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Charles Lucy, PhD




About Me

I am a Professor in the UofA's world-class analytical chemistry program.  I have received: the 2002 International Ion Chromatography Achievement Award; the 2007 Faculty of Science Innovation in Teaching Award; the 2008 Maxxam Award from the Canadian Society of Chemistry; the 2010 Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and was named a 3M National Teaching Fellow in 2012 and a Killam Annual Professor in 2014-2015.  My students have been equally successful, receiving: numerous NSERC and Alberta Innovates scholarships; American Chemical Society Analytical Division fellowships; and four Ryan/Harris Awards as the top analytical chemistry graduate student in Canada.


Our group's research is in the area of analytical separations. The major objective of the research is to develop a fundamental physico-chemical understanding of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ion chromatography (IC) and capillary electrophoresis (CE). This fundamental understanding is then coupled with collaborations with instrument manufacturers such as Dionex and industrial partners such as Dow Chemicals and Syncrude Canada Ltd. to enhance and even simplify the analytical methods.

Examples of recent research by undergraduate and graduate students in the lab are the development of:

  • self-assembled coatings based on supported phospholipid bilayers for protein separations using capillary electrophoresis;
  • synthesis of novel high performance liquid chromatography phases
  • ion chromatography and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatographic methods that are 20-times faster than conventional methods;
  • petroleomics analysis based on HPLC and Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS).

Professional skills development, as detailed in C.A. Lucy, Talanta 2000, 51, 1125-1147.  Lucy group alumni are in academia, the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries, forensics, and government labs.


My teaching ranges from introductory chemistry to graduate courses in analytical separations, but most commonly focuses on quantitative chemical analysis (CHEM 211 and 213) which I will be teaching in 2014-2015.  My goal for these courses is that students achieve an understanding of analytical error, and the care that it takes to make an accurate and appropriate measurement.  I am a contributing author to the 9th edition of Daniel Harris's Quantitative Chemical Analysis.

Students learn best by doing.  I use active learning strategies within my class, and typically have 1-2 undergraduates doing research in my lab either through CHEM 299 or CHEM 401/403 (Contact me if you are be interested).


I am also very interested in professional development of chemistry students, and coordinate the CHEM 300 Introduction to Industrial Chemistry, which has industrial speakers, tours of local industry, resume and interview skills development, and networking with local industrial chemists.  Please contact me if you would be interested in participating either as a student or an industrial mentor.

Instructors also learn by doing and sharing.  Hence, I am actively involved in the Harris Teaching Workshops and the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and the Chemical Education programs at the CSC and Pittcon conferences.