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). 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 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 dinitrogen, 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. 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, 2010-2012 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 regular journal reviewer for over 100 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, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, Small etc.
Dr. Koodali is an Associate Editor for RSC Advances and Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, and also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences.
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, 68th, and 69th editions of Who’s Who in America, 6th and 7th editions of Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and the 11th and 12th editions 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: i.) Graduate Council, ii.) Research Computing Advisory Committee, iii.) Strategic Planning Committee, iv.) Sustainability Advisory Committee, v.) University Budget Committee, vi.) University Research Council, and vii.) University Scholarship Committee.

In addition, he serves as the Public Relations (PR) Chair of the Sioux Valley local section and Program Secretary for the Energy and Fuel (ENFL) Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He served as the National Program Co-Chair of the ENFL Division of ACS for the fall 2013 ACS meeting and as National Program Chair of the ENFL division for the calendar year 2014. He has supervised five Doctoral Dissertations, eleven Masters Theses, and eight undergraduate Honors Theses at USD.
Thirty three undergraduate students that include two Goldwater Scholars, four NSF Graduate Research Fellows, two National Defense Science and Engineering Grant (NDSEG) Awardees, one National Health Corps scholar, one NASA National Aeronautics Scholar, and one 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 InstituteSigma-Xi Grants-in-Aid-Research Awards, and research grants from USD. His group consists of currently one Ph.D., two M.S., four undergraduate, and two high school 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".

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.


Newsworthy Accomplishments (Research)

  1. USD Chemistry Graduate Student Awarded at MIT Clean Energy Symposium
  2. 14 USD scholars selected for U. discover summer research (Thorn Dramstad)
  3. Selected articles in Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy brought by Co-Editor-in-Chief John Turner
  4. USD students to present research at Pierre poster session
  5. Nanomaterials For environmental applications
  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 Catalysis Science and Technology for February and April 2012).

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

  19. Three USD faculty members honored for research excellence

  20. Student from the U recognized for precious metals research

  21. Physical chemistry professor at the U nets NSF grant

In the News (Others)
  1. Sustainability and Solar Energy Conversion
  2. USD initiates 32 into state's only Phi Beta Kappa chapter (Hayley Naasz) 
  3. Cover image credit to catalysis journals - Elsevier
  4. NMM concert featured Peebles
  5. Sustainability - Faculty spotlight
  6. USD chemistry professor oversees ENFL symposia at national ACS gathering
  7. SUNEC 2014
  8. USD chemistry professor oversees ACS international meeting activities
  9. Chemists in the real word  (Featured chemist in March 2014)
  10. Bazinga!
  11. USD physical chemistry professor organizes solar energy symposium
  12. S.D. connects with bio companies
  13. Professor at the U contributes to environmental applications of nanoscience symposium book series
  14. Nettleton becomes USD's eighth Goldwater scholar
  15. Student at The U recognized by USA TODAY for academic and civic achievement
  16. USD student Frank Leibfarth wins national Goldwater scholarship

  • Opportunities

    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. programs in the Chemistry Department may contact me at

    Published works in 2015

    1. Investigation of room temperature synthesis of titanium dioxide nanoclusters dispersed on cubic MCM-48 mesoporous materials, Sridhar Budhi, Chia-Ming Wu, Dan Zhao, Ranjit Koodali, Catalysts (Invited article in the Special Issue, "Feature Papers to Celebrate the Landmarks of Catalysts", 10.3390/catal5031603), 3, 1603-1621, 2015.

    2. Aging dependent phase transformation of mesostructured titanium dioxide nanomaterials prepared by evaporation-induced self-assembly process: Implications for solar hydrogen production, Luther Mahoney, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Chia-Ming Wu, Rui Peng, and Ranjit T. Koodali, American Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Materials Science, (10.3934/matersci.2015.230), 2, 230-242, 2015.

    3. Visible light driven photocatalytic hydrogen evolution over CdS incorporated mesoporous silica derived from MCM-48, Dan Zhao, Quan Wu, Chunfeng Yang, Ranjit T. Koodali, Applied Surface Science, (10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.08.008), 356, 308-316, 2015.

