John-David Rocha Headshot

John-David Rocha

Assistant Professor
School of Chemistry and Materials Science
College of Science

585-475-5150
Office Location
8-3278

John-David Rocha

Assistant Professor
School of Chemistry and Materials Science
College of Science

Education

BS, MS, University of North Texas; Ph.D., Rice University

Bio

     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.

Currently Teaching

MTSE-705
3 Credits
The course will introduce the students to laboratory equipment for hardness testing, impact testing, tensile testing, X-ray diffraction, SEM, and thermal treatment of metallic materials. Experiments illustrating the characterization of high molecular weight organic polymers will be performed.
CHEM-495
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
CHEM-790
1 - 6 Credits
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
CHMP-753
3 Credits
This course will introduce students to an in-depth investigation into the computational theories and applications used to model complex physical and chemical phenomena. Computational methods are used to provide synergy linking experiment with theory involving such chemical processes as reaction mechanisms, docking, energy transfer and conformational conversions. Predicting spectral and thermodynamic properties of molecular systems and ensembles will also be treated.
CHEM-493
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research in chemistry that could be considered of an original nature.
CHEM-155
2 Credits
This course presents an introduction to working in a modern chemistry laboratory. Students will perform exercises that will aid in the understanding of general laboratory practices, atomic and molecular structure, and Lewis acid base theory. Students will also become familiar with keeping a scientific laboratory notebook and writing scientific abstracts. Students will also utilize modern chemical instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts.
CHMG-146
1 Credits
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Rocha, John-David R., et al. "Emerging Investigators Series: Highly Effective Adsorption of Organic Aromatic Molecules Fromaqueous Environments by Electronically Sorted Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes." Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology 3. 2 (2016): 203--212. Print.
Rocha, John-David R., et al. "Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Separations Using Simple Metal Ionic Salt Additives in Gel-Based Chromatography." ECS Journal of Solid State Science & Technology. (2016): 1-7. Web.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Rocha, John-David R., et al. "Spectrofluorimetric Kinetic Studies of High Purity Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Solutions Separated by Centrifugation and Gel Chromatography." 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition. American Chemical Society. Indianapolis, IN. 8 Sep. 2013. Conference Presentation.
Breindel, Leonard M., et al. "Development of Instrumentation for the Fast Kinetic Analysis of Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Chemical Reactions." 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition. American Chemical Society. Indianapolis, IN. 11 Sep. 2013. Conference Presentation.
Rocha, John-David R., et al. "Understanding Separation and Functionalization Processes of High Purity Semiconducting SWCNTs via Spectrofluorimetric Kinetic Analysis." NanoTechnology for Defense Conference (NT4D) 2013. Blue52 Productions - USASymposium. Tucson, AZ. 7 Nov. 2013. Conference Presentation.
Rocha, John-David R., et al. "Fast and Efficient Spectrofluorimetric Kinetic Studies of Semiconducting SWCNT Solutions Separated by Centrifugation and Gel Chromatography." 2013 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting & Exhibit. Materials Research Society. Boston, MA. 5 Dec. 2013. Conference Presentation.
Ashour, Rakan F., et al. "Fast and Efficient Spectrofluorimetric Analysis of High Purity SWCNT Thin Films Prepared by Centrifugation and Gel Chromatography." 2013 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting. Materials Research Society. Boston, MA. 5 Dec. 2013. Conference Presentation.