Bold Woman of the Month
Catherine Romero is an undergraduate BWIC member and a Junior majoring in chemistry from Dickinson, TX. She has been doing research in the Humphrey group at UT since Spring 2018 where she develops and characterizes novel metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) classified as Phosphine and Arsine Coordination Materials (PCMs/ACMs). The MOFs are multi-dimensional, crystalline materials that have a free phosphine or arsine site for post-synthetic metallation. These materials are being studied for their potential use in gas storage, separation, and catalysis applications. She recently returned from a 9-week REU program at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle where she worked under Dr. Alexandra Velian on the self-assembly of functionalized metal-chalcogenide clusters.
The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is an NSF-funded opportunity for undergraduates to work in a new lab setting over the summer, and Catherine was placed in the lab of Alexandra Velian at UW. The Velian lab uses redox active Co6Se8 clusters as supports for heterogeneous catalysis, and Catherine’s project was to use the aminophosphine capped, tri-metallated version of the Co6Se8 clusters to create an extended MOF-type material.
While her time in the lab was an impactful experience, outside the lab she also got to enjoy a cool 70° summer and see the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
“Research for me is about being a part of the broader scientific community that strives to answer the big questions and make our lives better through science. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work in a new research setting this summer in Seattle because it has helped shape my vision of what I want out of my future graduate school program.” -- Catherine