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Andrea Starr
Utah State University professor Lance Seefeldt will take over as head of the oDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry on July 1.

LOGAN — Utah State University announced Monday professor Lance Seefeldt will succeed professor Alvan Hengge as head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry on July 1.

Hengge, who has served as department head for the past 10 years, recently received a Fulbright Award to conduct research at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, a public research university in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He travels to South America in early 2020.

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Hengge, whose research focuses on the critical biological process of enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer, received USU’s top research honor, the D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award, in 2015. He is the recipient of three annual awards for outstanding researcher, outstanding teacher and outstanding undergraduate research mentor.

Seefeldt, who joined USU in 1993, is an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow and received the D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award in 2012. He was named USU’s 2019 Graduate Research Mentor of the Year.

A longtime expert in nitrogen fixation research, Seefeldt, whose efforts are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, is pioneering studies toward a clean and renewable light-driven process for converting nitrogen to ammonia, a primary component of fertilizer.