McCusker named Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Jul 19, 2016
  • Faculty & Staff, Research, Chemistry


James K. McCusker

James K. McCusker

James K. McCusker, professor of chemistry in MSU’s College of Natural Science and director of MSU’s Center of Research Excellence in Complex Materials, has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

“I was quite honored to be named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry,” McCusker said. “I’ve been interacting with the society through my role as an associate editor in one of their lead journals for the past year and a half. Recognition by the RSC for this work as well as the research efforts of my group here at Michigan State is tremendously gratifying and very much appreciated.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry, founded in 1841, is the United Kingdom’s professional body for chemical scientists and the largest organization in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. The society partners with industry and academia, promotes collaboration and innovation, advises governments on policy and promotes the talent, information and ideas that lead to great advances in science. The designation FRSC is given to a group of elected Fellows who have made outstanding contributions to chemistry.

McCusker’s research focuses on ultrafast excited-state dynamics of transition metal compounds, particularly how they relate to the development of solar energy conversion strategies based on earth-abundant materials. His research group also studies the photophysics and photochemistry of exchange-coupled compounds with an eye toward understanding electronic structure effects on electron and energy transfer processes in molecular systems.

“While the chemistry department congratulates Jim on this incredible honor, Professor McCusker becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry is something for all of MSU to celebrate,” said Rob Maleczka, chair of MSU’s Department of Chemistry. “It illustrates the global reach of research being conducted by our faculty and their graduate students. It’s also worth noting that next spring Professor McCusker will be teaching CEM 311, again highlighting how MSU undergraduates have the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s very best scientists.”

McCusker received his B.S. cum laude, and M.S. degrees in chemistry from Bucknell University, both in 1987, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in chemistry in 1992. While an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley, McCusker was named a Hellman Faculty Fellow (1997-1998), an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1998-2000) and received the Department of Chemistry Teaching Award in 1999. He joined the MSU faculty as an associate professor in 2001, was promoted to professor in 2008 and served as associate chair for research in the Department of Chemistry from 2011-2013. He is currently associate editor for physical-inorganic chemistry at Chemical Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship journal.

The Royal Society of Chemistry has more than 50,000 members worldwide. The names of newly elected Fellows are published each year in The Times (London).

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