Wesley Williams

graduate student profile

Wesley Williams

Chemistry, Ph.D.

Research interests

Analytical and environmental chemistry with a focus on heavy metal analysis in mussel shells at polluted sites such as Tar Creek to assist with the monitoring and clean up of similarly polluted sites through bioremediation.

Previous Universities/Colleges

Oregan State University – B.S., Chemistry (Environmental Option)

Notable Awards/Positions

- Wilfred Woobank Graduate Assistantship Recipient
- TU Chapman Travel Grant Recipient
- Founder & Treasurer, TU Graduate Chemistry Student Association
- Departmental Senator, TU Graduate Student Senate

Select Presentations

- Analysis of Heavy Metals in Mussel Shells by LA-ICP-MS. Paper presentation at the 67th annual meeting of the Southwest Regional American Chemical Society Meeting (SRAM - ACS), Austin, Texas, 2011

- Investigation of Hierarchial Dual-Sized Nanotextured Surfaces. Pa- per presentation at the 241st National American Chemi- cal Society Meeting Anaheim, California, 2011

Why did you choose TU?

I was looking for a small prestigious research university that had the additional benefits of a large Division I school. I had never visited the campus or been to Oklahoma, so I had to trust the opinions of two of my friends who were TU alumni. Both of them gave rave reviews of the school and the people. They assured me that the professors truly cared about their students and that they tailor coursework and research to the students’ interests. The last reason that I chose TU was that it was ranked as having the “nicest” student body out of every college. The unwritten rule that everyone is nice on campus holds true.

What are your plans after TU?

My future plans are to go into bioremediation and clean up environmentally polluted sites across the United States and possibly the world. Cleaning up areas such as the Dead Sea Zones is a dream of mine. I am also very interested in going into politics, which is painfully devoid of scientists and research expertise. In the meantime, I continue to work on inven- tions to obtain patents on prototypes that I plan to “pitch” to various companies for future distribution.

Summary

The environmental reclamation of superfund sites like Tar Creek and the Dead Sea Zones has always interested Wesley and continues to play a major role in his doctoral re- search and professional goals. In addition to his foundation in chemistry coursework, Wesley has also pursued classes in environmental Geochemistry, Materials Science and Analytical Spectroscopy to expand his understanding of bioremediation techniques. While his doctoral studies will give him the back- ground to teach these techniques, Wesley’s primary goal is to actively contribute to the scientific discoveries and public policies related to environmental issues. The TU Chemistry program’s history of public and private partnerships in research will only enhance his opportunities to make a difference on a global scale.