Winkelmann Research Group

Winkelmann Research Group


The most important part of the laboratory is the people in it. Working with smart students is what makes research so much fun. Our lastest group picture is below.

From left to right: Brendan Swiger (Senior undergraduate, Research Chemistry major), Robert Fraser Caris (Sophomore undergraduate, Chemistry major),  Dami Ajadi (PhD Chemistry), Salomey Sasu (PhD Chemistry), Dr. Kurt Winkelmann, and Jenny Mentor (Senior, Chemical Engineering major).

Dr. Kurt WinkelmannDr. Winkelmann was professionally trained as a physical chemist at Auburn University and Northwestern University and continued his research of photochemical reaction kinetics when he first arrived at Florida Tech. Since then, his research has expanded beyond chemistry due to successful collaborations with faculty in many different fields, including aeronautics, engineering, geology, and biology. His first experience teaching general chemistry led to his interest in understanding how students learn chemistry. During his first few years as a professor at Florida Tech, Dr. W began his pursuit of knowledge in the field of education research. He currently leads research projects in both chemical and education research. In addition, Dr. W takes an active role in service to Florida Tech. He currently serves as Faculty Senate President and Science Program Chair for the online science classes taught through Florida Tech Online. His past administrative duties include coordinator of the Chemistry Department’s General Chemistry program and co-director of the university’s Teaching Assistant Training Seminar.

Dr. W grew up in Virginia and has spent most of his life in the southeastern US. He enjoys traveling, watching college and pro football, and performing science experiments with his daughter.


My most recent graduate student, Lenny Bernas, graduated with a MS degree in December 2016. His thesis, "Phytotoxicity of Silver Species to and Applications to Phytoremediation," was our group's first investigation of nanoparticle toxicity towards plants. Lenny also performed education research as an undergraduate in our group, working on the development of new experiments for Florida Tech's introductory nanotechnology lab course. Lenny now is a scientist at Harris Corporation, here in Melbourne.