Inspired by Nature: Understanding the Chemistry that Powers Our Planet
Jenny Yang, UCI Department of Chemistry
October 10, 2017
UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom D
7:30 – 9:00AM
See flyer here.
Our planet is powered by the sun. Plants use photosynthesis to use this energy along with air and water to forge chemical bonds to grow and flourish. Not only do we use the fruits of their labor to power ourselves through food, but our current energy infrastructure relies on fuel generated from sunlight over millennia. Jenny Yang and her team use synthetic compounds to understand the chemistry behind these processes. What they learn can lead to cheaper or more efficient artificial photosynthetic devices to generate sustainable fuels. Come learn more!
Dr. Jenny Yang’s research is focused on using synthetic compounds to understand reactivity; specifically, how nature stores and utilizes energy via bond breaking and forming reactions. She was inspired to pursue research relevant to energy use after and internship at the National Renewable Energy Lab while she was an undergraduate student.
She received her B.S. from UC Berkeley and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yang performed postdoctoral research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where she was hired as a research scientist in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis. She then worked at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at Caltech before starting as an Assistant Professor at UC Irvine in 2013. Recently, she was awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by former President Obama.