Richards Research

ResearchCurrent group members


  • Congratulations to Raiven Balderas on her first ever co-authored publication in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab, Oakridge National Laboratory, and other universities. The publication is titled “Catalytic Activity and Water Stability of the MgO(111) Surface for 2-Pentanone Condensation and was published in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental with an impact factor of 16.7! The article can be found at The article’s goal is to advance the understanding of the hydration process for MgO(111) nanoparticles and its relevance to the activity and water stability for aldol condensation using 2-pentanone as a representative biomass-derived intermediate. This work raises the standards towards sophisticated catalyst treatment, design, and characterization.
  • Special shout-out to Dr. Feng Lin, graduate alumni, for being featured in Virginia Tech’s faculty spotlight.  Read more about Dr. Feng Lin at
  • We are pleased to welcome new graduate students Darius Hayes and Elliot Brim. Welcome to the lab!
  • Congratulations to Raiven Balderas for being accepted to the 22nd National School on Neutron and X-Ray scattering summer school program!
  • Congratulations to Breanne Hammett for receiving the 2020 NSF GRFP award!