Hammond latest to join faculty in Chemical Engineering Department
A combined passion for research and sharing knowledge piqued Karl Hammond’s interest in higher education and his experience and qualifications caught the eye of the University of Missouri’s Chemical Engineering Department when he applied to join the faculty at MU.
Hammond will begin a tenure-track assistant professorship in the Fall 2014 semester. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and completed a doctorate in chemical engineering in 2009 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Hammond is an experienced researcher with interests in several areas, including porous, plasma-facing, irradiated, and catalytic materials. He also is interested in scientific computing and simulation of chemical and materials systems. Most recently, Hammond has been involved in post-doctorate research dealing with plasma-facing materials for nuclear fusion reactors. He said he’s hoping to continue work in the same vein as he gets established at MU.
“My research will continue to involve computational chemistry, physics and materials science coupled with experimental characterization,” Hammond said. “I anticipate maintaining ties to the catalysis and fusion communities, and the existing expertise at MU offers a multitude of possibilities that may expand my interests and research.”
Hammond’s teaching experience includes his work as a teaching assistant at UMass Amherst while earning his doctorate as well as a one-semester lecturer appointment before starting his post-doctorate research. He also had several guest lecture spots at both UMass and the University of Tennessee, where he conducted post-doctorate work on the simulation of irradiated materials. And that time spent in front of students stoked his fire as an educator.
“I made my final decision to become a professor when I was a teaching assistant in graduate school,” he said. “I realized what really made me excited was not just the learning and the research, which drove me to pursue college and graduate school, but the process of telling others what I’ve learned and helping others learn.”
In addition to the opportunity to teach, the chance to collaborate on problems relevant to nuclear energy as well as his chemical engineering work was what drew Hammond to the position at MU. And he’s ready to hit the ground running.
“I am very excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to make an impact on the MU community, both in teaching and in research,” Hammond said.