Luis Fernandez-Torres Visiting Assistant Professor
- B.S., Pennsylvania State University
- M.S., University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
- Ph.D., University of Houston
Areas of Expertise
- Surface Chemistry
- Materials Science
- Physical Chemistry
- Analytical Chemistry
I am starting at Davidson in Fall 2022 as a visiting assistant faculty in the Chemistry Department. Prior to Davidson, I was a professor and administrator at St. Thomas University in Miami, and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame.
My formal doctoral training is in experimental physical chemistry; my masters’ training is in inorganic chemistry. I was also a post-doctoral fellow at Penn State University in the Department of Chemistry, where I worked in substrate-mediated interactions on surfaces, utilizing low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. My doctoral dissertation research topic was the surface chemistry and tribology of transition metal carbides. We were able to demonstrate that metal carbide surfaces, which are inert at atmospheric conditions, become reactive when exposed to outer space conditions.
Currently I am teaching Principles of Chemistry, and Introduction to Analytical Chemistry. At prior institutions, I also taught inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, quantitative analysis, and instrumental analysis. My research interests include catalysis, surface chemistry, energy, materials science, and tribology (study of friction). I not only study problems pertinent to my field of study, but also on how to apply my skills and knowledge to interdisciplinary endeavors. Recently, I have conducted research with undergraduate students in analytical applications of oscillating reactions, functionalization of biochar, and nanoparticle synthesis.
During my career in higher education as a Hispanic academic and administrator, I have been always aware of my position to influence other members of the campus community. To assume more assertive leadership roles, I was a fellow in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 2019 Leadership Academy Inaugural Cohort. Additionally, I have mentored over 40 undergraduate researchers. My commitment is to champion a classroom environment where everyone collaborates to make Davidson a place where people from all identities, backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences are embraced, validated, and supported.