New Faculty Profile: Amanda Cook, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Materials Science Institute
Amanda Cook started her higher education at California State University, Fullerton, where she worked in the research group of Christopher Hyland. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2015 while working for Melanie Sanford, Amanda began working for Christophe Coperet at ETH Zurich as a post-doctoral fellow. At Oregon, her research program will design and develop new catalysts for the transformation of organic molecules. Using a molecular approach to surface chemistry, solid catalysts will be synthesized, allowing for in-depth mechanistic studies to be carried out. Solid, or heterogeneous, catalysts are prized in the chemical industry because of their practicality, since they are easily separated from the product of the reaction. As such, her group will focus on chemical reactions of potential industrial utility, including carbon dioxide conversion (using carbon dioxide as a carbon source in synthesis), alkyne functionalization (better ways to make chemicals that are used to make polymers and plastics), and biomass conversion (recycling waste materials like lignin and using them as a resource for fine chemicals). Understanding reaction pathways and catalyst structure will be an important component of her research group.