Gregory Jerkiewicz

Professor, Department of Chemistry

Synopsis: Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz’s research is focused on surface and materials electrochemistry as well as molecular-level electrocatalysis. He directs an international research project (Ni Electro Can) that is developing nickel-based materials for applications in fuel cells and other technologies. In this episode, Dr. Jerkiewicz explains the science behind electrochemistry, which creates chemical reactions that generate electrons and uses electrical energy to direct chemical reactions that would not occur spontaneously in other settings. He also gives fuel cells as an example of electrochemistry in action, as fuel cells power devices from cars to cell phones. His current project looks at how to mimic the qualities of platinum as a catalyst in nickel instead. He is hoping to reignite (almost literally, since it has been used in several space missions before) interest in using nickel in fuel cells. For more information about Gregory’s project, visit the Ni Electro Can project webpage.