USD Chemistry Chair Andrew Sykes Wins Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award

Sykes to Conduct Research on Spectroelectrochemistry at Lancaster University in the U.K.

Andrew Sykes Sykes

VERMILLION, S.D. – Andrew Sykes, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Dakota, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to conduct research at Lancaster University in England.

The Fulbright Program is the top international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government, and is aimed at increasing mutual understanding between Americans and people of foreign countries.

Sykes and his research group are investigating chemical systems that fluoresce brightly when electrons are added to specific molecules in the presence of metal cations. The interaction of light and the simultaneous addition/subtraction of electrons is called spectroelectrochemistry. The researchers are trying to develop sensors that can detect specific cations that are of particular environmental or biological concern. Sykes says the chemists at Lancaster University are experts in electrochemistry and have the advanced instruments needed for this type of collaboration.

“Besides conducting research, part of my duties will be to travel to different universities within the United Kingdom and present our work, which will also include stories and pictures of what it is like living on the northern Great Plains,” Sykes said. “I think the Fulbright is recognition that important science is ongoing in South Dakota, and that collaboration, even at the international level, is important for the advancement of science.”

Sykes graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1990 with a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry. His research interests focus on fluorescence sensors and single-crystal X-ray crystallography.

Lancaster University, located in northwestern England, is a research university of about 12,000 students. The university admitted its first students in 1964 and today offers more than 280 undergraduate degrees along with post-graduate programming.

Download a photo of Sykes.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Michael Ewald
USD News