Originally from Raleigh, NC, Matt attended Davidson College as a Belk Scholar and received his B.S. in Chemistry in 2004. During his time as an undergraduate, Matt was fortunate to conduct research in organic synthesis and organic materials with Prof. Chris Gorman at N.C. State University, Prof. Héctor Abruña at Cornell University, and Prof. Erland Stevens at Davidson College. His early research experiences sparked an interest in the chemistry of transition metals, and he headed to Pasadena, CA in 2004 to study inorganic chemistry as a Linus Pauling Fellow at Caltech. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 2009 for work conducted under Prof. Bob Grubbs and Prof. Jonas Peters on transformations of small molecules (e.g., hydrocarbons, dinitrogen, carbon dioxide) using both cheap (Fe, Co) and expensive (Ir) metals. After a postdoctoral stint with Prof. Mark Thompson at the University of Southern California investigating physical inorganic and materials chemistry aspects of organic solar cells and LEDs, he accepted a position at Carleton College, where he began in 2011. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2017.
Matt’s research interests involve multiple bonds of late transition metals, inorganic photochemistry, and catalytic small-molecule activation; major educational interests include course-based research experiences and X-ray crystallography in the undergraduate curriculum. He is a dedicated mentor of students and faculty at all career stages, with a particular interest in helping early-career faculty develop strongly integrated teaching and research programs (e.g., recently organizing a faculty development workshop with NSF). Matt’s research with Carleton students has been supported by Research Corporation, ACS-PRF, Dreyfus Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Matt is an NSF-CAREER awardee, Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and Cottrell Scholar.
Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family (wife Charlotte and sons James and Andrew), running, jazz piano (Check out the All About Jazz review of his 2009 release, “Standards of Giants”), learning new words to enhance his Scrabble prowess, reading (especially about science, history, and higher education), and enjoying good wine.