Two Hope College chemistry students have received a national award for their presentation of chemistry research they have conducted at Hope College.

Juniors Brandon Bowser of Midland and Monica Ohnsorg of Chanhassen, Minnesota, won the “best poster” prize in the COLL Student Poster Contest, held during the spring National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).  Bowser and Ohnsorg were competing not only with other undergraduates but also graduate students for the award, which was presented by the ACS’s division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry.

More than 13,972 scientists from around the world attended the National Meeting and Exposition, which took place in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday-Thursday, March 22-26.  There were approximately 111 student presentations in Colloid and Surface Chemistry, which is one of 32 technical divisions of the ACS.  Their poster was also selected to be showcased at Sci-Mix, which is a large meeting-wide poster event with contributions from all divisions.

Bowser and Ohnsorg were honored for their poster titled “Foundational Layer Formation of Metal-Organic Coordinated Thin Films,” which discussed work that they have conducted collaboratively with Dr. Beth Anderson, who is an assistant professor of chemistry and Towsley Research Scholar at Hope.  The research explores the fundamental formation of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) on surfaces using sophisticated materials characterization methods, primarily atomic force microscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. MOFs have received attention especially for their gas storage abilities. The research seeks to better understand how MOFs form on surfaces as thin films to better integrate this technology into industrial applications such as sensing, carbon sequestration, and catalysis.  The research is supported by the ACS-Petroleum Research Fund, with Ohnsorg participating as a 2014-15 Hope College Beckman Scholar through a grant to the college to support student involvement in research from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Both students will also be making poster presentations regarding their work during the college’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance, taking place on Friday, April 10, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.  Admission to the event is free.

Bowser is a 2012 graduate of Herbert Henry Dow High School, and the son of Barton and Elizabeth Bowser of Midland.  Ohnsorg is the daughter of Greg and Dana Ohnsorg of Chanhassen. 

The American Chemical Society is the world’s largest scientific society, with more than 158,000 members.  The spring National Meeting and Exposition featured thousands of presentations on new discoveries in science, on topics including food and nutrition, medicine, health, energy, the environment and other fields in which chemistry plays a central role.