January 2022 – Message from the Chair

Happy New Year KLSers!

I’m excited to be serving as your chair again this year and we have some very exciting programming coming up in the next few months that I hope you will attend. We’ll start off remotely in January and have an excellent speaker from ORNL, Dr. Stephan Irle – we hope that everyone can join in! PLEASE encourage students and other professionals in our region to attend this meeting. Zoom meetings are not great and I hope that we can put these behind us in the near future, but participation is needed if we are going to continue to draw in speakers from outside of the region. Beyond January, we hope our meetings will be held in-person and that at least one of our discussions will involve an industrial speaker. Looking forward to April, we’ll have a special program at MSU on additive manufacturing (3D printing) and a poster session for undergraduates in the region to show off their research accomplishments…more details to come!! Please let me know if there is anything we can do as a section to be of assistance or if you have any ideas or suggestions for future programming. All the best to a successful and safe 2022!

Kevin Miller, 2022 KLS Chair

Meeting November 18th

November 2021 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Classification of Novel Psychoactive Substances using Multivariate Statistical Procedures

Featuring Dr. Amanda Burkhart,
Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee at Martin

Thursday, November 18th 

Dinner @ 6:00 pm
Business @ 7:00 pm
(Including Awards and Election Results)

Join Virtually via Zoom (Meeting ID TBA)
Attend Live at Bethel University

Dinner: Deli Sandwich Buffet
Dinner Price is $10 (Students $5)

Abstract: The identification of novel psychoactive substances is challenging for forensic drug analysts due to the lack of available reference standards. A typical controlled substance identification is made by comparing the mass spectrum of an unknown to that of a reference standard. In the case of newly emerging synthetic designer drugs, there is no reference standard available for comparison. To overcome this, synthetic designer drugs can be classified according to class and subclass using multivariate statistical procedures, such as linear discriminant analysis (LDA).

In the work presented here, compounds from both the tryptamine and phenethylamine classes of synthetic designer drugs were analyzed via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Variable selection was performed on the mass spectral data and LDA models were defined for the specified subclasses of drugs. A test set was then introduced to the model to determine the classification success rate. This presentation will demonstrate the applicability of classification models for synthetic designer drugs where a standard method of comparison to a known reference material is not feasible.

Bio: Dr. Amanda Burkhart received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Mount Union in 2014. She then went on to Michigan State University in a dual degree program where she obtained her Master of Science in Forensic Science and Ph.D. in Chemistry. Her master’s thesis focused on the classification of novel psychoactive substances using multivariate statistics while her Ph.D. explored a kinetic-based mathematical model used for the identification of ignitable liquids in forensic fire debris. She moved to Tennessee this summer with her husband and two dogs to start her career at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Meeting October 21st

Kentucky Lake Section ACS Meeting
National Chemistry Week Demo Show

Live from UT Martin Brehm Hall
Virtually via Zoom

Thursday, October 21st, 2021
Dinner Outside @ 6:00 pm, Demo Show @ 7:00 pm

Dinner: BBQ Sandwich, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, & Chips
Dinner Price is $10 (Students $5)

Fast or Slow…. Chemistry Makes it Go!

It’s officially that delightful time of year when your students have learned enough chemistry to do demonstrations with fabulous flair and festive finesse!! 

Our local section National Chemistry Week events this year will be flexible.  We will host an in-person, masked chemistry demo show, with BBQ available in a separate room, with outdoor dining.  We will also be airing “live” from the room, and with the ability to broadcast videos submitted by folks unable to attend in person.  What I would love is to have each university SMACS chapter perform a demo (or five!), ideally in line with the theme “Fast or Slow… Chemistry Makes It Go!,” and always with safety and learning in mind. I also hope to encourage each SMACS chapter to challenge their professors to do some demos too — some friendly competition, if you will! Challenge your local scout chapters, high school science clubs, and STEM clubs to join in too – in-person, via zoom, or via the video submission! 

Please send me any videos no later than Wednesday October 20th, by 5pm so I have a little time to compile them. (If the video files are too large to send by email, consider using a dropbox or google drive link.) 

If you’d like some NCW swag for in-person events—mainly the NCW magazines and NCW stickers—send me your mailing address and how many magazines you need, and I’ll put them into the mail today! 

Abigail Shelton, NCW Coordinator 

Meeting September 21st

September 2021 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Designing Ligands: Imparting Electronic and Steric Control at Transition Metal Centers

Featuring Dr. Kensha Clark,
Assistant Professor, University of Memphis

Tuesday, September 21st 

Dinner @ 6:00 pm, Presentation @ 7:00 pm

Join Virtually via Zoom (Meeting ID TBA)
Attend Live at Union University Carl Grant Center, Salon II
Jackson, TN 38305

Dinner: Garden Salad, Chicken Marsala, Grilled Pork Tenderloin,
Au Gratin Potatoes, Sauteed Green Beans,
Chocolate Explosion w/ ice cream

Dinner Price is $10 (Students $5)

Abstract:  The selection of task-appropriate ligands to support transition metal centers is the first, imperative step towards exacting targeted behavior from molecular transition metal complexes. In our research, ligands are used to impart unique electronic properties or to provide steric control at metal ions, that can be exploited for materials and catalysis applications. In this talk, our approach to ligand design will be discussed in the context of electronic and magnetic molecule synthesis, as well as its application to sustainable catalysis.

