Southern Nevada Section

2013 Awards Meeting

Due to an illness our chair could not preside over the handing out of awards this year.  Our councilor Onofrio Gaglione was the replacement master of ceremonies this year. 


The SNS is proud to announce:

Annual Awards Ceremony Banquet

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

University of Nevada Las Vegas

Richard Tam Alumni Center (Grand Hall)

4505 S. Maryland Parkway

5:30 6:00 PMReception and Dinner

6:00 – 7:30 PMPresentation of Awards and Guest Speaker


Speaker: Dr. Clemens Heske

Department of Chemistry

 University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

Institute for Photon Science and Synchrotron Radiation,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

ANKA Synchrotron Radiation Facility, KIT

Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry, KIT


“Wouldn’t it be nice to understand solar devices?”

(A totally subjective and abbreviated report on where we are
and what we can do to know more)


Abstract: Whenever I’m asked about what I do for a living, I state that my group utilizes a “tool chest” of spectroscopic and microscopic techniques to study the electronic and chemical structure of surfaces and interfaces. This, in general, does not get anyone excited. Then, I say that, with this tool chest, we team up with other universities, national labs, and companies who make devices for solar energy conversion – especially photovoltaic cells (to “produce” electricity) and photo electrochemical cells (to split water). This, in general, gets (almost) everyone excited, and the question is inevitable: “So, when will these things finally work”? In fact, they work (well, some of them), but we don’t necessarily understand all the details of why and how they work.

In this presentation, I will shed light on these questions using examples from current research. I will discuss where things stand, how the devices work (in principle), and how we can find out more so that we can improve them deliberately rather than accidentally.

Biography Dr. Clemens Heske:

Department of Chemistry,

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)


ANKA Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Institute for Photon Science and Synchrotron Radiation (IPS), and Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP),

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


In 1998, Clemens Heske received his “Dr. rer. nat.” (Ph.D.) in Physics from the University of Würzburg, Germany. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he became a “Wissenschaftlicher Assistent” at the University of Würzburg and completed his German Habilitation in Experimental Physics in December of 2003.  In 2004, he joined the UNLV Chemistry Department as an Associate Professor for Materials/Physical Chemistry and was tenured in the summer of 2007 and promoted to Professor in the summer of 2009. In the fall of 2011, Clemens Heske was additionally appointed as one of the directors of the ANKA Synchrotron Radiation Facility and the Institute for Photon Science and Synchrotron Radiation (IPS) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and as a Professor in KIT’s Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP).


Continuing his research activities on both continents, Clemens Heske uses lab- and synchrotron-based soft x-rays to study surfaces and interfaces in a wide variety of material systems for energy conversion. With the expertise and technical skills of his group, he teams up with a large number of national and international partners in academia, national labs, and industry to investigate and improve thin film solar cells, materials for hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, fuel cells, light-emitting devices, nuclear fuel, and other systems that involve interfaces and require a deeper understanding of their electronic and chemical properties to optimize the performance and stability of the final device.

Before the awards it was time to eat.



 Kaz Lindley, past chair of the section with plaque for service presented by Dr. Tom Gill.

 The David W Emerson Award for service to SNS presented by Onofrio Gaglione to Dr. Mark Garner, Chemistry Olympiad Chair.

 This year we had a double header.  The second David W. Emerson Award for service to SNS presented by Jeanette Von Emon to Dr. Vernon Hodge.


 Top chemistry student (two year) College of Southern Nevada, Raymond Mac, presented by Dr. Mark Garner.


 Top chemistry student (two year) University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sean Tanzey.

 Top Chemistry student (four year) University of Nevada Las Vegas, Duy Trinh, presented by Dr. Vernon Hodge.


Some of the Chemistry Olympiad finalist from Las Vegas area high schools are shown below.