Professor’s Colón article about the Solar Army is published in Chemistry International, the news magazine of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)

The November-December 2016 issue of Chemistry International (CI) features an article by Professor Jorge Colón titled: “The Solar Army: Harry Gray’s Legacy to the Children of the World”.  In it Professor Colón summarizes the history of the Solar Army, the outreach branch of the Center for Chemical Innovation in Solar Fuels (CCI-Solar,, an NSF-funded consortium of 13 universities and 19 laboratories centered at the California Institute of Technology and headed by Professor Harry Gray.  Professor Colón joined CCI-Solar in 2011 and its currently a Co-PI.  He established the Caribbean Brigade of the CCI-Solar Army in 2012 and with graduate and undergraduate students in the Brigade has given workshops about solar energy, construction of dye-sensitized solar cells, and discovery of new solar catalysts to over 3,000 students and teachers in Puerto Rico.  The article emphasizes the need to tap solar energy as an alternative energy source as global warming and climate change threaten islands in the Caribbean region, including Puerto Rico.

The CI article has several photos of the Caribbean Brigade activities in Puerto Rico.  Mario Ramos Garcés, a graduate student in our Chemistry Graduate Program and member of Professor Colón research group, is mentioned in the article, as well as Jennifer Vargas, a graduate student from the UPR-Mayagüez campus.  Other graduate students in Professor Colón research group who have been part of the Caribbean Brigade of the Solar Army are Barbara Casañas, Julissa González, Ronel Pervil, and María Sarmiento.  Edwin Ortiz Quiles, a former graduate student of Professor Carlos Cabrera and currently a postdoctoral associate in Professor Eduardo Nicolau research group, was part of the Caribbean Brigade for several years.  Christian Morales Guzmán, a current graduate student in Professor Néstor Carballeira research group, has also helped the Caribbean Brigade in several workshops. Several undergraduate students have also been part of the Caribbean Brigade.  The workshops have also been given in the undergraduate General Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry laboratory courses, as well as in continuing education courses at the Colegio de Químicos de Puerto Rico.

Professor Colón, Coordinator of the Chemistry Graduate Program, is an Associate Member of Division II (Inorganic Chemistry) of IUPAC.

IUPAC: The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, IUPAC, was formed in 1919 by chemists from industry and academia. For more than nine decades, the Union has succeeded in fostering worldwide communications in the chemical sciences and in uniting academic, industrial and public sector chemistry in a common language. IUPAC is recognized as the world authority on chemical nomenclature, terminology, standardized methods for measurement, atomic weights and many other critically evaluated data. IUPAC has also been pro-active in establishing a wide range of conferences and projects designed to promote and stimulate modern developments in chemistry, and to assist in aspects of chemical education and the public understanding of chemistry.