November 30, 2016 at 11:12 am

New Chemistry Lecturer Embraces Green Chemistry

Dr. Heather Hopgood

Dr. Heather Hopgood

Dr. Heather Hopgood joined the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department this fall with an interest in improving chemistry education.

“The department here at Ohio has a unique environment where chemistry education innovation is highly valued,” Hopgood says. She enjoys discussing chemistry concepts with students and strives to build their understanding and interest for the subject. She is looking forward to developing her courses and collaborating with other faculty to discover new ways to teach chemistry.

Hopgood received her Ph.D. in Green Organic Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, working with Dr. James Mack to develop chemical reactions that reduced the need for a solvent (often a major component of the hazardous waste generated in a reaction). This green chemistry approach used mechanical crushing and mixing to generate the necessary molecular interactions for the reaction to occur. Hopgood’s dissertation research focused on the use of this solvent-free method for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds, a process that is vital for any type of organic synthesis including pharmaceutical drug development.

In moving to Athens, Hopgood was excited by what the region offers.

“One of the great things about Ohio University is Athens itself and the easy access to so many outdoor activities. This also appeals to my green chemistry side as Ohio University and the surrounding community have an amazing focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship. It is easy for me to combine my professional passions with my every-day life: I can walk to almost anywhere around Athens, and recycling bins are in abundance!”

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