Parker D. McCrary was born in Birmingham, AL and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Center for Green Manufacturing at The University of Alabama. He graduated with a Bachelor of Chemistry (2010) and Master of Science in Chemistry (2012) from The University of Alabama. He was one of only 200 graduate students selected over all scientific and engineering disciplines as a recipient of the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, which is sponsored by the Department of Defense and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. In addition, he was awarded a Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship, which is sponsored by Department of Chemistry and designed to give graduate students first-hand teaching experience beyond a typical teaching assistantship.
Parker’s research focuses on understanding the interactions between nanomaterials and energetic ionic liquids (salts with melting points below 100 oC with potential as energetic materials) in order to effectively implement the nanomaterials as additives. He also researches green methods to replace the currently in use, but hazardous, rocket propellant, hydrazine, by utilizing composite systems of nanomaterials and energetic ionic liquids. His research has been published in journals, such as Chemical Communications, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, and Angewandte Chemie. He has presented his findings at international conferences, such as the meetings of the 241st, 243rd, and 245th American Chemical Society (ACS), the 4th and 5th Congress on Ionic Liquids, and at the 3rd Asian-Pacific Conference on Ionic Liquids and Green Processes.
In addition to his work in the laboratory at UA, Parker was selected as a United Nations non-governmental representative for the ACS for the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) in Doha, Qatar. COP18 is the annual gathering of member nations to seek a framework for an international agreement to curb climate change. Parker was able to interview outgoing ACS president Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri, as seen here. His project was featured in The Huffington Post and The Tuscaloosa News. While in Qatar, he was able to virtually engage high school and college students through his blog and directly with Skype.
Currently, Parker is starting his 3rd year in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Chemistry, where he hopes to graduate in 2014.
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