COA names new chemistry professor

BAR HARBOR — The College of the Atlantic has appointed chemist Reuben Hudson to its faculty.

Hudson is passionate about the intersection of chemistry and sustainability, an announcement from the college said. For years he has worked to hone techniques of utilizing metals within chemical reactions in ways that conserve material and reduce waste. His research also centers around designing and synthesizing new materials for use in hydrogen fuel cells. Hudson’s teaching will focus on environmental, organic, and green chemistry.

“The COA community is excited to have Hudson bring his deep level of chemistry expertise to the College,” said Ken Hill, provost of the college. “Hudson joins us with an international research agenda, established teaching experience, and a highly successful grant record. He will ably continue the rich tradition of environmental and green chemistry within the COA curriculum.”

As part of his work, Hudson makes tiny magnetic particles — visible only with an electron microscope — that can be used to facilitate chemical reactions that would be extremely slow or not work at all without these metals. Because the particles are magnetic, they can be retrieved at the end of the reaction by placing a magnet next to the container. They can then be reused over and over and over again for subsequent reactions.

Researching and developing materials for hydrogen fuel cells has been a passionate pursuit, Hudson said.

“We must develop new materials that can meet the needs of modern society without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” he says. “It’s important to work for a transition to a hydrogen-based energy economy, which has the potential to greatly limit our emissions and oil consumption.”

Teaching chemistry is very rewarding, says Hudson.

He comes to COA after several years at Colby College, attracted by COA’s culture of sustainability. Hudson holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from McGill University and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College.


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