Department NewsMay 22, 2019
Ellen Matson Appointed Wilmot Assistant Professor
Ellen Matson is one of four appointed Wilmot Assistant Professors. This award shines light on promising young men and women in the early stages of their academic careers. The two-year appointments, one in each of the four divisions of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, include an annual research fund of $5,000.
‘A rising star in inorganic chemistry’
Prof. Matson, who joined the Department of Chemistry in 2015, has carved out new research directions in inorganic chemistry, specifically cooperative reactivity between molecules that attach to metals, called ligands, and the metal atoms themselves in small molecular sized clusters. “The broader impact of her research is the development of sustainable catalysts for the conversion of inert gaseous substrates and contaminants into energy-rich fuels and commodity chemicals,” says department chair Todd Krauss. Her “truly creative approach to molecular based development,” he says, gives her a “unique opportunity to change the landscape of energy-related chemistry with her studies.”
One of the few tenure-track faculty members with a degree in education, she has developed two new undergraduate courses that incorporate innovative learning experiences. She is faculty advisor to both undergraduate and graduate student groups in the department, has executed a new graduate student orientation program, and organized visits to over 50 classrooms throughout the Rochester City School District, engaging more than 1,500 students in chemistry demonstrations. “Given her remarkable advances in research, teaching and service, it is clear that Dr. Matson is a rising star in inorganic and materials chemistry,” Krauss says.