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Tc structure

Jeff C. Bryan
Nuclear & Inorganic Chemistry

Education
Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle (1988)
A.B. in Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley (1982)


Professional Life
As an undergraduate, I spent a summer in Rochester NY working at Eastman Kodak preparing and testing new magenta dyes for their instant color process. After graduating, I temporarily abandoned chemistry to work as an administrator for a small non-profit youth exchange organization. For two and a half years, I was responsible for placement of and program for about 100 foreign exchange students coming to the US for a year.

For reasons that elude me now, I wanted to return to school to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. I had thought that Wisconsin might be a good choice, as I had met a number of intelligent and successful graduates when I worked at Kodak. My wife thought otherwise - Wisconsin winters were too cold back then. She thought Seattle might be a nice place to live, and was quite correct - which is almost always the case.

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Dr. Bryan likes to play with chemicals!
Dr. Bryan likes to play with chemicals! shameless self-promotion Dr. Bryan likes to play with chemicals!
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Graduate school at Washington went exceptionally well. My advisor, Prof. James M Mayer, involved me in two successful synthetic inorganic projects and introduced me to X-ray crystallography. After graduating, I was fortunate enough to work with Prof. Warren Roper at Auckland University in New Zealand, where I vainly tried to prepare a compound with an iridium-carbon triple bond. Unfortunately, I could not foresee the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in that country. Watching them now is rather distracting because I keep recognizing locations, and it loses its Middle-Earth aura.

Trying to finding a job in the US while living in New Zealand, was challenging. I was again fortunate that someone, Dr. Al Sattleberger, was willing to take a chance on me, and I was soon working at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He also gave me an opportunity to start a research effort investigating the fundamental chemistry of technetium. Another opportunity arose with the retirement of another staff member, allowing me to informally manage the X-ray crystallography laboratory. When funding thinned at LANL, and an opportunity to be a full-time crystallographer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) presented itself, it was time to try something new.

At ORNL, I worked with a dynamic group, headed by Dr. Bruce Moyer, developing new ways to separate radioactive nuclides from defense wastes. The focus for much of that time was Cs-137. As funding thinned again, it was time to look elsewhere. An opportunity to teach at UW-La Crosse presented itself, and looked quite appealing. Ironically, it was my wife who convinced me this would be a good move for our family. As usual, she was quite correct.

I've been at UW-La Crosse for over ten years now, and am really enjoying it. The students are bright, eager, and hard-working, and my colleagues are supportive and enthusiastic. I was also fortunate to direct the Nuclear Medicine program for five years (2005-10). The only downside to this administrative duty was that I could only teach part-time. I'm teaching full-time again: General Chemistry I (CHM 103) in the fall and Nuclear Chemistry (CHM 461) in the spring. I've come to enjoy teaching my Nuke classes so much I've recently published the second edition of a book: "Introduction to Nuclear Science." It is an accessible text on a complex topic, and is available from CRC Press and Amazon. I was also fortunate to co-author a lab manual: "Experiments in Nuclear Science" with emeritus professor Sidney A. Katz. It is also available from the same sources above.