Our Dear Leader


Graduating from UCSB with his Ph.D. in Fall 2011 and finding the weather in Santa Barbara to be too ideal and pleasant, Dr. Fortier traded in the West Coast for the Midwest in order to work as a postdoctoral researcher under the joint supervision of Profs. Kenneth Caulton and Daniel Mindiola at Indiana University (IU). As an NSF American Competitiveness in Chemistry Postdoctoral Research Fellow (ACC-F), he investigated the synthesis, reactivity, and redox chemistry of iron and cobalt complexes supported by non-innocent, redox-active ‘nindigo’ and pyridylpyrrolide ligand frameworks. In addition to learning how to play nice with d-block elements, Dr. Fortier also experienced his first real winters.

Not one to shy away from the sun, Dr. Fortier returned to UTEP as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2013. At UTEP, Dr. Fortier brings his love and knowledge of synthetic inorganic chemistry with his research targeted at cool and synthetically challenging molecules. Combining his past experiences, Dr. Fortier’s research group is exploring the chemistry of the actinide, transition metal, and main group elements.

Fortier Laboratory

Makers of fine molecules since 2013

Dr. Skye Fortier is a native of the desert Southwest, born and raised in El Paso. As an undergraduate, Dr. Fortier (then known to his friends, family and mentors as Mr. Fortier) attended UTEP where he received an NIH MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) scholarship. As a MARC scholar, Dr. Fortier worked under the direction of Prof. Keith Pannell investigating the photochemically induced formation of carbon-silicon bonds utilizing ‘Fp’ precursors (Fp = CpFe(CO)2). Dr. Fortier also volunteered as a Peer Leader for General Chemistry and was the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the UTEP Chapter of the American Chemical Society-Student Affiliates. After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry from UTEP in 2005, Dr. Fortier ventured out to change the hearts and minds of El Paso students. Working at Irvin High School in northeast El Paso, Dr. Fortier taught freshmen IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry) and junior Chemistry courses.

Beckoned by the call of Inorganic Chemistry, Dr. Fortier entered the graduate program at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006. At UCSB, Dr. Fortier worked in Prof. Trevor Hayton’s laboratory investigating the organometallic chemistry of uranium – clearly one of the best and coolest elements known to date.  In particular, his studies in the Hayton laboratory focused on the synthesis of high-valent homoleptic molecules and uranium complexes featuring metal-ligand multiple bonds. While at UCSB, Dr. Fortier received a number of awards including the Robert H. DeWolfe Graduate Teaching Award and the 2008 Outstanding Chemistry Teaching Assistant Award.