Organic and Inorganic Chemical Synthesis - Sustainable Chemistry

photo of written formulas for synthesis of new catalysts.

Chemical synthesis is an important tool in sustainable efforts of our society; new catalysts that use earth abundant materials is a major theme in our green chemistry science research.

Project description

We are making new catalysts for sustainable chemistry. Students learn skills in organic and inorganic chemical synthesis. These new catalysts use earth-abundant materials. Exploring new and exciting reactivities of these catalysts that we design is the core of our efforts and we are looking for motivated undergraduates seeking to hone their skills in chemistry!

Project outcome

Students will learn skills in chemical synthesis. These are important for students seeking to work in the chemical industry, especially those who might be interested in pursuing Master's or PhD level chemical education after graduation. Projects that are successful will result in publication in scientific journals, and students will be given opportunities to apply for funding and present their research at conferences.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Depends on student interest
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Varies
Benefits Academic credit; some summer salary opportunities; ample outreach opportunities for pre-med students
Who is eligible Enrollment in or completion of college organic chemistry course
Goldwater and the National Science Foundation

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

David Lacy

Assistant Professor


657 Natural Sciences Complex

Phone: (716) 645-4114


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 
Fulfilling Academic Major/Minor Requirements

If you are planning to use this project to satisfy program requirements for your academic major or minor, it is your responsibility to obtain approval from your academic department prior to beginning the project. 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Meet with the faculty mentor to establish customized preparation activities for individual students