The Department of Chemistry offers programs of study and research leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. A wide range of research projects is available in analytical, inorganic, materials, organic, physical, polymer, and sustainable materials chemistry. In addition, many of our faculty are actively engaged in interdisciplinary research projects.
The general requirements for admission to programs leading to advanced degrees are described in the general section of this catalog. Candidates for advanced degrees in the Department of Chemistry typically are expected to have completed the minimum undergraduate program established by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training.
The graduate program in chemistry may include any chemistry courses numbered above 500, along with certain courses numbered between 400 and 500 if approved by the student’s advisory committee, or in the first semester of study, by the graduate executive committee of the department. Graduate courses in chemistry include advanced analytical techniques, synthesis, and reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry, molecular modeling and computer simulation methods, physical inorganic and inorganic reaction mechanisms, organometallics, quantum mechanics, molecular spectroscopy and statistical thermodynamics, and sustainable materials chemistry. Special topics courses and seminar courses are also offered. Suitable courses in other departments such as Biochemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, or Physics may also be included in a student’s program of study. Thesis-based research is an integral part of the student’s training. Research normally comprises about one-half of the 30 semester hours required in a master’s degree program and about two-thirds of the work in a doctoral program.
Placement examinations are given to each entering graduate student and are used as a guide in determining the program of study. Comprehensive examinations are part of the doctoral program as described in the general regulations of the Graduate School.
Graduate assistants usually require two years to complete the requirements for a master’s degree. The minimum time for completion of requirements for the doctorate is six semesters of full-time study and research beyond the bachelor’s degree. Four to five years usually are required.
Graduate assistantships are available to qualified students.
The Five-Year BS-MS degree program allows highly qualified undergraduates of The University of Maine to earn Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in five years instead of the normal six-year period. It is designed for a small number of very able students who wish to prepare for graduate school or medical school, or for direct employment where a master’s degree has become a distinct advantage in seeking professional positions in industry. Some electives for the bachelor’s degree are replaced by courses in chemistry, which count toward the graduate degree. Further information about research projects and curriculum requirements is available from the Chair of the Chemistry Department and the department web site: http://www.umaine.edu/chemistry/
François G. Amar, Ph.D. (Chicago, 1979), Professor of Chemistry and Member of the Honors faculty (former Dean of Honors College and past Chair of Chemistry). Physical chemistry; computer simulation of reaction dynamics in molecular, ionic, and metallic clusters, theory of photoelectron spectra of clusters; gas-surface dynamics; biofuel catalysis; optical and elastic properties of microspheres. Chemical education research: analogical reasoning in chemistry; role of gesture in student and teacher interactions; active learning strategies for large classes and laboratories; differentiated instruction in chemistry teaching. Honors: collaborative and community engaged undergraduate research; international collaborations; fostering the liberal arts core.
Matthew Brichacek, Ph.D. (Cornell Univ., 2010), Assistant Professor. Design, synthesis, and evaluation of biologically active compounds. Development of new reaction methodologies to enable the facile synthesis of complex biomolecules.
Alice E. Bruce, Ph.D. (Columbia Univ., 1985), Professor and Chair. Inorganic, organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry; synthesis, structure and reactivity of gold(I) clusters; thiolate-disulfide exchange; detection of environmental mercury(II) using nanostructured supports.
Mitchell R. M. Bruce, Ph.D. (Columbia Univ., 1985), Professor. Inorganic, bioinorganic, and
organometallic chemistry involving synthesis and reaction mechanisms; zinc and gold mediated thiol-disulfide exchange; metal-protein chemistry; electrochemical redox processes; calculations; reactivity of mercury and late transition metals; active learning strategies in class and laboratory.
Barbara J. W. Cole, Ph.D. (Washington, 1986), Professor, Chemistry of sustainable materials including wood and paper, carbohydrates, lignin, and biologically active plant extracts; high-value bioproducts.
Scott Collins, Ph.D. (Brigham Young Univ., 1980), Professor, Chemistry; Professor, Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering; Professor and Member, Frontier Institute for Research in Sensor Technologies (FIRST); Co-Director, MicroInstruments and Systems Laboratory (MISL). Micro and Nano Fabrication, nanoscience, electrochemistry of semiconductors, BioMEMS, fractal phase transitions, embryology.
Raymond C. Fort, Jr., Ph.D. (Princeton, 1964), Professor Emeritus. Computational organic and biochemistry; sustainable materials chemistry
Brian G. Frederick, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1991), Associate Professor, and Member, Frontier Institute for Research in Sensor Technologies (FIRST) and FBRI (Forest BioProducts Research Institute). Physical chemistry, surface science and catalysis, biofuels and value-added chemical, materials characterization, spectroscopy, reaction mechanisms, quantum mechanical modeling.
William M. Gramlich, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 2012), Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator. Synthesis and characterization of polymers and materials that are used as renewable materials and composites, modular and stimuli responsive hydrogels for drug delivery and tissue engineering, and coatings to prevent and detect biofouling and infections.
Michael A. Kienzler, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley, 2010), Assistant Professor. Synthetic organic chemistry, chemical biology, and protein functionalization, molecular neuroscience tool development, chemical photoswitches.
Howard Patterson, Ph.D. (Brandeis,1968), Professor Emeritus. Physical/inorganic and analytical/environmental Chemistry. Light-induced photochemical changes and optical memory in mixed metal systems. Development of inorganic chemical sensors for the detection of harmful compounds. Synthesis and characterization of novel catalysts which convert low molecular weight hydrocarbons into usable high molecular weight products. Photo-destruction and detection of organic pollutants in water using photocatalysts.
Jayendran C. Rasaiah, Ph.D (Pittsburgh, 1965). APS fellow (2006), Professor of Chemistry and Cooperating Professor of Physics. Theory and simulation of liquids, electrolyte solutions, polar fluids and ion mobility. Water structure and flow in carbon nanotubes and confined systems. Dynamics of electron and proton transfer. Helix formation of polypeptides in tunnels. ab-initio and DFT calculations of molecular energy, structure and dynamics.
Carl P. Tripp, Ph.D. (University of Ottawa, 1988), Professor of Chemistry and Member of FIRST (Frontier Institute for Research in Sensor Technologies). Surface chemistry of materials, infrared and Raman spectroscopy, chemical sensors, thermoelectric devices, sol-gel synthesis of metal oxides, polyelectrolyte/surfactant adsorption on surfaces, silane reactions on metal oxides, photocatalysts for water purification, molecular studies of paper coatings, supercritical fluids.