    4. Sustainability using solar energy: Present and future, Luther Mahoney, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Hayley Naasz, Ranjit T. Koodali, in Teaching and Learning About Sustainability, Edited by Catherine Middlecamp and Irv Levy, American Chemical Society, Washington DC (10.1021/bk-2015-1205.ch010), 119-143, 2015.

    5. Solar simulated hydrogen evolution using cobalt oxide nanoclusters deposited on titanium dioxide mesoporous materials prepared by evaporation induced self-assembly process, Luther Mahoney, Rui Peng, Chia-Ming Wu, Jonas Baltrusaitis, Ranjit T. Koodali, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.06.155), 40, 10795-10806, 2015.

    6. An insight into the adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B in periodic mesoporous materials, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Rui Peng, Ranjit T. Koodali, Applied Catalysis B:  Environmental, (10.1016/j.apcatb.2015.02.040), 174-175, 49-59, 2015.

    7. Robust and Effective Ru-Bipyridyl Dye Sensitized Ti-MCM-48 Cubic Mesoporous Materials for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution under Visible Light Illumination, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Rui Peng, Chia-Ming Wu, Kadarkaraisamy Mariappan, Ranjit T. Koodali, Catalysis Communications, (10.1016/j.catcom.2015.02.019), 65, 14-19, 2015.

    8. Modulation of pore sizes of titanium dioxide photocatalysts by a facile template free hydrothermal synthesis method: Implications for photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Chia-Ming Wu, Ranjit T. Koodali, ACS: Applied Materials and Interfaces (10.1021/am508883f), 7, 4368–4380, 2015.

    9. Expeditious one-pot three component synthesis of N-aryl dithiocarbamate derivatives using mesoporous Cu-materials, Soumen Payra, Arijit Saha, Rui Peng, Chia-Ming Wu, Ranjit T. Koodali, and Subhash Banerjee, Tetrahedron Letters (10.1016/j.tetlet.2015.01.158), 56, 1609-1613, 2015.

    10. A Brief Overview of Periodic Mesoporous Materials as Robust Supports for Photocatalytic Splitting of Water, Rui Peng, Luther Mahoney, Ranjit T. Koodali, ECS Transactions (10.1149/06425.0001ecst), 64, 1-8, 2015.

    11. Dye-sensitized and Doped TiO2 Mesoporous Materials for Visible Light Induced Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution, Luther Mahoney, Shivatharsiny Rasalingam, Ranjit T. Koodali, in Photoinduced Processes at Surfaces and in Nanomaterials Edited by D. S. Kilin, American Chemical Society, Washington DC (10.1021/bk-2015-1196.ch003), 81-101, 2015.

    12. Pd-Ti-MCM-48 Cubic Mesoporous Materials for Solar Simulated Hydrogen Evolution, Rui Peng, Jonas Baltrusaitis, Chia-Ming Wu, Ranjit T. Koodali, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (10.1016/j.ijhydene.2014.11.089), 40, 905-918, 2015.


    Research Group Members



    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. (2011-13) - Currently Faculty, M.E.S. Kalladi College, India,

    3. Zhao, Dan (2009-10) - Currently Faculty, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ningbo University of Technology, Ningbo, China.



    1. Blahna, Chris (M.S.)

    2. Selvaratnam, Balaranjan (Ph.D.)

    3. Shrestha, Sunav (M.S.) - Third Place in Graduate Poster Competition at Fourth Annual Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E)) Symposium at MIT, 2015


