The University of South Dakota

Prof. Ranjit T. Koodali
 Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Department of Chemistry, University of South Dakota
414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion SD 57069, USA
Tel. 1-605-677-6189 (Office); Fax. 1-605-677-6397


Prof. Ranjit T. Koodali is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Dakota (USD), Vermillion, South Dakota (SD). He is featured in the link, Our-people.

Dr. Koodali was born in Kerala,India and obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.) Madras. His admission to the Ph.D. program was based on two nationally competitive examinations: i.) Joint CSIR-UGC Eligibility  Test for Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship in which he was placed among the top eleven candidates in the nation (India) in the subject of Chemistry, and ii.) Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), in which he scored 99.25 percentile in Chemistry which placed him in the top ten in the nation. His Ph.D. studies involved research related to the development of photocatalysts for the photocatalytic reduction of nitrate, and nitrite ions.

After extensive Post-Doctoral experiences in the laboratories of Prof. Itamar Willner, Late Prof. Larry Kevan and Prof. Kenneth J. Klabunde, he joined  USD in August 2005.

Dr. Koodali received the USD President’s Research Award for Excellence in the Early/Mid-Career Category in 2010 and was a finalist for the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 and 2014. In addition, Dr. Koodali received the 2013 Cutler Award in the Natural Science and Math category for excellence in teaching and research for the period, 2010-2013 from the College of Arts and Sciences, USD. Dr. Koodali is also a recipient of the USD President's Research Award for Excellence in the Established Faculty Category in 2013.

His current research work relates to the application of nanomaterials for environmental remediation and clean energy. His areas of research encompass synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials and their applications towards photochemical storage and conversion of solar energy. Dr. Koodali is also part of an interdisciplinary team interested in impacts of land use to the Missouri River floodplain.

He has one patent in the area of photocatalysis and has over hundred published works.

His very first contribution in the area of solar hydrogen production was cited by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an example of transformative work in Science and Engineering and was among the eleven projects selected by NSF and highlighted in its budget request to Congress for the fiscal year 2013.

His research activities have been supported by internal grants from USD, The SD Board of Regents, Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Dr. Koodali serves as a journal reviewer for about 85 scientific journals that include: ACS Catalysis, ACS Nano, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Catalysis Communications, Catalysis Science and Technology, Catalysis Today, Chemical Communications, Chemistry of Materials, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Energy and Environmental Science, Inorganic Chemistry, Journal of Catalysis, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of The American Chemical Society, Langmuir, Materials Research Bulletin, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, and Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics and Small. He is a reviewer for the American Chemical Society–Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF), German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF), National Science Foundation (NSF), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Research Corporation, and the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF).

He finds mention in 57th, 58th, 60th, 61st, 63rd, 65th, 67th  and 68th editions of Who’s Who in America, 6th and 7th editions of Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and the 11th edition of Who's Who among American Teachers & Educators.

He serves as the graduate program director for the Chemistry Department, and serves on several University committees that include: University Scholarship Committee, and the Graduate Council.

In addition, he serves as the Secretary of the Sioux Valley section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He served as the Program Co-Chair of the Energy and Fuel (ENFL) Division of ACS for the fall 2013 ACS meeting and as National Program Chair for ENFL division for the year 2014. 

He has supervised two Doctoral Dissertation, eleven Masters Theses, and eight undergraduate Honors Theses at USD. Thirty one undergraduate students that include 2 Goldwater Scholars, 4 NSF Graduate Research Fellows, 2 National Defense Science and Engineering Grant (NDSEG) Awardees, 1 National Health Corps scholar, 1 NASA National Aeronautics Scholar, and 1 NCAA post-graduate scholar have pursued undergraduate research under his direction.

Graduate students from his group have been awarded nationally competitive grants from the International Precious Metal Institute, Sigma-Xi Grants-in-Aid-Research Awards, and research grants from USD.

His group consists of currently 4 Ph.D., 2 M.S., and 2 undergraduate students.

Chemistry Department
The Chemistry Department at USD is home to State of SD's funded IGERT program from the National Science Foundation and several other research collaboratives.

