May Chemistry Grad Receives Prestigious Research Award

Ian Campbell, a May Chemistry graduate, has been awarded the Ernest B. Yeager Award for research in spectroscopy. The award is given annually to one undergraduate in the northeast Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania region by the Cleveland section of the American Chemical Society. Campbell will receive $400 in cash and a one-year membership to the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Campbell is the first student from Penn State Behrend to receive the award, which was presented at the Annual Conference on Spectroscopy and Analytical Chemistry at John Carroll University in May. Campbell gave an oral presentation of his research on the fluorescent properties of silver nanoclusters. He assisted Dr. Bruce Wittmershaus, associate professor of physics, with optimizing the synthesis of DNA-templated silver nanoclusters. Wittmershaus hopes to use the nanoclusters as new material for luminescent solar concentrators, which would allow for more cost-effective solar energy collection. Read more about the project.

In the summer of 2015, Campbell, a Schreyer Honors College scholar, was awarded the competitive Penn State Erickson Discovery Grant for his work.  He has given research presentations at several conferences, including the National Council for Undergraduate Research Conference. Recently, his honors thesis earned him the Archie Loss Award for Research. In the fall of 2015, he spent a semester studying abroad at the University College Dublin in Ireland where he also conducted research on superparamagnetic nanobeads.

Campbell has been accepted into Penn State University’s Ph.D. program in Material Sciences.