Furman University chemistry professor M.E. Anderson awarded NSF grant to support research

Furman Associate Professor of Chemistry Mary Elizabeth Anderson

Furman Associate Professor of Chemistry Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Anderson has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant to support her work in materials science.

Her proposal, “RUI: Exploring Synthesis, Tailoring Structure, Evaluating Properties, and Enabling Patterning of Surface-Anchored Framework Assemblies,” was awarded $371,965 for the three-year project.

The grant supports nine summer student stipends over a three-year span and supports a postdoctoral scientist for two years.

Results from the proposed research contribute to the fields of surface science, engineering science, nanotechnology and material chemistry. Said Anderson, “Well-trained undergraduate students engaged in this research go on to become the scientists and engineers that will discover and implement new solutions to end the energy crisis, remediate environmental problem areas, develop greener industrial processes, heal the diseases of the 21st century and tackle problems yet to be realized.”

Anderson joined the Furman faculty in fall 2018 after her promotion and tenure at Hope College, where she served eight years. In addition to her teaching responsibilities in general and analytical chemistry at Furman, her research focus is material science and surface chemistry with a special passion for exploring and capturing images on the nanoscale.

Since arriving at Furman, Anderson has submitted two research papers—one published and another in revision. A graduate of Samford University and Pennsylvania State University, she has given invited talks at Clemson University and presented at regional and national professional meetings.

Additionally, at the most recent National American Chemical Society meeting, six current and former undergraduate students presented research they conducted in her laboratory. Said John Wheeler, Furman chemistry professor and associate provost for integrative science, “Beth is clearly already making very valuable contributions not only to advancing her field of study, but is also committed to supporting The Furman Advantage through her mentoring of multiple undergraduate research students throughout the academic year and summer 2019.

“She has also taken on additional mentoring responsibilities by serving as Furman’s resident expert in scanning electron microscopy (SEM), including investing time in training students and faculty across multiple departments on our recently acquired SEM, supported through a Science Equipment Program grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation.”