Ready to expand his horizons after spending nearly two decades at a national lab, professor Art Gelis came to UNLV in 2018 and now is leading the university's nationally recognized radiochemistry program in the College of Sciences.
I grew up in Moscow, Russia.
I received my bachelor of science degree from Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology as double major in physical chemistry and chemical engineering. I received my Ph.D. in radiochemistry at Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry Russian Academy of Sciences. I did my postdoc work at Argonne National Lab, which is outside of Chicago.
To expand horizons! I spent 19 years working at a national lab in the field of advanced nuclear fuel cycle and medical isotopes. While it was a very satisfactory experience, I was missing some opportunities of working in different fields of nuclear/radiochemistry as well as a chance to train a new generation of nuclear scientists.
Inspiration to get into your field
I had a general interest in nuclear science [like] my father, who was a nuclear separation scientist.
Broadly, my research interests are in advanced nuclear fuel cycle/reprocessing, medical isotopes separations, and fundamental chemical properties of neptunium, plutonium, and americium.
Most interesting aspect of your field
I think there are a lot of applications of radiation, particularly in the field of nuclear medicine for cancer diagnostics and treatment.
Biggest challenge in your field
A lack of understanding and appreciation from the general audience, particularly anything related to nuclear power as one of the best sources of emission-free energy.
Leading a nationally recognized program
It is an honor to lead such a great program. It is also a lot of responsibility at the same time since an important part of my job is mentoring several Ph.D. students.
What do you want people to know about the radiochemistry program?
It is a fun research program with great opportunities for employment at the national labs and nuclear industry.
I have been doing remote teaching since March 2020, and I am used to it now. I certainly prefer teaching in person and can’t wait to go back to normal.
What can’t you get done remotely that you most want to do?
I can’t get immediate feedback from the students and therefore I cannot easily gauge if the material is difficult to understand.
What do you miss most about campus?
While I have been on campus a lot during the pandemic, I miss the “crowds” of students as the campus looks odd without them.
A musical recommendation
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I used to be a highly ranked fencer on epee in my teenage years.
Outside of work
Hiking with family and our coonhound, Ella, collecting LP records, and reading.
Ideal summer vacation
Tough to decide but hiking and snorkeling in Hawaii was awesome.