Yutan D. Y. L. Getzler has always liked working with his hands and taking things apart so he can put them back together. Since arriving at Kenyon in 2004, his scholarship has focused on sustainability in materials science. In collaboration with Kenyon undergraduates, he developed one of the first catalysts to make a new topology of poly(lactic acid), a biodegradable plastic derived from annually renewable feedstocks. Another project seeks to understand the design of bespoke degradable polymers for specialty applications. Recent work has built a theoretical framework for an ideal circular polymer economy. His work has been extramurally funded and publications at Kenyon include manuscripts in Macromolecules and Nature Reviews Materials.

Areas of Expertise

Catalysis, polymer chemistry, recycling

Education

2004 — Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University

1998 — Bachelor of Science from Beloit College

Courses Recently Taught

This laboratory course accompanies CHEM 121 and 122 with an introduction to modern experimental chemistry. Laboratory experiments explore inorganic synthesis, molecular structure and properties, and spectroscopy, with an emphasis on laboratory safety, computerized data acquisition and analysis, and the theory of analytical instrumentation. The laboratory work is organized around individual and team projects. Communication skills are developed through proper use of a laboratory notebook. One three-hour laboratory is held per week. Corequisite: CHEM 121 or 122. Offered every fall semester.

This lecture course offers a study of the chemical and physical properties of organic compounds. Theoretical principles are developed with particular emphasis on molecular structure and reaction mechanisms. The descriptive aspects of organic chemistry include strategies for synthesis and the study of compounds of biochemical interest. Prerequisite: grade of C+ or higher in CHEM 122 and completion of CHEM 123 or 126 or permission of department chair. Offered every spring semester.

This laboratory course introduces fundamental methods in organic chemistry research and complements the topics covered in the lecture course, CHEM 231. This is achieved by carrying out experiments and research projects involving topics such as isolation of a natural product, oxidation and reduction reactions and reactions of alkenes. The techniques include liquid extraction, distillation, recrystallization and thin layer and gas chromatography. Compounds are identified and assessed for purity by melting point determination, refractometry, gas chromatography and infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Appropriate record keeping on laboratory notebooks and writing laboratory reports is emphasized. Required for the major. Corequisite: CHEM 231. Offered every spring semester.

This laboratory course extends and applies the techniques developed in CHEM 233 to more advanced experiments in organic synthesis including open-ended experiments derived from current research projects. A particular emphasis will be placed on using chemistry databases, experimental design and planning, laboratory notebooks and record keeping, analytical and preparative chromatography, advanced NMR techniques (2-D) and writing research laboratory reports. Upon successful completion of the two-course organic chemistry lab sequence (CHEM 233/234), students will have the skills needed to thrive in a synthetic organic chemistry research laboratory. This counts toward the advanced lab electives for the major. Prerequisite: CHEM 233. Corequisite: CHEM 232. Offered every fall semester.

The emphasis is on independent research in collaboration with a faculty mentor, culminating with a thesis that is defended orally to an outside examiner. See department chair or website for full description. Permission of instructor and department chair required. Prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.2, enrollment in Section 02 of CHEM 375 or CHEM 376.

The emphasis is on independent research in collaboration with a faculty mentor, culminating with a thesis that is defended orally to an outside examiner. See department chair or website for full description. Permission of instructor and department chair required. Prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.2, enrollment in Section 02 of CHEM 375 or CHEM 376.