Careers in Catalysis - Many Pathways: A Panel Discussion

September 10, 2023 | 4 -5 pm

Eaton Hall Spahr Auditorium (Ground Floor) 

1520 W 15th St, Lawrence, KS 66045

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

Immediately following the Data Science Workshop.

Sign up during symposium registration by August 25, 2023

What's your next career step?

GPCS is hosting a one hour panel of research professionals to answer your questions and discuss:

Job Searching and Marketing Yourself

Transitions from student to working professional

Comparisons: Academics, Industry, National Lab

Managing Career Development and Mentorship

Parking for Sunday

Participants are advised to park for free in the surface lot #54 on Sunday only. This lot is at 1351 Naismith Road Lawrence, KS 66045. It is across the street from the Allen Fieldhouse Garage, which is also available for a fee 24/7. Lot #54 is between 15th Street and Naismith Road and Eaton Hall is directly across 15th Street from this surface lot.


Dr. Rachael Farber (University of Kansas - Chemistry)

I originally enrolled at Case Western Reserve University as a Music Education major in Fall 2009, I changed my major to Chemistry during my Sophomore year and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry in May 2013.  I then pursued my graduate studies at Loyola University Chicago under the advisement of Prof. Dan Killelea and obtained my PhD in May 2018. I then accepted a position as a Kadanoff-Rice Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago under the advisement of Prof. Steve Sibener (May 2019 – August 2022).  In August 2022, I started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kansas (KU).  I am currently working with my group to establish our surface science research program, learning the ins and outs of teaching, and pursuing interesting service opportunities at KU and in the scientific community at large. 

Dr. Derek Butler (ADM - Lawrence)

I attended San Diego State University where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Molecular Biology.  Prior to my PhD, I worked in the biotech sector in San Diego for GeneOhm Sciences (purchased by Becton-Dickinson) developing in-vitro diagnosis techniques centered around testing genetic markers. I received my PhD in Materials Chemistry from the Joint Doctoral Program at University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University under the direction of Laurence Beauvais. After receiving my PhD, I worked as a Post-doc for the CEBC-ADM program in Lawrence. I am currently a Senior Scientist with ADM within the Process Chemistry and Catalysis group.  I oversee ADM’s small satellite lab located on West Campus of the University of Kansas, working with post-doctoral fellows and interns on early-stage ADM research projects.

Dr. Andrea Cummings (Honeywell - KCNSC)

I graduated from the University of Missouri with a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2014.  While at MU, I worked in the Kent Gates lab working on the synthesis of enzyme inhibitors and inactivation kinetics of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). After graduation, I worked briefly at Bayer Animal Health in the purification and characterization of pDNA products. For the next six years, I worked at DeLaval in formulation of biocidal teat disinfectants, development of analytical methods, and project management. Currently, I work as a Honeywell FM&T as a Scientist III in the Materials Engineering group. In the role, I have focused synthesis of small molecules with an emphasis on cross-coupling catalysis in flow.

Dr. Kevin Leonard (University of Kansas - Chemical and Petroleum Engineering)

I received my B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Between my undergraduate and graduate studies, I spent two years in industry as a software engineer for National Instruments in Austin, TX. Afterward, I returned to Madison and earned my M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin. After completing my doctoral studies I moved back to Austin, where I was a post-doctoral research fellow in Prof. Allen Bard's group at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013 , I joined the faculty at the University of Kansas to start my independent career. I am currently an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, where my research group focuses on electrochemical conversions of renewable feedstocks, including the production of clean hydrogen and the development of CO2-expanded electrolytes that offer potential in the rapidly developing area of synthetic electrochemistry. I am also the principal investigator of the NSF-funded Internet of Catalysis project, where we study how machine learning can be applied to experimental data to augment experimental research. I have also co-founded three companies, the most recent of which, Avium, is commercializing a green hydrogen technology originally developed in my laboratory at KU.

Dr. Long Qi (Ames National Laboratory)

I received my B.S. in Chemistry from Nankai University, China, and Ph.D. from City University of Hong Kong in 2013. In 2013, I became a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California - Santa Barbara. During this time, I visited the user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory many times where I learned about the US Department of Energy national laboratory system. I joined Ames National Laboratory in December 2017. My research interests focus on heterogeneous catalysis with non-precious elements for strong bond activation critical to sustainable chemical and energy conversions relevant to carbon neutrality and cyclic economies. My role as a Scientist III is to lead a group of scientists, postdoctoral research associates, and students and develop new mission-relevant projects with other PIs at Ames National Laboratory.