The Chemistry Department  received the second annual Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation given to Departments within USD in 2005. To quote the previous Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Prof. Royce Engstrom, "The work of the entire department is leading to remarkable accomplishments for students, faculty and the university". To view a picture of the award presentation to the Department of Chemistry, please visit

Graduate Programs

Prospective graduate students who are interested in getting more details about the M.S. program in Chemistry and Ph.D. program Materials Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at USD are encouraged to contact me via e-mail (

Please note, all application materials will have to be mailed to the Graduate School, USD and not to the Chemistry Department. Students can apply for admission to either the spring or fall semesters. The priority date for submitting all the necessary documents for the fall and spring semesters are April 15 and October 15.

Please take a look the following links Graduate Program and Graduate School - Application for more details regarding the M.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. program in Materials Chemistry.

In the News
  1. USD chemistry professor oversees ENFL symposia at national ACS gathering
  2. SuNEC 2014
  3. USD chemistry professor oversees ACS international meeting activities
  4. Chemists In the Real World (featured chemist for a few weeks of March, 2014)
  5. Bazinga!
  6. Chemistry student presents poster at prestigious MIT Women in Clean Energy Symposium
  7. Converting sunlight to hydrogen fuel: Splitting water using photocatalysts (Check out the You Tube video link,
  8. USD recognizes faculty with President’s Research Awards
  9. 2013 Cutler Awards honor distinguished faculty members at USD
  10. Recent Advances in Solar Energy Conversion and Utilization

  11. Catalysis Today Focus Issue: Solar Fuels, Guest Edited by R. Subramanian, V. Subramani, and R. Koodali

  12. Undergraduate research played an integral part in my experience at USD

  13. USD student recipient of international Young Scientist Award

  14. USD researchers honored with Nelson Faculty Research Grant

  15. Hot Perspective: Lanthanide Doped Photocatalysts (this paper was among the top 10 downloaded articles in the Catalysis Science and Technology Journal for the months of February and April 2012).

  16. Want to visit the Moon? (courtesy - KCAU TV), USD-professor-shoots-for-the-moon (courtesy - Sioux  City Journal)

  17. USD chemistry professor earns plaudits for extraordinary research (Mesoporous Material Transforms Solar Energy Into Fuel, also cited in the NSF Budget Request to Congress for FY 13)

  18. USD physical chemistry professor organizes solar energy symposium

  19. S.D. connects with bio companies

  20. Dr. Ranjit Koodali of the University of South Dakota (USD) discusses the application of mesoporous materials towards creating cost-efficient solar technology

  21. SDPB News Director Cara Hetland visits with Ranjit Koodali of the University of South Dakota

  22. Graduate Student Receives Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

  23. Three USD faculty members honored for research excellence

  24. Professor at The U contributes to environmental applications of nanoscience symposium book series

  25. Student from The U recognized for precious metals research

  26. Physical Chemistry Professor at The U Nets NSF Grant

  27. Nettleton Becomes USD's Eighth Goldwater Scholar

  28. Student at The U Recognized by USA TODAY for Academic and Civic Achievement


Undergraduate students who are majoring in Chemistry and are interested in pursuing research opportunities at the interface of nanosciences, photocatalysis, environmental chemistry, and solar energy conversion can contact me by e-mail ( or drop by my office in Churchill-Haines (UCL) 109.

Prospective graduate students who are interested in getting more details about the M.S. and Ph.D. program in the Chemistry Department at USD are encouraged to contact me via e-mail (


Photocatalysts for the degradation of organic pollutants

1) US Patent  US6365007 April 2, 2002, Ranjit, Koodali and Willner, Itamar. Also filed: International Patent WO9916548, April 8, 1999, Willner, Itamar & Ranjit, Koodali T., Australian Patent  AU9365498 April 23, 1999, Willner, Itamar & Ranjit, Koodali T., and Israel Patent  IL121877 September 13, 2001, Willner, Itamar & Ranjit, Koodali T.

Published works in 2014
  1. Pd-Ti-MCM-48 Cubic Mesoporous Materials for Solar Simulated Hydrogen Evolution, Rui Peng, Jonas Baltrusaitis, Chia-Ming Wu, and Ranjit T. Koodali, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (accepted for publication).

