Kelsey Stocker, PhD

Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

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  • PhD, University of Notre Dame
  • BA, Colorado College

Professional Training

  • Postdoctoral researcher, Northwestern University

Research Interests

Computational physical chemists use computer simulations and calculations to answer fundamental chemical questions. These computational methods can access atomic-level structural information and short-lived species that are difficult to measure experimentally. Computational results can be used in conjunction with traditional experiments to provide new insight into experimental data, or can be used to make predictions and assist with experimental design.

My previous research has explored heat transfer across nanoscale gold surfaces, novel computational methods for simulating nanoparticles, and reaction mechanisms on nickel catalysts. My current research projects are focused on studying the kinetics and thermodynamics of reaction mechanisms that occur either in the gas phase or on solid catalyst surfaces. The types of reactions we study are relevant to atmospheric and soil chemistry, renewable energy sources, and indoor pollution (on Earth or on board the International Space Station!).

Undergraduate students who work in my lab are trained in advanced computational methods (molecular modeling, electronic structure calculations, molecular dynamics simulations), surface science (adsorption, heterogeneous catalysis, surface reconstruction), and computer skills (Unix environment, terminal commands, molecular visualization software). We have dedicated research computers in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry computer lab and we also have remote access to the high-performance computing clusters at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.

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Courses Taught

Lecture Courses

  • CHEM-314 Instrumental Analysis
  • CHEM-375 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • UES-401 Environ. Senior Project
  • CHEM-411 Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM-H411 Honors Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM-412 Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM-429 Research & Seminar II
  • CHEM-500 Experiential Learning in Chem
  • BIO-500 Experiential Learning in Bio
  • CHEM-510 Independent Study
  • UES-H555 Honors Senior Thesis
  • CAS-101 Strategies of Success
  • CAS-201 College to Career
  • SCI 104 Food Chemistry

Lab Courses

  • CHEM-L411 Physical Chemistry Lab I
  • CHEM-L412 Physical Chemistry Lab II