Alanah Fitch
Professor of Chemistry
Loyola University Chicago

BA Cultural Anthropology/Latin American Studies, Antioch College
M.S. 1977 Soil Science University of Arizona Tucson, Az
Ph.D. 1981 Soil Chemistry/Agronomy University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Post-doc 1981-1982 Soil Chemistry/Soil Science Department University of Wisconsin, Madison
Post-doc 1982-1984 Electrochemistry/ Chemistry Department University of Wisconsin, Madison
Post-doc 1985 Electrochemistry/ Chemistry Department Northwestern University

Areas of Expertise: Electrochemical methods of clay analysis; reduction of clays; clay nanocomposites; transport phenomena in thin clay films

How I Became Interested in Clays

I became interested in clays when thinking about what kind of independent research I wanted to do as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. It was kind of a cold calculation of what my background experiences prepared me for. Happily it has turned out to be a wonderful field for several reasons.

First, the complexity of the clay system (formation, environment, chemistry, biology, uses) means that one can poke around in it forever and still be agreeable surprised and interested. By the same reasoning one finds that clays show up any and every where and have enormous practical applications.

Second, because folks with an interest in clays span so many areas (geology, biology, ceramics, chemistry, mineralogy, oil field chemistry, catalysis) the meetings of the clay mineral society are far less about one's pedigree and a lot more about sharing common interests. The meetings are intellectually stimulating and really, just plain fun.

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