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Faculty - Dr. Benjamin Norris

Name Dr. Benjamin Norris
Rank Assistant Professor, Associate Chair
Degrees B.S., Frostburg State University
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Office Location 345 Compton Science Center
Office Phone 301-687-4157
Courses Taught General Chemistry (CHEM 201/202/133)
Organic Chemistry (CHEM 311/312/321/322)
Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHEM 438)
Research Methods in Chemistry (CHEM 305)
Seminar and Capstone (CHEM 491/492)
Introduction to Higher Education (ORIE 101)
Research Interests

Preparation of new organic solvents from biorenewable resources.

Preparation of new conducting polymer materials for organic solar cells.


Dr. Benjamin Norris graduated with honors from Frostburg State University with a B.S. in Chemistry (minor in Mathematics) in May 2004. As a student at Frostburg, Dr. Norris received the prestigious Regent’s Scholarship, was president of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society, and received the Class of ’59 Leadership Award.

Dr. Norris pursued graduate studies in Organic and Polymer Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh from Fall 2004 through Summer 2010. He defended his thesis in January 2011, and received his Ph.D. in May 2011. His research included studies toward the development of new palladium-catalyzed multicomponent coupling reactions and the synthesis of sequenced phenylene-vinylene oligomers and copolymers. His development of a new strategy for the iterative synthesis of oligo(para-phenylene-vinylene)s using olefin metathesis has been published in Organic Letters. His study of the relationship between sequence and optoelectronic properties of oligo(para-phenylene-vinylene)s is being submitted to Nature Chemistry. While a graduate student at Pitt, Dr. Norris was a Teaching Fellow and received the Hurd Safford Teaching Award.

Dr. Norris returned to his alma mater as an Instructor of Chemistry in Fall 2010. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in Fall 2011. He teaches courses in General and Organic Chemistry.