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UD student takes top organic chemistry honor

UD’s ISSC conference delegation (from left): Svilen Bobev, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Gary DiFilippo; John Burmeister, UD Alumni Distinguished Professor and associate chairperson of chemistry and biochemistry; Richard Karpowicz Jr.; Hal White, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; and Timothy Martin.

5:36 p.m., April 26, 2006--Three students represented UD at the 70th Intercollegiate Student Chemists' Convention (ISCC) on Saturday, April 22, at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. A total of 55 research projects from students at 18 different schools were presented simultaneously in nine sessions.

Timothy Martin, AS '06, won first place in the Organic Chemistry III division for his research on “A New Route to Enantiometrically Pure Amino Acids.”

Richard Karpowicz Jr., AS '07, presented his work in Organic Chemistry II on “Progress on the Synthesis of Asymmetric Metalofoldamer Catalysts,” and Gary DiFilippo AS '06 presented his research Chemistry I on “Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Rare Earth Germanium Compounds.”

Svilen Bobev, UD assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, John Burmeister, UD Alumni Distinguished Professor and associate chairperson of chemistry and biochemistry, and Hal White, UD professor of chemistry and biochemistry, attended ISCC, which is the largest conference of its kind in the country.

Burmeister, who has led UD delegations to the conference since 1966, said Martin's award is the 85th the university has received since 1949, placing UD first among 60 departments.

Burmeister said the student's presentations were sophisticated and impressive. “They are presenting in a way and at a level that, when I was in grad school, would have been good for a grad student,” he said.

Burmeister said the students worked hard to prepare for their 15-minute presentations. “These kids who do research have to be a degree apart,” Burmeister said. “You see kids playing Frisbee on the mall, or going to the movies or to Deer Park, and these kids are in the lab doing research. It's not because they have to do it, they actually enjoy doing it. The act of discovery is something they find very enjoyable.”

The next ISCC will be held in April 2007 at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Article by Julia Parmley, AS '07

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