Four UND Chemistry Faculty Members are Research Participants on the Newly Funded NSF
EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded (starting July 1, 2020) a new five-year competitive research infrastructure improvement (RII) Track-1
cooperative agreement totaling $20 million to ND EPSCoR jurisdiction and all 10 participating
institutions. The title of the award is New Discoveries in the Advanced Interface of Computation, Engineering, and Science
At UND, four chemistry faculty members: Drs. Jerome Delhommelle, Guodong Du, Tao Yu,
and Julia Zhao, are research participants of this award. Among them, Dr. Zhao is the
co-Lead in the pillar of Material Designs at Biointerfaces and Dr. Du participates
in this material pillar; Dr. Yu is the co-Lead in the pillar of Computation, Machine
Learning, and Predictive Modeling and Dr. Delhommelle participates in this pillar.
National Science Foundation Simulation and Machine Learning Grant
Collaborative research grant “CDS&E:D3SC:Topology, Rare-event Simulation, and Machine Learning as Routes to Predicting
Molecular Crystal Structures and Understanding Their Phase Behaviour” led by Dr. Jerome Delhommelle is awarded for four years to develop computational
methods and software to study molecular crystals at the level of $193,872 starting
April 1st, 2020.
National Science Foundation RNA-Binding Protein Investigation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a four-year, $900,000 project, “Regulatory
functions of intrinsically disordered electronegative clusters (ENC) in RNA-binding
proteins”, and Dr. Tao Yu is a Co-PI in the project sub-award and leading the computational
simulation research work with a $178,607 funding support, starting August 1st, 2020.
Marvin Windows and Doors, Inc., Wood Aging Study by Pyrolysis Project
The grant, led by Drs. Evguenii Kozliak and Alena Kubatova through continued partnership
focuses on “Investigation of Wood Windows Aging Using Thermal Desorption‐Pyrolysis GC‐MS” at level of $40,361.
This project aims to investigate aging of window-treated corner sections exposed to
harsh environmental conditions using the elaborate modification of TD-Pyr-GC-MS developed
by Dr. Kubatova for chemical characterization of wood matrix and occurrence of wood
ND Corn Utilization Council Grants
Dr. Guodong Du has received support to investigate “Self-Healing and Recyclable Polymeric Materials from Corn Sugars”. The support is in the amount of $25,248 from July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021.
Dr. Wayne Seames (Chemical Engineering) in collaboration with Dr. Kubatova (Chemistry)
has received funding ($79,000) for project “Conversion of Corn-Stover Derived Lignin.” This project aims to fragment lignin, advance lignin fragment analytical methods,
and to use those methods to help define what the lignin fragments are and their potential
Environmental Core (EC) of ND INBRE Program Received Renewed Support
The EC facility lead by Dr. David Pierce is continuing its program with an award of
$593,000 for 5 years.
Dr. Pierce developed a method for ultra-trace determination of selenium without signal
calibration. This technology employed a flow-through electrochemical method that could
accurately determine SeIV concentrations in water samples to part-per-trillion levels. Ongoing projects are
being led by Dr. Pierce in the EC, in addition to collaborations, the example is a
project to determine if rare earth elements can be economically extracted from fracking
water obtained from oil production in the Bakken area of ND.