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  • Ryan Cammarota
    05/23/19

    Ryan Cammarota, Ph.D., receives 2018 Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

Alumnus Ryan Cammarota, Ph.D., received the Department of Chemistry's 2018 Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. This award honors outstanding Department of Chemistry graduate students for their doctoral thesis research. He earned his doctorate in 2018 and was advised by Professor Connie Lu. Cammarota also received an honorable mention in the Graduate School's "Best Dissertation Award" in Physical Sciences & Engineering for 2019.

While at the University of Minnesota, Cammarota’s general research interests were focused on designing organometallic catalysts and utilizing spectroscopic techniques to gain mechanistic insight into the structure and energetics of key catalytic intermediates. His thesis revolved around finding new ways to utilize Earth-abundant metals in catalysis by understanding how two different metals engaged in a metal-metal bond can collectively exhibit more desirable catalytic properties than the constituent metals alone.

Cammarota was an award-wining student at the University, including a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research award, which enabled him to spend four-months using specialized, high-pressure nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrumentation in collaboration with staff scientists at Pacific Northwest National Lab; a University Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, which was awarded to 150 outstanding graduate students from across disciplaines; and a Phillips 66 Excellence Fellowship in Chemistry, a research stipend given to outstanding third-year graduate students. He also received an honorable mention in the Department of Chemistry's Graduate Student Research Symposium, and was a volunteer with the Minnesota Chapter of the American Chemical Society Chemists-in-the-Library program.

Highlights from his time at Minnesota include breaking unofficial records for most time spent in the NMR laboratory past 5 p.m., and contributing to the back-to-back championships won by the legendary Glovebox Heroes softball team.

In addition to his doctorate, Cammarota earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Carleton College, and a master's degree from the University of Minnesota. His goals for the future are to become a college professor and soccer coach. Currently, Cammarota is working as a post-doctoral research in Professor Matt Sigman's group at the University of Utah. He is working on utilizing statistical parameterization techniques to build predictive models for designing organometallic catalysts with optimal catalytic activity and selectivity.