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Famed chemist and Loyola alumnus to deliver lecture on nuclear energy

February 6, 2009

Choppin and student Michelle Chatelain cut ribbon on Choppin Chemistry Wing.

Chemist Gregory R. Choppin, a New Orleans native and a 1949 maxima cum laude graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans, will present "The Future of Nuclear Energy," a lecture addressing current global issues such as global warming and locating non-carbon-based energy sources.

The lecture takes place Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m., in Monroe Hall, Room 157, located on Loyola’s main campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Choppin has enjoyed a fascinating career as a chemist, particularly during the peak of the Cold War. In 1955, Choppin and three other chemists discovered chemical element 101, which they named Mendelevium in honor of Dmitri Mendelev, the creator of the periodic table of the elements.

Choppin has been awarded two Fulbright grants and a Swedish Research Council Grant and has been named a Danforth Associate by the Danforth Foundation. He was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Loyola and an honorary doctor of technology degree from Chalmers University at Goteborg, Sweden.

He also has received awards from the American Chemical Society, the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, the American Nuclear Society, the Florida Academy of Sciences and the American Institute of Chemists.

Choppin serves as a consultant to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and several other private laboratories. His major research interests include inorganic and nuclear chemistry with emphasis on the lanthanide and actinide elements.

In recent years, Loyola honored Choppin with the dedication of Choppin Chemistry Wing in Monroe Hall, a $3.2 million project which was completed last summer.

Choppin earned his doctorate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently the R.O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emeritus of chemistry at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., where he has taught since 1963.

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