People

Dr. Loredana Valenzano (Ph.D.)

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Chemistry Department

Michigan Technological University

1400 Townsend Dr, 49931, Houghton (MI)

Office: ChemSci 701-A

Lab: ChemSci 702 & ChemSci 703

Phone: +1.906.487.1602

Email: lvalenza at mtu . edu


Current Group Members

 

Gemechis Degaga – Ph.D. Candidate

 

Main project

Porous materials for hydrocarbon separation in petroleum refining processes: energetics, thermodynamics, spectroscopies, and diffusion mechanisms

 

Secondary projects

Engineering of exotic metal-oxide surfaces for use in membrane separation technology

Co-crystallization mechanisms of active pharmaceutical ingredients

 

Publications

D. Degaga, L. Valenzano*, Part II: Quantum mechanical prediction of heats of adsorption for C2-C4 hydrocarbons in MOF-74-Mg/Zn periodic structures, 2017, Chemical Physics Letters, 682, 168-174

D. Degaga, L. Valenzano*, Part I: C2-C4 Hydrocarbons Separation Addressed via Molecular Cluster Models Carved Out From Periodic MOF-74-Mg/Zn Structures, 2016, Chemical Physics Letters, 660, 313-319

 

Most Significant Presentations

Fall 2017 – G. Degaga, L. Valenzano – ACS National Meeting, Washington DC (Diffusion Processes of Small Hydrocarbons in MOF-74-Mg Addressed via CI-NEB Periodic Calculations) – Poster

Fall 2017 – G. Degaga, L. Valenzano – ACS National Meeting, Washington DC (Adsorption and Diffusion Mechanisms of C1-C4 Hydrocarbons in MOF-74-Mg/Zn: A Quantum Chemical Study for Selective Gas Separation Applications in Petroleum Refining Industries)  – Platform

Spring 2016 – G. Degaga, L. Valenzano – Institute for Molecular Engineering: Car-Parrinello Molecular Dynamics, Chicago, IL (Climbing Image Nudge-Elastic (CI-NEB) Band Study of the Diffusion of Small Hydrocarbon molecules in MOF-74-Mg) – Poster

Fall 2015 – G. Degaga, L. Valenzano – School in Computational Condensed Matter Physics: From Atomistic Simulations to Universal Model Hamiltonians, Trieste, Italy (Increasing the Selectivity of Small Hydrocarbons: from Nanoporous Materials to the Engineering of Metal Oxide Surfaces) – Poster

Spring 2013 – G. Degaga, L. Valenzano – ACS National Meeting and Exposition, Dallas, TX (Adsorption of light hydrocarbons in metal-organic frameworks: Computational study at quantum chemical level) – Platform

 

Honors & Awards

Fall 2017 – ACS-COMP Division & ACS-UP Local Section – Travel support

Spring 2017 – Michigan Tech Chemistry Department – Robert and Kathleen Lane Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award

Summer 2016 – University of Chicago, Institute of Molecular Engineering – Travel support

Fall 2015 – ICTP Trieste, Italy – Travel support


Brian Burtka – Undergraduate Researcher (Chemistry)

 

Main Project

Engineering of exotic metal-oxide surfaces for use in membrane separation technology

 

Presentations

Spring 2017 – B. Burtka, L. Valenzano – MTU Undergraduate Research Symposium, Houghton, MI (Engineering Metal Oxide Surfaces for Efficient Hydrocarbons Separation: A Quantum Chemical Study) – Poster

Spring 2017 – B. Burtka, L. Valenzano – ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA (Engineering Metal Oxide Surfaces for Efficient Hydrocarbons Separation: A Quantum Chemical Study) – Poster

 

Honors & Awards

Spring 2017 – ACS-MTU Student Chapter – Travel Support

Fall 2016 – Spring 2017 – Michigan Tech’s Pavlis College & Chemistry Department – Research support


Travis Wigstrom – Undergraduate Researcher (Chemical Engineering)

 

Projects

Quantum Mechanical Models of Proton Pumps Inhibitor Drugs and their Interaction with Biological Binding Sites

