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Get to know: Chemistry Professor Richard Jarman

By   /   November 9, 2012  /   No Comments

Richard Jarman

Richard Jarman

Chemistry Professor 

Richard Jarman

Age: 57

Family: Married to Mary with six children.

Hobbies: Beer brewing, theater and running


Color: Yellow

Film: Brief Encounter

Music: Rolling Stones

Book: “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov

Future: “I would like to spend more time in the wine regions of France”

Many community members, staff and students have seen posters and articles of his collaboration with Packer on converting waste into raw energy but The Courier takes a closer look at Chemistry Professor Dr. Richard Jarman, his career and how he got here.

Dr. Richard Jarman started his higher education at Oxford University in 1974 in England to study chemistry.

Jarman received his PhD in Chemistry in 1981 and left Oxford to complete a post-doctoral diploma in excellent research on the coast in New Jersey.

Jarman spent two years in New Jersey working with catalysts to make different types of chemicals.

Once Jarman left New Jersey, in 1984 he came to Naperville to work for Amoco Technology Company and made special crystals for lasers in a variety of colors.

When Jarman left Amoco, he continued crystal making through his own small business, Spectrogen, Inc. through 2002 while being an adjunct on the side at COD in 2003.

“Most things happen by accident… I could still be there but I wanted to do other things, I didn’t like the teaching idea but then later on I kind of happened into it and discovering, in that process, ‘hey I think I’m okay at this’,” Jarman said.

Jarman went on to being full-time faculty in chemistry at the college in 2003 and has continued his contributions.

Jarman has not only been very involved in his love of chemistry, but has recently won an award deemed to him by the American Chemical Society’s Committee (ACSC) for incorporating education into sustainability.

According to Jarman, a few years ago Environment Illinois held a town hall meeting on the subject of educating and climate change.

“We had about 200 community members [in the room] not just students but half a dozen folks from different groups, even religious organizations, not just scientific,” Jarman said. “So people recognize that this is an important issue across the board.”

ACSC recognized Jarman for his work with Packer Engineering, Inc. on a project to convert “corn stover” (left over corn stalks) into syngas that can be converted into energy like ethanol.

Jarman worked on this project over the summer with two students; one of which was Robert Gibson.

“During the summer we characterized aspects of the process and concentrated on writing procedures, documentation, generating manuals thinking about topics on training and a checklist for an operator,” Jarman said.

ACSC will be hosting the awards ceremony in New Orleans in April 2013 for Jarman and two other recipients where he will make a speech on the importance of sustainability and education.


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