C. Michael McGuirk

Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Joint Appointment – NREL Chemistry and Nanoscience Center

Research in the McGuirk Lab exists the interface of synthetic chemistry and materials science, addressing fundamental scientific challenges related to organic and hybrid materials, supramolecular assembly, and environmental sustainability. Our group leverages expertise in non-covalent interactions, structural order, and chemical reactivity to develop synthetic tools for the by-design construction and programmed destruction of functional materials. Through our fundamental efforts, we seek to move the needle on the chemical recycling of plastic waste, the storage and delivery of alternative fuels, and the expansion of base pairing in synthetic DNA. Students in the McGuirk Lab are trained in synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry and the characterization of molecules and materials. Additional emphasis is placed on students becoming independently creative and critically thinking scientists poised to tackle critical questions in science and society.

Students interested in materials and/or synthetic chemistry are encouraged to contact Prof. McGuirk.

Significant Awards and Honors:

  • 2021: NSF CAREER Awardee
  • 2022: Early Career Editorial Board Member for Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
  • 2022: Scialog Fellow for Negative Emissions Science
  • 2022 President’s Award for Excellence in Safety
  • 2022 University Public Policy Fellow
  • 2023: DOE Early Career Award
  • 2023: Scialog Fellow for Automating Chemical Laboratories
  • 2024: Thieme Chemistry Journals Awardee

Office: 160 Coolbaugh Hall
Phone: 303.273.3633
Email: cmmcguirk@mines.edu


  • B.A. – University of Minnesota
  • Ph.D. – Northwestern University
  • Postdoctoral Study – University of California- Berkeley