Dempsey Wins ACS Award

Congratulations to Associate Professor Jillian Dempsey, who is the 2018 recipient of the Harry Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator!

This award is granted to an individual who has less than ten years of experience since their terminal degree. The nominee must have demonstrated innovative research in inorganic chemistry broadly defined, which may include interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary work. Special consideration will be given to the creativity and the actual or potential impact of the research. The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Up to $2,500 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed.

As one of the department's rising stars, Jillian came to Carolina in 2012 to establish her lab, researching physical inorganic chemistry. "I was excited to take on this lofty goal of building a lab, knowing I had the support of some really wonderful people in the department," she says.

Dempsey now leads a vibrant research program. Her lab are studying next-generation catalysts for artificial photosynthesis with an eye toward developing renewable, high-energy fuels from inexpensive, abundant reactants. In 2015, she received a Packard Fellowship, and she is also a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and a Sloan Fellowship.

In recent years, Dempsey has seen an uptick in the number of talented young scientists joining the faculty and, in turn, the department’s response in meeting their unique needs — including meetings geared toward junior faculty or female chemists. In addition, a new Clare Boothe Luce Program led by Dempsey will support fellowships for women in chemistry.