The Shaw Group

My Ph.D. advisor often said that about his student’s practice presentations in front of his research group… there was some irony to the statement, but it was pretty much always true.

My undergraduate research experience was one of the most rewarding experiences I had ever had.  It inspired me to continue to graduate school and continue research in inorganic chemistry.  I have been lucky in having excellent opportunities as a student, with first-class mentors.

The Shaw Group is my way of repaying my mentors by providing quality research experiences for my undergraduate and M.S. students that are at least as good as the experiences I had. 

I usually have 4-6 students in the group at a time, since that is what my research space, and my schedule can handle.  The idea is to provide an environment where students obtain research results which lead to papers which lead to funding which provides opportunities for another generation of students to do research.  I hope that my students internalize the notion that the goal is to obtain one research result (i.e. a piece of data, or a step in a complex synthesis, or some other small advance) each day.  After a year, that adds up to a significant amount of data.

A fundamental tenet of the Shaw Group is that we work as a team… glassware and equipment is shared by all, and all members have responsibility for making sure that the lab can function smoothly and professionally.  Students work on related projects so that they can compare notes and not feel isolated.  My role is to monitor progress, and to make sure that the lab continues to function well… sometimes that means I have to do dishes, change a tank, or change pump oil… sometimes a welcome change from serving on committees!


“This is the friendliest audience you are ever going to get!”

Text Box: Dr. Michael J. Shaw

The ORCA input Library… useful for setting up ORCA calculations

Sample ORCA calculation trajectory file animated with Avogadro 2.


ORCA has a earlier version of Avogadro that is pretty compatible.






The Shaw Group


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Text Box: Distinguished Research Professor, SIUE