  2. Exploration of room temperature synthesis of palladium containing cubic MCM-48 mesoporous materials, Harrison S. Kibombo, Vagulejan Balasanthiran, Chia-Ming Wu, Rui Peng, and Ranjit T. Koodali, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, (10.1016/j.micromeso.2014.07.012), 198, 1-8, 2014.

  3. Nanomaterials for Environmental Applications, Fan Dong, Ranjit T. Koodali, Haiqiang Wang, and Wing-Kei Ho, Journal of Nanomaterials,Article ID 276467, (10.1155/2014/276467), 2014 (Editorial).

  4. Reactivity and Morphology of Ni, Mo, and Ni-Mo Oxide Clusters Supported on MCM-48 Towards Thiophene Hydrodesulphurization, Catherine Bartholomew, Ashish Chakradhar, Uwe Burghaus, Chia-Ming Wu, Rui Peng, Srujan Mishra, and Ranjit T. Koodali, Surface Reviews and Letters (10.1142/S0218625X14500607) in press, 2014.

  5. Removal of hazardous pollutants from wastewaters: Applications of TiO2-SiO2 mixed oxide materials, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Rui Peng, and Ranjit T. Koodali, Journal of Nanomaterials, Article ID 617405, (10.1155/2014/617405), 2014.

  6. Versatility of Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly (EISA) Method for Preparation of Mesoporous TiO2 for Energy and Environmental Applications, Luther Mahoney and Ranjit T. Koodali, Materials  (10.3390/ma7042697), 7, 2697-2746, 2014 (Invited Review).

  7. Magnesium Vapor Reduction of Structured Silica for Lithium Ion Battery Applications, Rob Cook, Matthew Schrandt, Praveen Kolla, Wendell Rhine, Ranjit Koodali, and Alevtina Smirnova, MRS Proceedings  1643, mrsf13-1643-cc03-24 (10.1557/opl.2014.289), 2014.

  8. Activation of MCM-41 Mesoporous Silica by Transition-Metal Incorporation for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production, Shaohua Shen, Jie Chen, Ranjit T. Koodali, Yongfeng Hu, Qunfeng Xiao, Jigang Zhou, Xixi Wang, Liejin Guo, Applied Catalysis B:  Environmental, (10.1016/j.apcatb.2013.12.014), 150-151, 138-146, 2014. 

  9. Insight into Band Positions and Inter-particle Electron Transfer Dynamics between CdS Nanoclusters and Spatially Isolated TiO2 Dispersed in Cubic MCM-48 Mesoporous Materials: A Highly Efficient System for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution under Visible Light Illumination, Rui Peng, Cuikun Lin, Jonas Baltrusaitis, Chia-Ming Wu, Nada M. Dimitrijevic, Tijana Rajh, Stanley May, and Ranjit T. Koodali, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, (10.1039/C3CP52801D), 16, 2048-2061, 2014.

  10. Competitive role of structural properties of titania-silica mixed oxides and a mechanistic study of the photocatalytic degradation of phenol, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Harrison S. Kibombo, Chia-Ming Wu, Rui Peng, Jonas Baltrusaitis, and Ranjit T. Koodali, Applied Catalysis B:  Environmental, (10.1016/j.apcatb.2013.11.025), 148-149, 394-405, 2014.

  11. Preparation of TiO2-SiO2 aperiodic mesoporous materials with controllable formation of tetrahedrally coordinated Ti4+ ions and their performance for photocatalytic hydrogen production, Chia-Ming Wu, Rui Peng, Nada M. Dimitrijevic, Tijana Rajh, and Ranjit T. Koodali, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.10.079), 39, 127-136, 2014.


Research Group
1. Prof. N. Rajesh (June to July 2014) - Professor of Chemistry, Birla Institute of Technology and Science - Hyderabad, India.
1. Shrestha, Khadga (May to August 2013)
2. Parayil, Sreenivasan K. (2011-2013) - Currently Faculty, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia,
3. Zhao, Dan (2009-2010) - Currently Faculty, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ningbo University of Technology, Ningbo, China.

