MacArthur Fellow William Dichtel to join Weinberg chemistry department

Benjamin Din, Digital Projects Editor

MacArthur Fellow William Dichtel will join Northwestern this summer as a chemistry professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the university announced Thursday.

Dichtel, who is currently a professor at Cornell University, brings his experience as an organic chemist and his research in porous polymers to NU. His work focuses on turning his research into practical applications that can be used in daily life.

“I look forward to collaborating with world-class faculty in chemistry, materials science and other disciplines,” Dichtel said in a news release. “My research team’s expertise in organic and polymer chemistry will contribute further strength in these areas and bring about new collaborations across the University.”

Dichtel’s research in new materials at the nanoscale has helped to develop materials for water purification and energy storage, among other things. Through these innovations, there is the potential to create batteries that charge in seconds, materials that rapidly remove water pollutants and systems that detect explosives in the air.

In addition to being named a MacArthur Fellow last year, Dichtel has received several awards and accolades, among which include the National Fresenius Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award and the Sloan Research Fellowship.

However, the benefits of Dichtel coming to NU will extend beyond his research, Chemistry Prof. Peter Stair said in the release.

“In addition to his tremendous accomplishments and vision in research, Will is a committed and innovative teacher,” said Stair, the department’s chair. “The undergraduates will love him. He is a spectacular addition to the chemistry department and Northwestern.”

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