Electronic Structure of Fluorescent Probes for the Detection of Biological Zn(II) Ions in Living Cells (in collaboration with Dr. H. Liu – Chemistry Department, Michigan Tech)


Grace Billman-Benveniste – Undergraduate Researcher (Chemistry)

 

Project

Effect of Molecular Contaminants on the Behavior of Polycarbonate Interfaces Addressed at Quantum Chemical Level

 

Honors & Awards

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018 – Michigan Tech’s Pavlis College & Chemistry Department – Research support


Thomas Waller – Undergraduate Researcher (Chemistry)

 

Project

Quantum Mechanical Investigation of Molecular Membranes for the Treatment of Emerging Soil Contaminants


Former Group Members

 

Dr. Kapil Adhikari (Postdoc)

 

Publications

K. Adhikari, K.M. Flurchick, L. Valenzano*, A Hybrid Density Functional Study on the Effects of Pressure on Paracetamol and Aspirin Polymorphs, 2015, Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, 1062, 90-98

K. Adhikari, K.M. Flurchick, L. Valenzano*, Volumetric influence on the mechanical behavior of organic solids: The case of aspirin and paracetamol addressed via dispersion corrected DFT, 2015, Chem. Phys. Lett., 630, 44-50

K. Adhikari, K.M. Flurchick, L. Valenzano*, Effects of Volumetric Expansion in Molecular Crystals: A Quantum Mechanical Investigation on Aspirin and Paracetamol Most Stable Polymorphs, 2015, Chem. Phys. Lett., 621, Pages 109–116

J. Zhang, M. Yang, W. Mazi, K. Adhikari, M. Fang, F. Xie, L. Valenzano*, A. Tiwari, F.-T. Luo, H. Liu, Unusual Fluorescent Responses of Morpholine-functionalized Fluorescent Probes to pH via Manipulation of BODIPY’s HOMO and LUMO Energy Orbitals for Intracellular pH Detection, 2015, ACS Sensors, 1, 158-165

 

Most Significant Presentations

Spring 2013 – K.Adhikari, L. Valenzano – ACS National Meeting and Exposition, Dallas, TX (Mimicking thermal effects on bulk properties of molecular crystal polymorphs and cleaving their surfaces from first principles) – Platform


Emily Lilla  – Undergraduate Researcher (Chemistry)

 

Project

Quantum Mechanical Models of Proton Pumps Inhibitor Drugs and their Interaction with Biological Binding Sites

 

Presentations
Spring 2017 – Emily Lilla, L. Valenzano – MTU Undergraduate Research Symposium, Houghton, MI (Sulfonamide form of omeprazole in interaction with the primary amino acid sites of H+/K+ ATPase as investigated at electronic structure level) – Poster

Spring 2016 – Emily Lilla, L. Valenzano – MTU Undergraduate Research Symposium, Houghton, MI (Sulfonamide form of omeprazole in interaction with the primary amino acid sites of H+/K+ ATPase as investigated at electronic structure level) – Poster

 

Honors & Awards

Summer 2016 – Sandretto Summer Research Fellowship – Research support


 

Joseph Vermeylen (Chemistry & Materials Science)

Benjamin Updike (Chemical Engineering)

Peter Winegar (Chemistry)

Angela Small (Physics)

Matthew Pirkola (Chemical Engineering)

Jack Vaclavek (Chemistry)

Christopher Stewart (Chemistry)

Kathryn Weinard (Chemistry)

Daniel Beegle (Chemistry)

Andrew Perla (Chemistry)

Michael Szatkowski (Chemistry)

Logan Pauli (Physics)

Izabela Birsanescu (Wayne Community College, Detroit -MI)

Daniel LaForest (Chemical Engineering)

Modou Gaye (Wayne Community College, Detroit -MI)

Ethan Weydemeyer (Chemical Engineering)

Benedict Malec (Physics)

Andrew Kennedy (Chemistry)

Nina Tyminska (Ph.D. 2013 – co-advised with Dr. Martha Wloch)