Category Archives: Lab Updates

Dr. Hyejin Park

The OESL lab is pleased to announce that Dr. Hyejin Park has joined us.  Hyejin has a PhD in Materials Engineering from Auburn University in Alabama.  She received her BS from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  She lives in Holland with her husband and two year old son.

Welcome Hyejin, we are glad you have joined us.

PittCon in Chicago

This week our lab personnel visited Chicago and the PittCon Expo.  They brought back some pictures:

Hyejin with a frog that has been trained to wear safety glasses…

Nick and Shane with…  (?)

Okay, I’m glad everyone had fun, now back to work. 🙂

Shane Mann

Shane Mann is joining us as a researcher for the OESLab.  He comes to us as a recent graduate of Central Michigan University.

And a quick throwback to when Shane was a 2015 summer intern with the OESLab…

Jolt Energy Storage Technologies – Innovation in Action

Lakeshore Advantage put together a great video highlighting Jolt, the energy storage company using the technology developed by Tom Guarr and the OESLab.  It also provides a peek into the lab and the pilot plant here at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute.



Summer 2016 Evaluation Comments

We got some very positive comments on our anonymous intern evaluations from last summer.  Here are a few…

Q:  Did you find the experience valuable?

A: This was one of the best experiences I’ve had that allowed me to see the environment that an organic chemist might be working in.

A:  I learned a lot about synthesis techniques and the importance of reproduceable results.  I also learned a lot about reaction planning and time management.  Overall, a very valuable experience.


Q:  What did you like most about the summer research experience?

A: I enjoyed the freedom to make a lot of research decisions independently while periodically checking in with Dr. Guarr.  I also like the freedom to get our 40 hours in many different ways.

A: The freedom to go in new directions with the project and being able to work with other students so that you could ask their opinions when making certain decisions.

A:  Learning about how what we’re doing in this lab will be applied to engineer better solutions for future technology.  Also, the people I met!

A:  I most liked working with Dr. Guarr and my lab mates.  Everyone here was very fun, kind, and intelligent.  I also really liked our well-rounded experience, with tours at New Holland Brewing, Gentex, and a presentation from a patent attorney.

A: Research + volleyball


Q:  Would you recommend the MSUBI Summer Intern program to others?

A: Absolutely!


Thank you for the kind words and additionally for the helpful feedback and suggestions you provided.  We will take your suggestions under advisement and continue to improve this program.


Summer 2016

Here are some pictures of our group and the summer of 2016.  Thanks for a great summer, we are looking forward to another great group of incoming 2017 students!

Captain Sundae 6613

New Holland brewery 6617

6715 Brian Chiou and Tom Guarr poster

6815 Amber putting

6815 Seymour with Captain Sundae

6712 group shot captain sundae

6801 interns on cruise

Joel Sowders

Joel spent the summer with us doing research into rhenium compounds…

Photophysical and Redox Properties of Novel Bipyridine-Rhenium Complexes;  Joel Sowders, Nick Mortimer, Amber Prins and Dr. Tom Guarr

The photophysical properties of metal-ligand complexes have been well researched over the past two decades.  Due to their unique and wide range of properties, metal-ligand complexes have been investigated in energy and electron transfer research.  Rhenium(I) complexes are among these classes of compounds.  Rhenium(I) complexes have also been studied for their ability to catalyze both oxidation and reduction events, including the reduction of CO2 to CO.  Bimetallic rhenium and ruthenium complexes have also been the topic of many studies on intramolecular energy transfer.  In this study we show a rhenium-pyridine ligand complex. The ligand, 4,6-diphenyl-2,2’-bipyridine (BPY) was synthesized according to previous literature.  The complex was prepared from the ligand and chloropentacarbonylrhenium (1JMS045). Characterization was done with NMR, LC-MS, cyclic voltammetry, UV-Vis and fluorescent spectroscopy. The mono-rhenium complex was further reacted with 4,4’-bipyridine to bridge the complex to form a bi- or poly-rhenium bipyridine complex. LC-MS of the compound revealed the 4,4’-bipyridine did join a single complex but did not bridge to a second complex (1JMS037).

6913 Joel Sowders


Joel is a Holland native that comes to us via Seattle Pacific University.  Much gratitude to Joel for all his hard work this summer.  Enjoy your time back at school.