UCSB assistant professor of chemistry Dr. Trevor W. Hayton has been awarded a prestigious two-year Sloan Research Fellowship worth $50,000.

The fellowship, established under the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, seeks to recognize the achievements of exceptional young scholars in science, mathematics, economics and computer science. Hayton was chosen in recognition of his experimentation with uranium for catalytic reactions, and other research. He was one of 118 distinguished researchers to receive the two-year $50,000 fellowship this year.

Sloan Fellows are able to invest their fellowship funds into current research projects or the enhancement of new and innovative approaches to further their studies. Hayton said he plans to invest the $50,000 into the salaries of the students working to further this research.

“I was pretty happy when I heard the news,” Hayton said. “The Sloan Foundation has awarded this fellowship to some pretty high profile scientists, so it is an honor to be considered amongst that group of people.”

Hayton’s current research focuses primarily on developing new catalytic reactions using uranium chemistry — a study that has been relatively unexplored in the past.

“We are looking at the coordination chemistry of uranium in the highest oxidation states available to it,” Hayton said. “Uranium has sort of been ignored for catalysis for the last 100 years or so, and we thought we might find something interesting studying it.”

UCSB chemistry professor Dr. Galen Stucky said his colleague’s unique contributions to the field make him a well-deserving recipient of the award.

“Dr. Hayton is a very talented young chemist on our faculty,” Stucky said. “He likes to work on projects that are quite unique to chemistry, and I think this is one of the main reasons that he received this award. We are very fortunate to have him as a member of our faculty and the UCSB community.”

In addition to his research on uranium-mediated catalysis, Hayton teaches Advanced Inorganic Chemistry and will also be teaching the third part of the General Chemistry series next quarter.

Hayton has been at UCSB since 2006 and is the 21st recipient from UCSB to be awarded the Sloan Fellowship.

Over the past 55 years, Sloan Research Fellows have won 38 Nobel Prizes, 57 National Medals of Science and 14 Fields Medals, further establishing their dedication to their fields of research.