George R. Pack Award

The George R. Pack Award for Most Outstanding Chemistry PhD Dissertation was established by colleagues, family and friends to recognize in perpetuity Dr. Pack’s role in growing a vigorous departmental research program, his contributions to the University’s research environment, and his appreciation of the key role that graduate students provide in the research process.

2019 Recipient

 Dr. Rene Ebule

Mentored by Gerald "GB" Hammond, PhD
Thesis Title: Investigating the Unique Reactivity of Novel HX (X=CI, Br) Reagents with Alkenes and Alkynes

Dr. Rene Ebule is a FE WE GEST Process Engineer at Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, Oregon. He joined Intel in June of 2019. Prior to joining Intel, Rene had a brief spell at Hexion Inc. where he worked as Development Chemist, Resins. He had earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Louisville in December of 2018 under the Supervision/Mentorship of Prof. GB Hammond and Prof. Bo Xu. At his time in Louisville, Rene’s research was centered on formulating stable and highly concentrated environmentally benign organic hydrogen halide solutions whose applications were investigated on their reactions with unsaturated systems. Those reagents sought to address the challenges of handling gaseous hydrogen halide reagents.

He was born and raised in the South West region of Cameroon, Central Africa. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with Materials Science as professional minor in 2003. Upon obtaining his BS degree, Rene then taught Chemistry and Mathematics for middle and high school students until 2010. He gained admission into the Chemistry graduate program of New Mexico Highlands University in 2010 where he earned a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry in December 2012. While awaiting the start of his PhD program in the fall of 2013, he served as adjunct lecturer at New Mexico Highlands University before joining the graduate program in Chemistry in the fall of 2013.

While a Chemistry graduate student in the University of Louisville, Rene was selected as the best Graduate Teaching Assistant in Chemistry in 2016. He also served as the secretary general of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association in 2014/2015 academic year. His research on the unique reactivity of novel aprotic HX (X=Cl, Br) reagents with alkenes and alkynes has resulted to authorship and co-authorship of seven (7) publications in high impact peer review journals. He is a recipient of several awards from the department and scientific organizations like ACS and NOBCChE where he has given poster and oral presentations of his work. Among them, was the prestigious ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium held in Bloomington, Indiana, 2018 and in the 254th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, 2018. As part of his PhD training, he mentored two (2) undergraduate students, and a fellow graduate student with whom they co-authored their latest publication.

For extracurricular activities, Rene is an ardent soccer lover; so much that apart from playing, he has been a soccer coach for kids between the ages of 6 and 14, and a licensed United State Soccer referee (USSF) in the state of Kentucky. He has served as part of a group volunteers to assist Habitat for Humanity build homes and shelter for low income communities. Finally, Rene is a husband and father of 3-year-old son.

Past Recipients