Planting the SEED for successCharles Irving | Chemistry, Graduate | Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology By Charles Irving’s final year as an undergraduate, he had five years of investigative research under his lab coat.
By: Dustin Ryder
Seeking a doctorate degree in organic chemistry, Irving is more than thankful for the opportunity provided to him by the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED.
Providing high school students with research opportunities, Irving was matched with IUPUI his junior year. The program planted a variety of choices for Irving, leaving him to research and decide which options worked best for him.
District attorney used to be the title Irving strived for before scientific research created a new path for him. Hoping to combine his love for law and science, Irving found himself studying Forensic and Investigative Sciences at IUPUI. However, Irving shadowed in the forensic science sector and realized the job wasn’t a good fit. Irving now studies organic chemistry.
“That experience reminded me that it’s okay to not always end up where you originally intended.”
During his undergraduate career, Irving published his first scientific article with those in the undergraduate research group. IUPUI Professor Rajesh Sardar mentored the group as they worked on nanoparticles with applications in solar cells that are used in clean energy. The team also worked with biosensors that test blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. At such an early stage of his career, Irving felt this publication was his first step in the professional world of science. Now, Irving is preparing two articles for submission as he works towards his Ph.D. at IUPUI.
Irving is researching metal catalyzed and electro organic synthesis which focus on driving chemical processes via cheap metal catalysts and electricity respectively to perform more efficient and environmentally friendly synthetic methodologies. This research is under IUPUI researcher Sébastien Laulhé, Ph.D. Working collaboratively with his colleagues and professors has proven essential not only for his career, but also in helping him find and achieve his goals.
When studying within a relatively small department, relationships are easily forged between faculty and students. Irving formed strong bonds with multiple faculty members within the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, which influenced his decision to stay at IUPUI.
“I would say that the best thing about this program is that because it is a smaller program it is easier to form relationships among the faculty and students both on a personal and professional level,” Irving said.