Chemistry Seminar Series

Throughout the winter and spring semesters, the department invites scientists from all over the world to visit our campus and present their research as part of the Chemistry Seminar Series, held every Thursday at 11:30 am in LGRT 1681. Read below to find out about upcoming seminars, as well as our special seminars.

Marvin D. Rausch Lectureship in Organometallic Chemistry

The Marvin D. Rausch Lectureship in Organometallic Chemistry was established to provide support for a lecture series which will be presented by individuals with outstanding established reputations in any aspect of organometallic chemistry. In this context, organometallic chemistry is described as the chemistry of chemical components which possess a direct carbon-to-metal bond. Areas of potential expertise for the focus of the Marvin D. Rausch Lectureship in Organometallic Chemistry include synthesis, catalysis, structure, bonding, spectroscopy, applications, or related areas. We are extremely grateful to the late Prof. Rausch and his family for the endowment of this seminar series.

Photograph of Marvin Rausch.

Prof. Marvin Rausch was a devoted faculty member of our department from 1963 to 2001. He was widely recognized for research in organometallic chemistry, authoring or co-authoring over 350 scientific articles, as well as serving on the editorial boards of several journals in this area of chemistry. Prof. Rausch mentored over 40 PhD students during his tenure here, and his course in advanced laboratory methodology set a standard for the training of advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. In addition to sponsoring this honorary seminar, he was also a generous donor to UMass Amherst’s Athletics program and gifted part of his fantastic crystal and mineral collection to the Department of Geosciences. Click here to see a sample of the collection.

Mahoney Seminar Series

The Mahoney Seminar is dedicated to shining a light on the positive impacts that the field of chemistry has had, and continues to have, on society at large. The brothers Mahoney—Bill, Bob, and Dick— who graduated from the UMass Amherst Chemistry Department and who support the seminar, have always preached about the positive impact that chemistry education has had on them, and the great positive impact that the field of chemistry is having on society. This seminar provides a showcase for such impact.

Photograph of Bob Mahoney.

Robert M. Mahoney is a 1970 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He then received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 1971. He received the 1996 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Massachusetts, and the 2006 Columbia University School of Business Leadership Award. He is also the recipient of the 2009 Henry L. Shattuck Boston City Champion Award and the 2011 USS Constitution Museum’s Charles Francis Adams Award for public service. In February 2014, Mahoney was named the “most-admired CEO of a small or mid-sized company in Massachusetts” by the Boston Business Journal. He is a board member of the Sitel Corporation, a $1.5B worldwide customer-service firm in Nashville, and International Data Group, a $3B technology media and research group based in Boston. Mahoney also sits on the Archdiocese of Boston Finance Council and chairs the Council’s Finance and Real Estate Steering Committee.

Photograph of Bill Mahoney.

Prof. William E. Mahoney was a 1955 alumnus of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, as well as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, of Witco Corporation (now Chemtura Corporation), a Fortune 500 manufacturer of specialty chemical and petroleum products. Mahoney was a longtime adjunct faculty member in the UMass Chemistry Department, and taught a highly successful seminar series entitled “The Business of Science: Contemporary Practices” for several years. Prof. Mahoney also chaired the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advisory Council. In recognition of his distinguished achievements, the University of Massachusetts conferred to him the Chancellor’s Medal in 1996, and in 2006 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award.

Stein-Covestro Seminar Series

The Stein-Covestro seminar series honors the life and work of Prof. Stein, supported by a kind sponsorship from Covestro. Prior to 2015, the Stein Seminar Series was sponsored by Bayer MaterialScience, who generously supported the seminar series for over 15 years.

Photograph of Richard Stein.

Prof. Richard Stein was born in Far Rockaway, New York in 1925. He was an undergraduate at Brooklyn Polytechnic, where he made some of the first light scattering studies of the dimensions of polymers in solution. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton for work with Professor Tobolsky on using birefringence and X-ray diffraction to study polymer orientational relaxation. He then spent a postdoctoral year at Cambridge University to extend his studies using infrared dichroism. Stein joined the University of Massachusetts chemistry faculty in 1950, where he began his pioneering studies into the development of rheo-optical techniques for studying orientation and phase transition phenomena in amorphous, crystalline, and liquid crystalline polymers. Stein initiated the Polymer Science and Engineering Department and then served as Emeritus Goessmann Professor in Chemistry. Over the course of his career, Stein mentored more than 140 master’s and doctoral candidates. He passed away in June 2021.