Rico Del Sesto

Headshot of Rico Del Sesto

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 my research, please visit my Research page here.


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


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


  • 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


Rico Del Sesto

Associate Professor of Chemistry/Director of the DSU Research Office

Email: delsesto@dixie.edu

Phone: 435-879-7767

Office: SET 426