Winkelmann, Kurt

Associate Professor

Dr. Kurt Winkelmann explores research in both chemistry and chemical education. His chemical research group studies nanoparticle synthesis and their toxicology, photochemical reaction kinetics, and development of materials for space flight applications. Education research focuses on student learning in both real world and virtual reality lab environments. Much of his work involves the development and implementation of novel nanotechnology lab experiments. He is also interested in understanding how principles of gamification can be applied to a standard chemistry lecture class in order to motivate students.

Dr. Winkelmann is active in service to Florida Tech and the wider community. He coordinated Florida Tech’s General Chemistry program for six years, co-directed the campus-wide Graduate Student Training Workshop and now is the Science Program Chair for Florida Tech’s Office of Online Learning. He serves as editor of the Journal of Nano Education and has served as a subject matter expert consultant for the FAA and Pearson Education.


Educational Background

B.S. Virginia Tech 1995
Ph.D. Auburn University 2000
Postdoctoral Researcher Northwestern University 2001


Recognition & Awards

2013 Florida Tech Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching

2012 Orlando ACS Award for Outstanding Four-Year College Teacher

2012 Florida Tech President’s Award for University Excellence

2009 Florida Tech Andrew W. Revay Jr. Award for Excellence in Service


Current Courses

I teach general and physical chemistry courses and I co-teach Introduction to Nanoscience and Technology, a laboratory course for freshmen.


Professional Experience

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Nano Education

Florida Tech Faculty Senator

Science Program Chair, Florida Tech Online


Current Research

Chemical Education

It is well established that students learn most by actively participating in their education. For science classes, that often means students performing laboratory experiments. I enjoy devising new, interesting experiments for students and seeing them taught at Florida Tech. I also support many undergraduate students to help me develop these experimenters and they appear as co-authors on published articles and present our research at science education conferences. My current interests include experiments that highlight applications of nanotechnology and designing virtual chemistry experiments. This is my most active field of research and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Read about current and recent projects by clicking on the links below.

Evaluating Students' Learning and Attitudes in a Virtual Chemistry Laboratory

Creating a Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Minor

Introducing Research-inspired Modules in the General Chemistry Lab Curriculum

Developing an Interdisciplinary Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Academic Program


These new experiments are only useful if they benefit students helping them learn more or improve their appreciation of chemistry. This means that we must understand how the experience of performing the experiment can influence students’ knowledge and attitudes. Chemical education researchers apply statistical methods with a scientific approach in order to determine how a lab experiment might affect students. All of my current research evaluates the project's efficacy towards improving student learning and attitudes.


Physical Chemistry

Understanding the mechanism of a reaction allows us to optimize the reaction rate and predict its outcome. My current research in this area focuses on understanding how visible light can initiate chemical reactions that degrade pollutants into nontoxic or event useful products. Halogenated organic molecules provide interesting target molecules because they have a significant environmental impact as greenhouse gases and many such compounds cannot be destroyed by conventional oxidation techniques.



I am also interested in the design and application of novel nanomaterials. For instance, nanoparticles can possess properties very different from the analogous bulk material. Controlling the properties of these nanosized materials and characterizing them is an interesting challenge.



Selected Publications

Journal Articles (* indicates undergraduate student coauthor)

  1. Winkelmann, K.; Bernas, L.; Swiger, B.;* Brown, S.* “Measurement of chlorophyll loss due to phytoremediation of Ag nanoparticles in the first-year laboratory” J. Chem. Educ. in press.
  2. Bernas, L.; Winkelmann, K.; Palmer, D. “Phytoremediation of Silver Species by Waterweed (Egeria Densa)” The Chemist, in press.
  3. Winkelmann, K.; Baloga, M. H.; Marcinkowski, T.; Giannoulis, C.; Anquandah, G.; Cohen, P. “Improving Students’ Inquiry Skills and Attitudes through Research-Inspired Modules in the General Chemistry Laboratory” J. Chem. Educ. 92(2), 2015, 247–255.
  4. Winkelmann, K.; Baloga, M. H.; Menendez, A.* “Lightning in a Bottle: Measuring NOx Formed by Electrical Discharge in an Inquiry-Based General Chemistry Laboratory Experiment” Chem. Educator 19 2014, 305-309.
  5. Winkelmann, K.; Scott, M.; Wong, D.* “A Study of High School Students’ Performance of Virtual Chemistry Laboratory in Second Life” J. Chem. Educ. 91(9) 2014, 1432-1438.
  6. Winkelmann, K. “A Ten Year Review of the NSF Nanotechnology in Undergraduate Education (NUE) program” J. Nano Educ. 6(2) 2014, 109-116.
  7. Winkelmann, K.; Bernas, L.;* Saleh, M. “A Review of Nanotechnology Learning Resources for K-12, College and Informal Educators” J. Nano Educ. 6(1) 2014, 1-11.
  8. Winkelmann, K. “Learning about the Societal Impacts of Nanotechnology through Role Playing” J. Nano Educ. 4(1) 2012, 67-81.
  9. Winkelmann, K.; Calhoun, R. L.; Mills, G. “Effects of Periodic Illumination and Aqueous/Organic Interfacial Surface Area on Chain Propagation of CCl3F Reduction” J. Phys. Chem. C 116(4) 2012, 2829–2837.
  10. Winkelmann, K.; German, H.;* Hodes, C.;* Li, J.; Price, M.;* Termini, C.;* Thiele, C.* “Synthesis of Iron Nanoparticles in Aqueous and Nonaqueous Solutions and their Use in Simulated Waste Remediation: An Experiment for First-Year College Students” J. Nano Educ. 3(1) 2011, 75-81.
  11. Zaccardi, M. J.;* Winkelmann, K.; Olson, J. A. “Preparation of Chemically Etched Tips for Ambient Instructional Scanning Tunneling Microscopy” J. Chem. Educ. 87(3) 2010, 308-310.
  12. Winkelmann, K. “Practical Aspects of Creating an Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Laboratory Course for Freshmen” J. Nano Educ. 1(1) 2009, 34-41.
  13. Winkelmann, K.; Sharma, V. K.; Lin, Y.*; Shreve, K. A.*; Winkelmann, C.; Hoisington, L. J.*; Yngard, R. A. “Reduction of Ferrate(VI) and Oxidation of Cyanate in a Fe(VI)–TiO2–UV–NCO− system” Chemosphere 72(11) 2008, 1694-1699.
  14. Noviello, T.;* Brooks, S.;* Winkelmann, K. “Preparation of CdS Nanoparticles by First-Year Undergraduates” J. Chem. Educ. 84(4) 2007, 709-710.
  15. Winkelmann, K.; Mills, G.; Calhoun, R. L. “Chain Photoreduction of CCl3F in TiO2 Suspensions: Enhancement Induced by O2” J. Phys. Chem. A 110(51) 2006, 13827-13835.
  16. Sharma, V. K.; Winkelmann, K.; Krasnova, Y.;* Lee, C.; Sohn, M. “Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Reduction of Ferrate(VI) in UV-Irradiated Titania Suspensions: Role in Enhancing Destruction of Nitrogen-Containing Pollutants” Int. J. Photoenergy 5(3) 2003, 183-190.
  17. Calhoun, R. L.; Winkelmann, K. J.; Mills, G. “Photoreduction of CFC-11 in TiO2 Suspensions” J. Phys. Chem. B 105(40) 2001, 9739-9746.

