Section Meeting


 Please rsvp to Jennifer Kelley by March 15.


As an educator, Professor Myrick has been recognized with the SC Honors College Outstanding Professor of Science Award, the Mortar Board Society Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award.  He has taught numerous semesters of our introductory general chemistry course, CHEM111, to classes of 200-280 students and received among the highest student ratings of any full-time faculty member teaching that course.  He was chosen to mentor faculty members in the teaching of CHEM111, and has introduced concepts of metacognitive research into the course.   In addition to this undergraduate classroom teaching, he has taught USC’s physical chemistry laboratory every semester for the past 18 years.  In that time, he has completely revamped both the thermodynamics and quantum mechanics/spectroscopy laboratory courses and developed new experiments.   Five of his new experiments for the physical chemistry laboratory have resulted in publications in the Journal of Chemical Education, ranging from an experiment in polymorphism using differential scanning calorimetry to another measuring the average temperature of the atmosphere using rotationally-resolved spectroscopy of the oxygen A band in the ground-level solar spectrum.   
 At the graduate level, Professor Myrick teaches the departmental course in Molecular Spectroscopy, CHEM747.  He took over this course in 1997 after the departure of former Dean James Durig, who taught it starting in the 1960s.  This is also a unique course because Professor Myrick updated everything in the course and adds sections each semester he teaches to cover new or expanded topics.  Beginning in 1998, he began writing his own text for the course so he could incorporate new topics;  the most recent include solid state vibrational spectroscopy and the spectroscopy of proteins in solution.  His text is not published, but includes well over 1000 pages of notes and numerous topics that are not covered in available published texts of molecular spectroscopy.   
As a researcher, Professor Myrick has received approximately $4M in research funding for his work in optical spectroscopy and instrumentation.  He has published more than 160 papers and graduated more than 20 Ph.D. students, and he was recognized with the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award and the Gerald Birth Award for Achievement in Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.  He is a member of the physical chemistry division, but much of his novel work has occurred in analytical chemistry and spectroscopy.  He developed a research area known as multivariate optical computing (MOC) beginning 
in the mid-1990s. The conventional approach to process analytical spectroscopy is to apply numerical multivariate calibration methods such as partial least squares or principal components regression to optical data.  This allows spectroscopic vectors correlating with physical or chemical properties of samples to be identified and used to make rapid measurements on new samples.  Professor Myrick has contributed to this field of conventional chemometrics but his most novel contribution is MOC, a method for creating optical interference filters that can substitute for the vectors found by multivariate numerical means.  The benefit of MOC is that it enables the creation of spectroscopic instruments that can be much smaller, less expensive and more robust than common spectrometers such as Fourier transform, grating or prism based instruments across a wide spectral range.  His work in with MOC began in the field of process analytical chemistry and is most recently being applied to spectroscopic classification of individual phytoplankton cells in seawater for applications in global climate change research.  Prof. Myrick’s research in MOC was featured on the cover of Analytical Chemistry, Applied Spectroscopy, Laser Focus World, and the Reservoir Innovations Technical Journal.   
Professor Myrick has also worked extensively in forensic science supported by the National Institutes of Justice.  His work in infrared chemical imaging and adsorption thermography in collaboration with another faculty member has brought significant attention to the department through media interviews and reports (CNN, Fox, NPR Science Friday, SC Radio Network, Popular Science, etc.) 
In addition to these broad areas of research, Professor Myrick has contributed research that opened new areas of investigation for other scientists.  For example, in 2003 his group published the first report of the formation of electrolytic porous alumina on a transparent, electrically insulating support.  This has led to numerous reports of transparent oxides formed from different metals on optical substrates for a variety of purposes.  As another example, his group showed the existence of a previously unsuspected optical interference effect that affects samples observed with infrared microspectroscopy – like biopsy samples.  The a significant part of the 7th issue of the British journal Analyst in 2015 was dedicated to this phenomenon since another group showed it is the most important reason for irreproducibility in the microspectroscopy of sectioned samples. 
Professor Myrick is perhaps most notable for his success in technology transfer.  33 patents have issued in his name from USC, some of which describe multivariate optical computing.  In 2005, Ometric Corporation formed in Columbia to begin the commercial exploitation of MOC, with Professor Myrick serving as a consultant and summer science advisor for the company.  When Ometric was sold to Halliburton in 2011, it yielded the single largest financial transaction in the history of university tech transfer in South Carolina.  USC’s Provost’s office, Office of Research, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry plus Sixteen inventors (Prof. Myrick plus his former students and postdoctoral associates) received a share of the $2.75M check that was written to USC on the completion of that purchase.   Since 2011, Halliburton has continued development of MOC technology under the name ICE – integrated computational elements.  Instruments based on Professor Myrick’s technology are now being used in 160 areas of the world where there is active petroleum exploration being conducted, touching every continent except Antarctica.  Several of Professor Myrick’s students have gotten a start with Halliburton since 2011;  one of them was hired in 2012 and sent to start up a MOC laboratory in Brazil.  Another most recently interned with them in Summer 2017 and has a standing job offer in Houston.  Another student decided to start his own business in another area of MOC technology rather than going to Halliburton;  yet others began at Halliburton and moved to other companies later, or had Halliburton among good options for careers after graduation.   
Prof. Myrick’s career has been varied and interesting, and encompassed research at a high level in industrial chemistry, basic science, theory and modeling, and chemical education.  I am pleased to recommend and nominate him for the Outstanding SC Chemist Award for 2018. 


Save the Date

2019 SC-ACS Awards Banquet & Undergraduate Poster Session

April 17, 2019

Claflin University

Orangeburg, SC




       The United Nations General Assembly during its 74th Plenary Meeting proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019) on 20 December 2017.

       1869 is considered as the year of discovery of the Periodic System by the Russian scientist, Dmitri Mendeleev. The IYPT 2019 also commemorates the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. The International Year aims to recognize the importance of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements as one of the most important and influential achievements in modern science reflecting the essence not only of chemistry, but also of physics, biology and other basic sciences disciplines.

       The IYPT 2019 is an opportunity to reflect upon many aspects of the periodic table, including its history, the role of women in research, global trends and perspectives on science for sustainable development, and the social and economic impacts of this field.

The IYPT 2019 official website:


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