Bio: Dr. Clark received her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2002 and began M.S. work in the same department in 2003. During this time, she performed inorganic chemistry research under the guidance of Dr. Lisheng Cai and Prof. John Morrison. From UIC, she began her PhD at the University of California, Irvine working with Prof. Alan Heyduk exploring redox active ligands. During her graduate studies, Dr. Clark was awarded a fellowship by the American-Scandinavian Foundation as a fellow to Denmark where she spent nearly a year in the lab of Prof. Jesper Bendix at the University of Copenhagen. After finishing her PhD in 2010, she began work as an NIH postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Prof. Amir Hoveyda. At the end of 2011, Dr. Clark started her research career as an industrial chemist at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, LP in the Polyolefins Catalyst and Product Development group. During her 5.5 years at Chevron-Phillips, she was awarded 18 US and international patents. She began as an assistant Professor at the University of Memphis in 2017. Her research uses ligand electronic behavior and/or architecture to control behavior at transition metal centers.

Fall Picnic and Meeting Sept 2

 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Annual Fall Picnic

Thursday, September 2, 2021
6-8 pm

Bailey Pavilion at Central Park
Gil Hopson Drive, Murray KY

Nepali Momo, BBQ, veggie burgers, picnic-style sides and desserts

The price is $10 (Students $5) 
After a LONG season of virtual meetings, we’re happy to announce that we are planning our first in-person event in 16 months!  We hope that you will feel comfortable attending this open-air, outdoor, family-friendly event; we’d love to see you there!


During the picnic, we will talk about the fall meeting schedule and recognize the 2021 KLS-Chemists Celebrate Earth Week Illustrated Poem Contest Award Winners.


August 2021 – Message from the Chair

Hello KLS Family,

It is exciting to resume in-person KLS meetings. Our annual picnic has been scheduled for September 2nd (6:00-8:00 pm) at the Bailey Pavilion at Central Park (Gil Hopson Drive, Murray). We are proud to announce that our section has been selected as a finalist for the following two ChemLuminary Awards: Best New Senior Chemists Activity within a Local Section and Outstanding Performance Awards – Small Size Category. This year’s ChemLuminary Award ceremony has been scheduled virtually for the National Chemistry Week in October.

We will also recognize 2021 KLS-Chemists Celebrate Earth Week Illustrated Poem Contest Award Winners at the meeting.

Kind Regards,
Bikram Subedi, 2021 KLS Chair

Meeting April 15th

April 2021 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Exploring the Structures and Properties of Strongly Bound Atomic Clusters

Thursday, April 15th @ 7:00 pm

Join Virtually via Zoom
(Meeting ID TBA)

Speaker: Dr. Jonathan T. Lyon, Murray State University

Abstract: Strongly bound atomic clusters are often used as ideal models for the active sites in bulk material. Despite the increased scientific interest in cluster sized particles, open questions remain about the structure, stability, and related properties of specific cluster systems. We present here recent investigations on clusters containing between 2 and 25 atoms. Theoretically, we utilize global optimization procedures to locate new local and global minima candidates. These structures are further optimized with different density functional and ab initio techniques and electronic, vibrational, and internal bonding properties are explored. Complementary experimental matrix isolation infrared experiments currently being assembled will also be discussed. Specific systems presented here include transition metal clusters, doped semiconductor clusters, and metal hydride clusters. Items of particular interest with these systems include novel cluster geometries, cluster size/stability relationships, exohedral to endoheral doped cluster transitions, and hydrogen adsorption energetics.

Chemists Celebrate Earth Week April 18-24th

“Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry”

For years, chemists have promoted a better world through recyclable plastics, cleaner-burning fuels, phosphate-free detergents, environmental monitoring and green chemistry initiatives. Each year, the American Chemical Society highlights these initiatives and chooses a specific theme to help focus the observance of Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW). This year’s theme is, “Reducing Our Footprint Through Chemistry”.

K-12 Poetry Contest

One activity in the Chemists Celebrate Earth Week program is the national illustrated poem contest for students in grades K-12. The poems, which are judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of the yearly theme, can be any style including: haiku, limerick, ode, ABC poem, free verse, end rhyme, blank verse and sonnet; but no longer than 40 words.


K-12 students are invited to submit illustrated poems directly via the new online submission form. 

Student Submission Deadline: Sunday, April 25, 2021

First-place winners in each of the national contest’s grade categories will win $300. Second place winners in each grade category will win $150.

Questions about submitting an entry?

Contact: Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, CCEW Coordinator, KLS-ACS. Phone: 270-809-3044

Meeting March 18th

Kentucky Lake Section ACS Meeting

Thursday, March 18th, 2020 at 7pm

Kentucky Lake ACS
Professional Chemists Panel

Katelyn Foppe Biobot Analytics (Boston, MA)
Samantha Sims Mayfield High School
Chase Haynes Packaging Corporation of America
Tony Polanco Estron Chemical LLC (Calvert City, KY)

Meeting January 26th

January 2021 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Dye Molecule-Based Porous Organic Polymers

Tuesday, January 26, 2021
7:00 pm

Join Virtually via Zoom
(Meeting ID TBA)

Speaker: Dr. Grace Eder, Murray State University

Speaker Bio:  Dr. Grace Eder (she/her) is a synthetic organic and materials chemist interested in using chemistry to help find new strategies to tackle big problems. Dr. Eder received her B.S. in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She then went on to pursue a Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH under the mentorship of Dr. Psaras McGrier. During her Ph.D., Dr. Eder found that she quite enjoyed teaching, and completed a teaching post-doc at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. At Macalester College Dr. Eder also mentored undergraduate researchers, which helped her decide to pursue both teaching and research. She is currently an assistant professor at Murray State University in Murray, KY where she is starting her research program on 1, 2, and 3D polymer materials for sustainability applications.