Janda Lab

Kenneth C. Janda

Contact E-mail: kcjanda@uci.edu Phone: (949) 824-2613 (email)

2012-13 Alumni


The 2012 -2013 Janda Research Group



Dr. Kenneth Janda received his PH.D from Harvard University in 1977 and has been a professor at UCI in the Chemistry School of Physical Sciences before being named Dean of UC Irvine's Physical <

Sciences in 2011. He has been a loyal and passionate supporter of public education and UCI since arriving on campus more than 20 years ago. Dr. Janda was inspired as a youth in high school by his chemistry and physics teachers in Denver Colorado. He attended Hope College in Michigan where he earned undergraduate degrees in both chemistry and physics before going on to Harvard to continue his studies and complete his PH.D. Dr. Janda is an inspiring educator who works closely with undergraduates and graduate students while giving them unique opportunities to work on projects in his lab. He is a strong supporter of collaboration and works closely with the neighboring public school district to offer support, outreach, supplies and research opportunities. Married for more than 40 years, Ken and Patsy Janda enjoy spending their time off traveling the world, doing yoga and spending time with their family and friends.


Thanh Ho is a senior majoring in Chemistry with a minor in biology at UCI studying the kinetics of propane clathrate hydrate formation. Specifically, she is interested in

how temperatures affect the formation of propane clathrate. The temperatures of interest are 260 K, 257 K, 254 K and 251 K. Thanh hopes to contribute to the acceleration of the process along with optimizing the total percent conversion of ice to clathrate hydrate. When the propane hydrate is ignited, it burns at a

steady rate, unlike propane in a compressed tank which can explode. If propane clathrate hydrate can be optimized to a mass scale, it can be used to safely store and transport propane as well as other volatile gases. When Thanh isn't working in the Janda Lab or studying, she enjoys collecting business cards from restaurants, photography and cooking.



Karena Smoll is a 4th year chemistry major at UCI who began working in the Janda Lab last year. Karena is grateful for the opportunities and experiences she is having performing undergraduate research in Dr. Janda's lab. Karena works closely with Janda Lab partner Andrew Chanez studying the kinetics of clathrate hydrate formation with difluoromethane. The goal of their project is to find the optimal conditions for clathrate hydrate formation. Samples currently require several days to reach completion. Difluoromethane is an important gas to study becasue it can potentially function as a helper gas to speed the formation of other gas hydrates. Also, on an industrial scale, clathrate hydrates can be a safe and effective way to store and transport natural gases if formation can be produced on a mass scale.

Andrew and Karena enjoy sharing their expertise with chemistry students around Orange County. They have visited many middle and high schools teaching students about clathrate hydrates and their potential as a reliable future energy source. Check out the Outreach section of this website to see pictures as they inspire future scientists throughout Orange County or to find information about having them visit your chemistry classes.


Andrew Chanez interest in the sciences began when he was only fourteen years old and

diagnosed with Type I diabetes. He was fascinated with the technology behind the medical equipment and medicines that he saw so often. Beginning at Fullerton College and studying biology, he soon discovered his passion for chemistry and transferred to UCI where he majored in Chemistry. Andrew joined the Janda Group during his first year at UCI in an effort to satisfy his craving for chemical knowledge in a real and hands-on way. He works closely with Karena Smolli studying the kinetics of clathrate hydrate formation with difluoromethane. The goal of finding the optimal conditions for clathrate hydrate formation using difluormethane as a helper gas to speed formation of other gases becomes a reality as he experiments making them in the Janda Lab. Their research may affect the future use of clathrate hydrates as a safely transported and reliable energy source. Andrew and Karena enjoy visiting chemistry classrooms around Orange County sharing their research, interest in science and inspiring students. You can find more about their collaboration with young scientists on the Outreach section of this website.


Qian Wang earned her BA degree from Albion College (MI) in 2010. She joined the Janda lab in 2011 as a graduate student of Physical Chemistry.
Currently, Qian is working on the X-Ray project which involves making Bromine water clathrate, Bromine Xenon clathrate, and Bromine Chlorine clathrate. All of these clathrates are made in different rations in X-ray capillaries. Crystallography is used to determine the crystal structures of the bromine clathrates, especially for the Bromine Xenon clathrate, whose structure still remains unknown to scientists today. Qian is happy to be conducting such valuable research that will help future scientists have a better understanding of the structure of clathrate hydrate structure.








Kurtis Malecha ia a visiting rising-senior from Minnesota State University, Mankato doing the

Chem-SURF program. This means that Kurtis jois the UCI student researchers in the Janda Lab to conduct research during the summer of 2012 and then he will return to Minnesota to complete his degree. After graduation, Kurtis plans to attend graduate school for Inorganic or Physical Chemistry; possibly at UCI.





Kathy Marvin joins the Janda Lab each summer as an outreach consultant who works on different projects each year. Kathy is an 8th grade science teacher from Irvine, CA. In addition to teaching her curriculum, Kathy strives to engage her students in positive ways and encourage them into fields of science in the future. She started a Science Olympiad team at Sierra Vista Middle School that has gone on to the State level competition. Kathy was honored in 2010 with the award of Orange County Teacher of the Year and California Teacher of the Year and she continues to be active in Sacramento working to promote a passion for excellence in teaching, especially in science, technology, engineering and math. The collaboration with Janda Lab and UCI enables Kathy to offer her classes many labs and experiences that she would not otherwise be able to offer. Kathy is very grateful that each year more than 1000 students are affected positively by the partnership with Janda Lab and UCI.