Chemistry Graduate Student Michael Peretich from Dr. Barnes‘ group was invited to give a seminar talk at James Madison University (JMU), his Alma Mater, on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.
Michael’s talk “Targeted Synthesis, Characterization, and Catalytic Activity of Nanostructured, Single-Site, Heterogeneous Catalysts Containing Isolated W(VI) or Zr(IV) Centers” discussed one challenge facing the catalysis community — the design and controlled synthesis of specific catalytically active sites. Peretich’s work focuses on the targeted synthesis and characterization of two types of materials: (1) nanostructured silicate supports and (2) nanostructured, single site, heterogeneous catalysts that contain isolated W(VI) or Zr(IV) centers.
Hosted as part of JMU’s regular semimar series, Michael’s talk was attended by approximately 60 people including JMU Chemistry faculty, the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, and JMU Chemistry majors.
Michael was excited to be invited back to his Alma Mater, “I set a goal when I was an undergraduate at JMU that I would give a seminar at JMU towards the end of my graduate studies” said Michael. He also considered this a good opportunity to prepare for future job interviews. “Most jobs require each candidate to give a seminar during the interview process, so I used this opportunity to refine my presentation. It also helped me organize parts of my dissertation, which I’m in the process of writing”.
Born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Michael graduated from Stafford Senior High School in 2002 and completed his B.S. in Chemistry (ACS certified) and Mathematics from JMU in 2006. His honor thesis was selected as one of the top honors theses at JMU and received the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Outstanding Honors Project. Prior to joining Dr. Barnes’ group in 2006, Michael completed a summer research internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee in 2004, and worked with Dr. R. Gregory Downing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the following summer. At UT, Michael conducted research under the direction of Prof. Craig Barnes, studying the synthesis, characterization, and catalytic activity of nanostructured, single site, heterogeneous catalysts and nanostructured supports.
This semester, Michael successfully defended his dissertation “Targeted Synthesis and Characterization of Nanostructured Silicate Building Block Supports and Heterogeneous Catalysts with Tungsten(VI) or Zirconium(IV) Centers”.
After graduation, Michael will be working as a chemist in the Fuels and Lubricants Chemistry Lab, a civilian position with the United States Navy, specifically the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), in Patuxent River, MD.