Australian Chemical technology scene has been on a steady rise with not so visible progress to the untrained eye of the common masses. What we know is that it has made some amazing progress in the chemical technology industry which could potentially make it a huge name in the global chemical industry.
James O’Brien who grew up in Australia specializes in fundamental and applied high-resolution laser spectroscopy and gas-phase analytical chemistry. It explores the interaction between matter and different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, whether they’re absorbed, reflected or refracted, and what impact that has on the matter. O’Brien first became interested in the work as an undergraduate at James Cook University and later Australian National University, where he received his Ph.D. “When I first got an inkling that I liked spectroscopy, the fact that we could see the see this nice, clean spectrum associated with it was what got me hooked,” he said. “I think I was associated with setting up the first type of apparatus in Australia for this sort of work.” He’s built far more sophisticated tools over his tenure at UMSL. The bulk of his work uses intracavity laser absorption spectroscopy, which places gas molecules inside the laser cavity and measures the effects induced by the absorption of laser light.
He’s published more than 70 papers, and he and his students have presented more than 100 papers at scientific meetings. He has received sustained external research funding, including four grants from NASA as part of its planetary atmospheres program, six from the National Science Foundation, two from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and one from Monsanto. He’s also mentored six postdoctoral students, 11 research students, and 35 high school students through his involvement with the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists Program.