Dr. Phil Whitefield, professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla and director of the UMR Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate Research, has been named chair of the chemistry department. The appointment took effect Sept. 1.
Whitefield, who also serves on the research faculty of UMR’s Cloud and Aerosol Sciences Laboratory, replaces Dr. Ekk Sinn, who will remain in the department in a teaching and research capacity.
“Dr. Whitefield brings excellent credentials to the job,” says Dr. Paula Lutz, dean of the UMR College of Arts and Sciences. “He is an internationally known research scientist, an effective teacher, and an outstanding leader. I look forward to working with him to enhance this already productive department.”
Whitefield joined UMR in 1990 as a research associate professor. He was named associate professor in 2001 and promoted to professor in 2004. Prior to joining UMR, Whitefield was a scientist in the radiation sciences department of McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories in St. Louis.
Whitefield earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1979 and 1975, respectively.
Since joining UMR, Whitefield has worked with the UMR Cloud and Aerosol Sciences Laboratory studying particulate emissions produced by aerospace activities, such as aircraft operations and rocket launches. His current work, through the UMR Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate Research has led to the development of an internationally accepted approach to characterize the nature of particulate matter, or soot, in jet engine and rocket exhaust.