SC-ACS

Awards 2018

South Carolina Chemist of the Year

Professor Michael (Micky) was named  the Outstanding South Carolina Chemist for 2018.  Dr Myrick is known for his excellence in the classroom as well for his innovative research and technology transfer.  Professor Myrick came to USC in 1991, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997 and to Full Professor in 2001.  

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.

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.

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. 

Dr. Myrick's profile photo 

 
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. 
 

 
 
 

 

Outstanding Senior Chemistry & Biochemistry Majors

       Charleston Southern University            Zachary D. Kegley

       The Citadel                                               Caleb M. Davis    

       Claflin University                                     Janeala Morsby

      Coastal Carolina University                    David Laws III

      College of Charleston                              Alyssa Johnson

      Columbia College                                     Kristine Golden

      Coker College                                           Nathan Lemke

      Francis Marion University                      Kalin S. Smalls

 

      University of South Carolina                 Courtney E. Patterson

Sevice Awards for Membership in the ACS

50 Years of Service

60 Years of Service 

Dr. Richard Darwin Adams

Mr. Bhagwan Dean Daryani

Dr. Ronald E. Hemingway

Dr. Gordon George Maynes

Mr. Thomas W. Starinskak

Dr. Thomas L. Dawson

Mr. John C. Nowakoski

Mr. James A. Williamson, Jr.                                      

 

 

Seventy-Four Years of Service       Dr. Louis Foster Theiling, Jr.

 

          Seventy-Five Years of Service      Mr. Max Gustave Gergel

Outreach Volunteer of the Year

Chuanbing Tang

In 2010, Dr. Chuanbing Tang established the Project Seed Summer Research Program at University of South Carolina. It was the only SEED program in South Carolina at the time. This program has grown significantly and become a signature outreach resource in the greater Columbia area. As both a coordinator and a mentor, Dr. Chuanbing has led the program to attract more than 40 high school students from nine schools. Seventy-two percent of students are females and 60 percent are either African American or Hispanic. One hundred percent of the alumni from the Project Seed Program attend colleges in which more than 50 percent choose chemical science as a major.Image of Chuanbing Tang 

E.Ray McAfee Distinguished Service to the Section Award

Dr. Neal Tonks of the College of Charleston was recognized for his service  as chair-elect, chair, and past-chair of the section. Most recently, Neal was the Graduate School Fair Coordinator for SERMACS-2016.  This outstanding program brought in school from around the Southeast and beyond to interact with undergraduate seeking admission to graduate school.  His efforts helped add to the financial bottom line of the conference but more importantly added to the networking and career advancement bottom line of a large number of participants. Neal was an active contributing member of the planning committee.

Dr. Tonks,  has also been an active leader of the  College of Charleston’s  Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry's outreach program which includes bringing minority pre-college students from Title I schools onto campus to participate in hands on learning activities.  For example, each January ~ 120 students from Mitchell Elementary school participate in a morning long series of hands-on activities.  In February the department will again participate in the STEM Education Day in association with the women’s basketball game which will bring 2600 students to campus.  He also has mentored students from Academic Magnet High School performing laboratory research as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant.

Image result for Neal Tonks