Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants

Center Professors

The Center's research encompasses the interest of the faculty in the Henry Krumb School, the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and the Department of Chemistry. The following faculty members are actively involved in the inception of the Center.

Paul F. Duby:

Professor of Mineral Engineering. His research interests include: Physical chemistry of aqueous electrolytes and molten salts applied to electrochemical and hydrometallurgical processes, new electrodes for electrowinning, waster water treatment and metal recovery.

Charles Maldarelli:

Professor of Chemical Engineering at City College. His research activities include: interfacial fluid mechanics, surfactant interfacial chemistry and nanoscience engineering.

P. Somasundaran (Director):

La von Duddleson Krumb Professor, with expertise in surface and colloid chemistry. His primary research interests are in particulates and waste processing; enhanced oil recovery; specifically control of fine particle dispersions using surfactants and polymers; deposition of particles and bacteria on surfaces, spectroscopic investigation of micro and nano structure of adsorbed films; flotation and ultra-fine grinding.

Nicholas J. Turro:

More than a decade ago, Nicholas J. Turro, 65, William P. Schweitzer Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University, brought together teams of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates to integrate new information technology (IT) tools and the latest research on education to create better teaching tools.

His plan was to use the "hook" of the excitement over the newly emerging World Wide Web and personal computers as effective teaching and learning tools. In the early 1990s, in partnership with his colleague Leonard Fine, Turro provided the intellectual structure for the production of a model termed "IR Tutor," an interactive program for teaching or self-learning IR spectroscopy. The module has been used by IR instrument manufacturers as a tutorial for their instruments, as a supplement to organic chemistry textbooks, and as an aid for students to learn IR spectroscopy.
Based on the initial success of IR Tutor, Turro next sought ways to demonstrate that IT tools could be developed in a typical university setting to supplement and enhance traditional teaching methods. With a small NSF grant, during the summers of 1995 and 1996 he organized summer workshops during which undergraduates worked with faculty in chemistry, biology, and physics to produce modules for use in undergraduate science courses.

Based on the faculty enthusiasm for these workshops, in the summer of 1997 with funding from the university, he brought together faculty members from the physical and biological sciences as well as the engineering sciences to explore how IT might be employed across science and engineering programs at Columbia.

The group was termed the Faculty-Student IT Cluster. During the summer of 1997 and through the academic year of 1997–98, it explored the use of computers and the newly emerging World Wide Web to enhance teaching and learning. During the summer of 1998 and the following academic year, faculty from the humanities and the social sciences were added to the cluster.

As an educator, Turro published his first textbook on photochemistry a year after joining the faculty at Columbia University in 1964. In 1978, he published "Modern Molecular Photochemistry," which has become the definitive text in the field and is widely used nationally and internationally. He has mentored the Ph.D. theses of 70 graduate students and supervised the research of more than 160 postdoctoral associates and 100 undergraduates.

His interest in the improvement of undergraduate science teaching and learning curriculum has earned him invitations to serve on national committees to advise government agencies and the academic community. In 2002, Turro received the NSF Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars. The award, created in 2001, honors academic scientists who have developed innovative ways of teaching math, science, engineering, and technology.

Born in Middletown, Conn., Turro earned a B.A. in chemistry from Wesleyan University in 1960. He received his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1963 under the mentorship of George S. Hammond, who won the Pimentel Award in 1974. After a postdoctoral year in 1963–64 at Harvard University, Turro joined the faculty of Columbia University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and has received a number of awards for his research in photochemistry, spectroscopy, and supramolecular chemistry.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Chemical Education.--MARC REISCH