    1. Abdessemed, Ala (Ph.D.– April to October 2014) visiting Ph.D. student from Constantine University, Algeria
    2. Balasanthiran, Vagulejan (M.S. 2010, USD) – International Precious Metals Institute Student Award 2013, Ph.D. Ohio State University, OH, Jul. 2015, currently Post-Doc at Ohio State University, OH
    3. Budhi, Sridhar (M.S. 2010, USD) - Best Teaching Assistant Award, 2009-10, USD Graduate Research Grant, 2009-10, International Precious Metals Institute Metro New York Chapter Award 2013 - Ph.D. Colorado School of Mines, CO, Aug. 2015, currently at Eastern Wyoming College, WY
    4. Dewitt, Jeremy (M.S. 2013-14 and B.S. Chemistry 2013)
    5. Hussein, AbdulMenan (Ph.D.) co-advisor as part of NSF-IGERT program - NSF-IGERT Fellow, 2011-14 - Ph.D. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT), SD, Jul. 2015, currently Research Scientist and Process Engineer at SDSMT
    6. Kibombo, Harrison (Ph.D. 2013 and M.S. 2011, USD) - International Precious Metals Institute Student Award 2010, Sigma XI Award 2011, and USD Graduate Research Grant 2009-10 and 2012-13, currently at Intel Corporation, OR
    7. Mahoney, Luther (Ph.D. 2015, USD) - NSF-IGERT Fellow, 2011-15 and USD Graduate Research Grant 2014-15, currently at U.S. Army Research Laboratory, MD
    8. Peng, Rui (Ph.D. 2014 and M.S. 2011, USD) - Sigma XI Award 2012 and USD Graduate Research Grant 2010-11 and 2012-13, currently at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN
    9. Psota, Rhett J. (M.A. 2007, USD) – currently at Central Community College,  Grand Island, NE
    10. Raghupathi, Krishna Reddy (M.S. 2009, USD) - USD Graduate Research Grant, 2009-10 – Ph.D. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, MA, currently at Infotree Services Inc., NY
    11. Rasalingam, Shivatharsiny (Ph.D. 2015 and M.S. 2012, USD) - 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, and International Precious Metals Institute Student Honorary Award 2014, currently at University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
    12. Sadhu, Satya Sai (M.S. 2008, USD) – Ph.D. South Dakota State University (SDSU), SD, May 2015, currently Post-Doc at SDSU
    13. Subramanian, Hari (M.S 2008, USD), currently Ph.D. at North Dakota State University, ND
    14. Thiruppathi, Eagappanath (M.S. 2011 and Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering (BME) 2014, USD) - Sigma Xi grant 2013 and USD Graduate Research Grant 2013-14, currently at BME, USD
    15. Wu, Chia-Ming (Ph.D. 2015 and M.S. 2008, USD) - International Precious Metals Institute Student Honorary Award 2013, currently at NY



    1. Anderson, Zach
    2. Dramstad, Thorn (Presidential Alumni Scholar)

    3. Naasz, Hayley (Mickelson Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa Scholar)

    4. Stern, Kaitlyn


    1. Alberts, Blake D. (B.S. Chemistry Summa Cum Laude 2010) – Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Student Scholar, undergraduate research - summer and fall 2007 - currently M.D. at Columbia University, NY

    2. Becker, John (B.S. Chemistry 2011) undergraduate research – spring and summer 2010 - currently M.S. at University of South Dakota, SD

    3. Berdanier (Patrick), Catherine (B.S. Chemistry Magna Cum Laude 2010-University Scholar) – 2011 NASA Aeronautics Scholarship (among the 5 in the nation), 2010 National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awardee and NSF IGERT fellow) - currently Ph.D. at Purdue University, IN

    4. Bloch, Tyler (undergraduate research - summer 2011)

    5. Boote, Brett (NSF-REU student 2006 from Northwestern College) - currently Ph.D. at Iowa State University, IA

    6. Castle (nee Gonshorowski) Andi (B.S. Chemistry Cum Laude 2011) – undergraduate research – spring 2009 and summer 2009, spring 2010 and summer 2010) - currently Ph.D. at Iowa State University, IA

    7. Fischer, Logan (Joint with Dr. M. Kadarkaraisamy, NSF-REU - undergraduate research summer 2013 student from Wayne College, Wayne, NE - currently Process Laboratory Technician at Michael Foods

