Leonel Griego, Kenneth Madsen receive 2022 dissertation awards



Head shot of Leonel Griego on a gray background

Leonel Griego receives Theron Standish Piper Award

Each year the inorganic chemistry faculty at UIUC present the Theron Standish Piper Award to one or two graduate students for outstanding contributions to chemistry.

This year the 2022 T.S. Piper Award was presented to Leonel Griego, a graduate student in the research group of Liviu Mirica. As part of the award, the recipients deliver a seminar to the Department of Chemistry, describing their research accomplishments. On May 19, 2022, Griego gave the presentation, “The Magic of Tri-Isopropyl-1,4,7-Triazacyclononane: The Ideal Assistant for Low-valent and High-valent Nickel in Catalysis.”

Theron Standish Piper obtained his PhD in chemistry at Harvard University in 1956 and then joined the chemistry faculty as an instructor at UIUC. He rapidly acquired a thorough theoretical background and soon became one of the first to recognize the importance of polarized light in the rapidly developing area of spectroscopy of coordination compounds. He went on to make important contributions in this area of chemistry. His attitude toward research was characterized by a constant drive to understand the theory of the structure and electronic nature of coordination compounds.

He passed away in August 1965, a few months after being promoted to Professor. The T.S. Piper Award was established by his friends, colleagues, students, and relatives as a tribute to him.


Head shot of Kenneth Madsen on a gray background

Kenneth Madsen receives Walter G. Klemperer Dissertation Award

The Walter G. Klemperer Dissertation Award in Materials Chemistry is presented each year to a chemistry graduate student in the Materials Chemistry Research Area for outstanding research.

This year, the 2022 Klemperer Award was presented to Kenneth Madsen, a graduate student in the research group of professor Andrew Gewirth.

Madsen presented his dissertation, “Observation of Interface Driven Chemomechanical Failure in Lithium Conducting Solid Electrolytes with Operando X-Ray Technology,” on May 19, 2022.

Walter G. Klemperer is a Research Professor of Chemistry at UIUC, who received his BA from Harvard College in 1968 and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973. He was a Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University before joining the University of Illinois faculty in 1981.