BS, MS, University of North Texas; Ph.D., Rice University
John-David R. Rocha is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His research focus is in the area of nanotechnology as a physical / analytical / materials chemist, more specifically, in the use of nanomaterials in energy, electronics, and environmental science. He utilizes his expertise in the areas of carbon nanomaterials characterization to expand areas of fundamental understanding in carbon nanotubes and graphenes, keenly working to tie the acquired knowledge to the application needs of the chemical and engineering industries. In 2017, Rocha was highlighted as an Emerging Investigator by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environmental Science journals, and his work was discussed during an interview with BBC World News. As a fellowship alum of the TRIO-R. E. McNair, Sloan Foundation, NSF-AGEP, and SREB scholars programs, Dr. Rocha was invited to give an opening keynote address to the SREB-Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute on Teaching & Mentoring in 2017 and the NY/NJ Annual McNair Scholars Conference in 2018, where he highlighted his journey to The Academy as a Mexican-American (Tejano/Chicano) first-generation student in the sciences.
Dr. Rocha received his BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from the University of North Texas in 1995 and 2002, respectively. Prior to returning to full-time chemical research in 2003, Rocha taught secondary Mathematics and Chemistry in the large urban school district of Dallas, TX, his hometown. Following his PhD in 2008 from Rice University, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Prior to arriving at RIT, Dr. Rocha was a Research Scientist at SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. where, among other responsibilities, he led a $1+M joint collaboration between SWeNT and a major electronics corporation to develop semiconducting SWCNT inks for thin film transistor applications. His doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on optical spectroscopic characterization of carbon-based nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes and metal organic frameworks. Rocha’s chemical research experience also includes work in gas-phase chemical kinetics of atmospheric and combustion chemistry as well as computational chemistry studies of organometallics. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, AAAS, and the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and also participates regularly in activities with the Materials Research Society and The Electrochemical Society.