driven electrocatalyst discovery for fuel-forming and fuel-consuming reactions in electrolyzers and fuel cells; ion insertion and transport reactions of two-dimensional interfaces for energy storage and creation of novel quantum materials; and the exploration of light–matter interactions and topological phases in 2D semiconductors and semimetals

Jon Rittle, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

John Rittle Assistant Professor ChemistryDr. Rittle received his Ph. D. In Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. His dissertation topic was Proton-Coupled Reduction of N2 Facilitated by Molecular Fe Complexes and is available online. Currently he is a Ruth L. Kirchstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry F. Akif Tezcan at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Rittle's research focus at Berkeley will include inorganic chemistry and chemical biology: Applying structure and spectroscopy to understand and augment the reactivity of metalloenzymes and transition metal clusters. 

Dr. Rittle’s research group will focus on understanding how the active sites of polynuclear metalloenzymes selectively functionalize hydrocarbons and activate other recalcitrant functional groups developing new strategies in the synthesis of reactive inorganic cluster compounds. Using this knowledge, the long-term goal will be to develop powerful and selective synthetic catalysts that utilize multiple transition metal ions inspiring new therapeutic strategies.