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Rico Del Sesto

Rico Del Sesto


Rico Del Sesto

Deptartment ChairAssociate Professor

Office: SNOW 222
Phone: 435-879-7767


Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry
University of Utah, 2002
B.A. in Chemistry
Colby College, Waterville, ME 1997

Courses taught:

CHEM 1215 Principles of Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 2310 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 2315 Organic Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 2320 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 2325 Organic Chemistry II Lab
CHEM 4310 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHEM 4510 Materials Chemistry
CHEM 4800R Independent Research
SCI 4800R Independent Research
BIOL 4920 Biology Senior Seminar


I grew up back east and went to undergraduate school at a small college (Colby College) in central Maine. I moved out west to get my PhD from the University of Utah in the area of hybrid organic-inorganic magnetic materials, trying to isolate and identify unusually unstable organic compounds. After five years in Utah, I decided that I wanted to stay out west. I received a National Academies of Science (National Research Council) Postdoctoral Fellowship, and got to play around with some of the strangest organic materials (ionic liquids) for energy and materials applications at the US Air Force Academy. From there, I was offered a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where my broad experience in Chemistry allowed me to get involved in large projects and large teams that attempted to solve some of the biggest challenges we face today in energy and national security. I have always wanted to teach and work with undergraduate students, and Dixie State is a great place for this. It's also a great location for my hobbies of exploring, hiking and biking outdoors, and photography.

For more information about research, please visit my Research Page here.


2012 – present

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Science/Chemistry
Dixie State University, St George, UT

2006 – 2012

Research Scientist, Materials Chemistry group
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
Principal Investigator for DOE, DOD, DHS programs
Over 15 successfully managed programs as PI, ~$8MM

2009 – 2011

Visiting Professor, Department of Natural Sciences
University of New Mexico, Los Alamos campus, NM

2004 – 2006

Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural and Inorganic Chemistry
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

2002 - 2004

National Academies of Science/National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship
Air Force Research Laboratory, US Air Force Academy,

1999 - 2001

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Natural Science and Mathematics
Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT