November 16, 2016 at 10:45 am

Chemistry & Biochemistry Welcomes New Faculty Member, Travis White

Dr. Travis White in his lab

Dr. Travis White in his lab

Dr. Travis White was drawn to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department by a recent graduate who loved her experience here.

As he looked more deeply into Ohio University, White was pleased to “see the storied history of the department and University.”

This semester, White has been enjoying setting up his research lab and is excited to work “with undergraduates and graduates who have a thirst for knowledge and for wandering into the unknowns of chemistry.”

His research strives to advance the application of more Earth-abundant, transition metals in homogeneous photocatalytic and electrocatalytic transformation processes. In many catalytic schemes, the transition metal employed is a rare or precious metal that may limit widespread applications due to scarcity and/or high costs. “The design and development of more homogeneous catalytic systems allows us to gain further insight into the structural and electronic factors required for catalysis and therefore we can apply an iterative method towards the goal of more cost-effective catalysis,” he said.

White earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2007. In 2012 he obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Virginia Tech working with the late Dr. Karen J. Brewer on the design and development of mixed-metal supramolecular complexes that function as homogeneous photocatalysts for the reduction of water to hydrogen fuel. Following this he was a Wenner-Gren Foundations post-doctoral researcher at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden working with Dr. Sascha Ott on the synthesis of homogeneous, transition metal electrocatalysts that are capable of selective CO2 reduction. He then moved back to the United States, where he was a post-doctoral fellow at The Ohio State University working with Dr. Claudia Turro to develop single-component proton reduction photocatalysts.

Since moving to Athens, White has enjoyed “how very welcoming Athens is as a community and how this place has a small-town feel with an amazingly diverse vibe. Between summer festivals, OHIO sporting events, the Farmer’s Market, events at the Athens Community Center, delicious restaurants in uptown, and the amazing outdoor scenery, there is always something to do in Athens.”

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