Regents' Professor Charles Liotta to Address Graduates at Summer Commencement

Dr. Charles Liotta, interim chair of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will address approximately 900 undergraduate and graduate students at Georgia Tech’s 237th commencement at Alexander Memorial Coliseum tonight at 7 p.m.

Since joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 1965, Liotta has been a dynamic and devoted member of the Institute’s community of scholars. He previously served as vice provost for research for ten years and as director of the Institute of Sustainable Technology and Development. Named a Regents’ Professor in 1996, Liotta also holds a professorship in chemical and bimolecular engineering.

Liotta’s research activities involve both synthetic-organic and physical-organic chemistry. His major interests lie in the areas of structure-property relationships, kinetics and mechanisms of organic reactions, asymmetric synthesis, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis (phase transfer catalysis), the development of environmentally benign tunable (supercritical fluids, near critical water, gas expanded liquids) and smart (reversible ionic liquids, DMSO substitutes) solvent systems, and molecular thermodynamics, solution theory, and phase equilibria. A fundamental goal of Liotta’s research is the development of sustainable and environmentally benign chemicals and chemical processes.

The research group led by Liotta consists of five graduate students and two postdoctoral associates in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and seven graduate students and one postdoctoral associate in the School of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering.

During the past 45 years, Liotta has presented more than 400 research seminars at various universities, colleges, chemical companies, symposia, professional meetings and Gordon Conferences in North America, Europe, Africa, Central America and Asia.

Current chair of Georgia Tech’s Task Force for Sustainable Technology, Liotta is also the chairman of the Board of Directors of both EMTech Biosciences and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He also serves as a board member for the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Mascaro Sustainability Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the American Chemical Society’s Board of Environmental Improvement Committee. Liotta has also served as a consultant to a number of corporations, including DuPont, Dow, Degussa, Milliken, Hoerchst, Ampac and Eli Lilly.

Georgia Tech’s 2010 Professor of the Year, Liotta holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Brooklyn College and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Maryland.