    8. Fleming, Daniel (B.S. Chemistry 2010) undergraduate research - fall 2008, spring 2009, and summer 2009)

    9. Freeman, Katie L. (Joint student with Prof. Miles D. Koppang) (B.S. Chemistry Summa Cum Laude 2008-University Scholar), 2008 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Fellow, M.D. Carver School of Medicine, University of Iowa, 2012 - currently Residency at University of California, San Francisco, CA

    10. Gillespie, Andrea (B.S. Chemistry 2010) – undergraduate research - fall 2009 and spring 2010), B/E Aerospace, NH

    11. Grady, Anne M. (B.S. Chemistry Magna Cum Laude 2010-University Scholar) – Presidential Alumni Scholar, 2011 National Health Service Corps Scholar, M.D. and Residency, Sanford School of Medicine, USD, 2015.

    12. Haeder, Paul R. Dr. (B.S. Mathematics Cum Laude 2007-University Scholar), M.D. USD, 2011 - currently Residency at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, KS

    13. Helenurm, Kevin (NSF-REU student, joint with Drs. A. Sykes and K. Mariappan) – currently at Whitman College, WA
    14. Jacobson, Andrew (B.S. Chemistry 2011) - undergraduate research - spring 2011

    15. Kindle, Trevor (B.S. Chemistry Summa Cum Laude 2013) -  undergraduate research – fall 2012 and spring 2013, Merck Index Award Winner and American Chemical Society Sioux Valley Section Outstanding Senior Award winner) – currently M.D. at Sanford School of Medicine, USD

    16. Kumaraswamy, Vyshnavi (joint with Dr. Gina Forster) (B.S. Biology 2014) - currently at Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, PA

    17. Leibfarth, Frank A. (B.A. Chemistry, Physics Summa Cum Laude – 2008 - University Scholar) – 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 – currently NSF Post-Doc Fellow at MIT, MA

    18. McGurk (Nettleton), Elizabeth G. (B.S. Chemistry Summa Cum Laude – 2008 – University Scholar), 2007 Goldwater Scholar, 2009 National Science Foundation-Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and 2009 NDSEG Awardee – M.A. University of Texas–Austin - currently at Trinity Consultants, Austin, TX

    19. Parker, Nicole M. (B.S. Chemistry Cum Laude 2007) - undergraduate research – summer 2006 and spring 2007, Creighton University School of Nursing

    20. Peterson, Alexander (undergraduate research fall 2011)

    21. Rodriguez, Adrian M. (B.S. Chemistry 2012) -  undergraduate research summer and fall 2009, summer 2010 and summer 2011) - currently IT Specialist at Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Rapid City, SD

    22. Rydell, Rachel R. (B.S. Chemistry 2006 and P.A. 2011) - Cum Laude - undergraduate research - spring 2006 - currently PA-C, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD

    23. St.Pierre, Jordan J. (B.S. Chemistry 2010 University Scholar) - currently Lead Scribe at Scribe.ology. Fort Worth TX

    24. Turgeon, Antony undergraduate research – spring 2006, currently 3M, MN

    25. Turner, Mark D. (B.S. Chemistry 2010, Magna Cum Laude) undergraduate research – spring 2009), currently M.D. at Sanford School of Medicine, USD

    26. Weber, Amanda S. (B.S. Chemistry 2009 University Scholar, 2010 National Science Foundation-Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awardee - Ph.D. Chemistry at University of California–Irvine, CA, will start at Intel, OR

    27. Wieseler, Carissa (B.S. Chemistry 2014) - American Chemical Society Sioux Valley Section Outstanding Senior Award winner) - currently at Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica

    28. Zeleke, Samerawit (B.S. Chemistry 2008) undergraduate research – spring 2008, MD Indiana University School of Medicine - currently residency at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, IN

    1. Ragothaman, Sowmya
    2. Venkatachalam, Ananth

    Team Koodali

      Research Facilities - Team Koodali 

    Research Instrumentations - Team Koodali 


    Teaching Philosophy



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    The University of South Dakota practices Inclusive Excellence, the notion that different cultures, groups, and individuals bring a variety of talents and gifts that contribute to the educational mission of the university, in particular the preparation of leaders for a diverse world.

    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, 2015