1. Blahna, Chris (M.S.)
2. Mahoney, Luther (Ph.D. - NSF-IGERT Fellow, 2011-14)
3. Rasalingam, Shivatharsiny (Ph.D. - Best Teaching Assistant Award, 2011-12; USD Graduate Research Grant 2014-15 and 2012-13; finalist at The National Graduate Student Poster Competition, Women in Clean Energy Symposium at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2013; International Precious Metals Institute Student Honorary Award 2014)
4. Wu, Chia-Ming (Ph.D. - International Precious Metals Institute Student Honorary Award 2013)
1. Abdessemed, Ala (Ph.D. – April – October 2014, visiting student from Constantine University, Algeria
2. Balasanthiran, Vagulejan (M.S. - 2010) – currently Ph.D. Chemistry at Ohio State University and International Precious Metals Institute Student Award 2013
3. Budhi, Sridhar (M.S. - 2010 - Best Teaching Assistant Award, 2009-10, USD Graduate Research Grant, 2009-10) - currently Ph.D. Chemistry at Colorado School of Mines - International Precious Metals Institute Metro New York Chapter Award 2013
4. Dewitt, Jeremy (M.S., 2013-2014)
5. Hussein, AbdulMenan (Ph.D., co-advisor as part of NSF funded IGERT program) – Ph.D. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, NSF-IGERT Fellow, 2011-14)
6. Kibombo, Harrison (Ph.D. 2013 - International Precious Metals Institute Student Award 2010, Sigma XI Award 2011, and USD Graduate Research Grants 2010 and 2013) – currently at Intel Corporation, OR.
7. Peng, Rui (Ph.D. 2014 - Sigma XI Award 2012 and USD Graduate Research Grant 2011 and 2013) – currently Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN.
8. Psota, Rhett J. (M.A. - 2007) – currently Chemistry Instructor at Central Community College,  Grand Island, NE
9.Raghupathi, Krishna Reddy (M.S.-2009 - USD Graduate Research Grant, 2009-10) – currently Ph.D. Chemistry at University of Massachusetts-Amherst
10.Sadhu, Satya Sai (M.S.-2008) – currently Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences at South Dakota State University
11.Subramanian, Hari (M.S.-2008) – currently Ph.D. Chemistry at North Dakota State University
12.Thiruppathi, Eagappanath (M.S.-2011) - Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, at University of South Dakota, 2014 (Sigma Xi grant 2013 and USD Graduate Research Grant 2013-14)

1. Dramstad, Thorn
2. Naasz, Hayley (Mickelson Scholar)
3. Stern, Kaitlyn (working on a joint collaborative project in the group of Prof. Sam Newton, Sanford School of Medicine at USD)

