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Alumni Update: Thomas Eisenhart Delivers Talk to Chemistry Department

Life has been busy for 2010 Honors alum Thomas Eisenhart since his graduation five years ago. After spending his first post-graduate year in Belfast, Northern Ireland to study under the Rotary Foundation Ambassador Scholarship, Eisenhart returned to America to complete his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Despite the demands of graduate school, Eisenhart found time to pay his alma mater a visit on October 16, when he presented his research to the chemistry department. His talk was titled “Spectroscopic Monitoring of Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Reactions,” which documented his work over the past four years to develop new methods to better monitor a class of reactions, proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET), which play an important role in developing new energy technologies.

Eisenhart and Engel

Thomas Eisenhart (right) with Dr. Steve Engel

“Through my research, I’ve been able to deeply explore the chemistry associated with many of the energy challenges facing society today,” said Eisenhart, “and I’m glad I got to share this research with both students and members of the department.”

As a former 1906 scholar, Eisenhart was in these students’ position only a few years ago. He cites his time as an honors student as a period during which his intellectual curiosity was enhanced and his critical thinking skills sharpened.

“These two qualities,” Eisenhart said, “along with the drive needed to push through the ups and downs of graduate school, were key in helping me successfully work towards a Ph.D.”

His spirit of intellectual inquiry has led him to pursue opportunities outside the field of chemistry. Following graduation, Eisenhart will begin working in the management consulting industry, in which he’ll be able to break new ground in his professional life.

“I really enjoy problem solving, and this job will give me the opportunity to help solve some of the most complex and important issues facing large, global corporations,” said Eisenhart. “Also, while a Ph.D. in chemistry takes around five years, the typical client engagement is only a few months, so the opportunity to experience numerous industries and business models is also an exciting proposition.”



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