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Aug. 28, 2019

Lynam excels in prestigious chemistry research internship

By Kala Dixon, communication assistant


Each summer the University of Kansas invites students from across the globe to partake in its Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). This summer, one of those research interns was a Northwest Missouri State University student.

Delaney Lynam, a senior chemistry student from Omaha, Nebraska, was invited to the University of Kansas campus to conduct research with KU faculty.

Thousands applied, but only 95 were selected for the prestigious REU internship. Each research intern was placed in a group according to their focus of study. Lynam’s research focused on computational chemistry.

“I spent eight hours a day at a computer, running simulations and using modeling programs to model this compound I was studying,” Lynam said.

The compound Lynam and her group studied is not familiar to most, but it has proven to have some beneficial uses.

“We were looking at the properties of Rhodium (III) Complexes,” Lynam said. “These complexes can participate in a catalytic cycle to produce hydrogen, which can then be used as a renewable fuel source and an alternative to fossil fuels.”

Lynam says the internship provided her with valuable experience that will benefit her in a research career. She is continuing her research this semester in Maryville while maintaining her status as a full-time student at Northwest.

“Because my research was done all on a computer, my faculty mentor at KU gave me the opportunity to continue my research this semester,” Lynam said. “The hope is to eventually write a paper over all that I have done which will help my applications into graduate school.”

Additionally, Lynam stays busy by playing the trumpet and mellophone in Northwest musical ensembles. She is a member of the Bearcat Marching Band, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Studio Jazz Band. She won the Northwest Concerto Competition last spring, becoming the first-ever non-music major to win the contest. She also maintains a 4.0 grade-point average.

“I’ve learned time management,” Lynam said. “That’s the biggest skill I’ve learned, especially with all of my organizations, classes and musical ensembles. I’ve learned how to not procrastinate.”

Lynam believes the faculty at Northwest have contributed to her success as a student and helping her secure a research internship at KU.

“My advisor, Dr. (Richard) Toomey, has helped me a lot,” Lynam said. “He was the one who pushed me to apply to these internships. He’s just always pushed me in a good way, and he’s been really supportive.”

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Northwest, Lynam plans to attend graduate school and study theoretical chemistry.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704