1. Alberts, Blake D. (B.S. - Chemistry – 2010 – Summa Cum Laude, Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Student Scholar, undergraduate research - summer and fall 2007, currently M.D. at Columbia University)
2. Becker, John (B.S.-Chemistry 2011 undergraduate research – spring and summer 2010, currently at Archer Daniels Midland, Omaha, NE)
3. Berdanier (nee Patrick), Catherine (B.S. – Chemistry 2010 – Magna Cum Laude, University Scholar, 2011 NASA Aeronautics Scholarship (among the 5 in the nation) and 2010 National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awardee, currently Ph.D. at Purdue University)
4. Bloch, Tyler (undergraduate research - summer 2011)
5. Boote, Brett (NSF-REU - summer 2006 student from Northwestern College, Orange City, IA)
6. Castle (Gonshorowski) Andi (B.S. – Chemistry – 2011 – Cum Laude, undergraduate research – spring 2009, summer 2009, spring 2010, and summer 2010, currently Ph.D. in Chemistry at Iowa State University).
7. DeWitt, Jeremy (B.S. - Chemistry - 2013, currently M.S. in Chemistry at USD)
8. Fischer, Logan (Joint with Dr. M. Kadarkaraisamy, NSF-REU - summer 2013 student from Wayne College, Wayne, NE)
9. Fleming, Daniel (B.S. - Chemistry – 2010, undergraduate research - fall 2008, spring 2009, and summer 2009)
10. Freeman, Katie L. (Joint student with Prof. Miles D. Koppang) (B.S. - Chemistry - 2008 - University Scholar, Summa Cum Laude, 2008 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Fellow - Women's Soccer, M.D. Carver School of Medicine, University of Iowa, 2012, Residency at University of California, San Francisco, CA)
11. Gillespie, Andrea (B.S. - Chemistry – 2010 – undergraduate research - fall 2009 and spring 2010)
12. Grady, Anne M. (B.S. – Chemistry 2010 – Presidential Alumni Scholar, Magna Cum Laude, University Scholar, 2011 National Health Service Corps Scholar, currently M.D. at Sanford School of Medicine, USD)
13. Haeder, Paul R. Dr. (B.S. – Mathematics - 2007 - University Scholar, Cum Laude, M.D. Sanford School of Medicine, The University of South Dakota, 2011, currently Residency at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN)
14. Huber (Jones), Nicole M. (joint with Prof. A.C. Manna, B.S. – Psychology – 2007 – P.A. – 2009, currently PA-C, Sanford Health, Vermillion, SD)
15. Jacobson, Andrew (B.S. – Chemistry – 2011, undergraduate research - spring 2011)
16. Kindle, Trevor (B.S. – Chemistry 2013,Summa Cum Laude  undergraduate research – fall 2012 and spring 2013, Summa Cum Laude,  Merck Index Award Winner given to Chemistry majors with outstanding academic performance entering Medical or Pharmacy Schools, American Chemical Society Sioux Valley Section Outstanding Senior Award winner, currently M.D. at Sanford School of Medicine, USD)
17. Kumaraswamy, Vyshnavi (joint with Dr. G. Forster)
18. Leibfarth, Frank A. (B.A. - Chemistry, Physics - 2008 - University Scholar, Summa Cum Laude, Mickelson Scholar, 2006 Goldwater Scholar, 2007 All-USA College Academic First Team, 2008 National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awardee, and 2008 National Defense Science and Engineering Grant (NDSEG) Awardee) Ph.D. Chemistry at University of California - Santa Barbara, Post-Doc MIT, MA)
19.  Nettleton, Elizabeth G. (B.S. - Chemistry - 2008, University Scholar, Summa Cum Laude, 2007 Goldwater Scholar, 2009 National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program and 2009 NDSEG Awardee – M.A. Chemistry at University of Texas – Austin, currently Consultant at Trinity Consultants, Austin, TX)
20. Parker, Nicole M. (B.S. - Chemistry - 2007 - Cum Laude), undergraduate research – summer 2006 and spring 2007, Creighton School of Nursing
21. Peterson, Alexander (undergraduate research - fall 2011)
22. Rodriguez, Adrian M. (B.S. - Chemistry - 2012, undergraduate research - summer 2009, fall 2009, summer 2010, and summer 2011)
23. Rydell, Rachel R. (B.S. - Chemistry - 2006 - Cum Laude, Physician Assistant (P.A.)- 2011, undergraduate research - spring 2006, currently PA-C, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD)
24. St.Pierre, Jordan J. (B.S. - Chemistry - 2010 - University Scholar)
25. Turgeon, Anthony (undergraduate research – spring 2006, currently 3M, MN)
26. Turner, Mark D. (undergraduate research – spring 2009, currently M.D. at Sanford School of Medicine, USD)
27. Weber, Amanda S. (B.S. - Chemistry - 2009 University Scholar, 2010 National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awardee - currently Ph.D. Chemistry at University of California – Irvine)
28. Wieseler, Carissa (B.S. – Chemistry 2014)
29. Zeleke, Samerawit (B.S. - Chemistry - 2008 undergraduate research – spring 2008)

Team Koodali - 2014

Research Instrumentations - Koodali Laboratory 


Teaching Philosophy

A teacher makes two ideas where only one grew before

- Elbert Hubbard



   Locations of visitors to this page

 The views and opinions expressed in these pages are strictly those of Dr. Ranjit Koodali. The content of these pages have not been reviewed or approved by The University of South Dakota.

Last updated November 24, 2014