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Three New Senate Faculty Join the School of Natural Sciences

June 28, 2017

We would like to welcome three new senate faculty that will be joining the UC Merced and the School of Natural Science faculty on July 1, 2017. 

Son Nguyen joins the Chemistry & Chemical Biology unit as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Nguyen comes to UC Merced from UC Berkeley, where he was a postdoctoral scholar working in the C.B. Harris research group. Dr. Nguyen's research is focused on understanding and expanding the applications of nanoparticle photocatalyst to novel green synthesis and solar energy harvesting. These nanometer size catalysts have unique chemical reactivities that will lead to potential applications in chemical industry where chemical reactions will be driven by solar energy and hazardous wastes to the environment will be minimized. Dr. Nguyen also received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley.

Maxime Theillard joins the Applied Mathematics unit as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Theillard comes to UC Merced from UC San Diego, where he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Saintillan research group. Dr. Theillard's research centers on the development of high fidelity numerical methods for complex engineering and physics problems, often involving deforming interfaces. It applies a vast field of applications emerging from disciplines such as fluid and solid mechanics, soft matter physics or material sciences. Dr. Theillard received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. 

J. Michelle Leslie joins the Chemistry & Chemical Biology unit as a Lecturer with Potential for Security of Employment (LPSOE). Dr. Leslie comes to UC Merced from the University of Tampa, where she was an Assistant Professor in Chemistry. Dr. Leslie conducts chemical education research, focusing on the development of new experiments for undergraduate general and organic chemistry labs. She develops labs that use guided-inquiry and adhere to the principles of green chemistry. Traditional laboratory experiments, while useful for teaching important techniques, often do not challenge students to think critically. Guided-inquiry experiments are designed so that there is a question that the students will need to answer from their data, thus requiring a deeper engagement with the material. Green chemistry is chemistry designed to minimize environmental impact. Dr. Leslie received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of South Florida.

Assistant Professor Son C. Nguyen
Assistant Professor Maxime Theillard
LPSOE J. Michelle Leslie