Book Chapters (* indicates undergraduate student coauthor)

  1. Leonard Bernas, Kurt Winkelmann, Katherine Stewart,* Carolyn Chabuz,* Jean Rose* “A Review of Nanotechnology Experiments with Environmental and Biological Applications” in Science Education and Green Chemistry for a Sustainable Future Muhammad Hugerat (Ed). Haifa, Israel: The Academic Arab College for Education in Israel, under review.
  2. Kurt Winkelmann, Bharat Bhushan “Global Perspectives of Nanotechnology Education” in Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology Bharat Bhushan (Ed). Switzerland: Springer-Verlag, in press, expected April 2017.
  3. Kurt Winkelmann “Virtual Worlds and Their Uses in Chemical Education” in Pedagogic Roles of Animations and Simulations in Chemistry Courses ACS Symposium Series, Jerry Suits and Michael Sanger (Eds). 2013; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, pp 161-179.
  4. Kurt Winkelmann “A Review of Nanomaterial Synthesis Experiments for the General Chemistry Laboratory Course” in Nanotechnology in Undergraduate Education ACS Symposium Series, Kimberly A. O. Pacheco, Richard W. Schwenz, Wayne E. Jones, Jr. (Eds). 2010; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, pp. 135-154.
  5. Kurt Winkelmann, James Mantovani, James Brenner “Interdisciplinary Lab Course in Nanotechnology for Freshmen at the Florida Institute of Technology“ in Nanoscale Science and Engineering Education: Issues, Trends and Future Directions A. E. Sweeney, S. Seal (Eds). 2008; American Scientific Publishers: Stevenson Ranch, CA, pp. 269-291.

Books Edited

  1. Global Perspectives of Nanoscience and Engineering Education; Kurt Winkelmann, Bharat Bhushan (Eds). 2016; Springer-Verlag: Switzerland.

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications (* invited contribution)

  1. Steve Cusick, Kurt Winkelmann Performance Comparison of Baseline 100LL Sample Fuel to Test Fuel NCP Final Report Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; Submitted.
  2. Steve Cusick, Kurt Winkelmann Performance Comparison of Baseline 100LL Sample Fuel to Test Fuel NEP Final Report Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; Submitted.
  3. Steve Cusick, Kurt Winkelmann Performance Comparison of Baseline 100LL Sample Fuel to Test Fuel NRP Final Report Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; Submitted.
  4. Steve Cusick, Kurt Winkelmann Performance Comparison of Baseline 100LL Sample Fuel to Test Fuel NWP Final Report Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; Submitted.
  5. * Kurt Winkelmann “Get the Word Out” Nature Nanotechnology 11, 2016, 396.
  6. * Wendy Keeney-Kennicutt, Kurt Winkelmann “What Can Students Learn from Virtual Labs?” Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, Fall 2013 CCCE Newsletter, paper 9, accessible at
  7. Kurt Winkelmann “Student Participation in Nanotechnology Education Research” CUR Quarterly, 2009, 30(2), 45.
  8. Kurt Winkelmann “Converting CFCs to Useful Products” in How Science Can Support Environmental Protection, Gordon Nelson, Imre Hronszky (eds) 2003, Arisztotelesz Publishing Co.: Budapest, pp. 147-157.

Peer Reviewed Conference Proceedings

  1. Kurt Winkelmann “Nanotechnology education resources: What we have and what we need” 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, Finland; August 31 – September 4, 2015.
  2. Kurt Winkelmann, Wendy Keeney-Kennicutt “Designing virtual chemistry laboratory experiments for effective learning and improved student attitudes” 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, Finland; August 31 – September 4, 2015.