2024 TS Piper Award Winner: Joe Lastowski

Joe Lastowski stands holding a certificate in Chem Annex lecture hall

Receiving the 2024 T.S. Piper Award for Outstanding Inorganic Thesis is a great honor, said Joe Lastowski.

“I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to obtain a PhD from UIUC and share my research through this award,” he said.

Lastowski started the graduate program in chemistry at Illinois after earning his Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 2019 at the University of Scranton.

Advised by Prof. Greg Girolami, Lastowski’s PhD research focused on the fundamental properties of two types of chemical bonds: three-center two electron interactions and metal-metal multiple bonds.

“These studies challenge long-held views about the strength and magnetic properties of such bonds and provide new insights,” Lastowski said.

Prof. Girolami has been an excellent mentor and exceptional role model in many capacities, Lastowski said.

“Prof. Girolami allowed me to have the freedom to explore and learn about areas that I was interested in while guiding me throughout my scientific development,” said Lastowski, adding that finishing his PhD is the culmination of lots of effort from him as well as his family. “I feel immensely grateful to be in this position.”