Douglas A. Vander Griend

Douglas Vander Griend


  • B.A. - Calvin College, Chemistry, 1996
  • M.S. - Northwestern University, Inorganic Chemistry, 1997
  • Ph.D. - Northwestern University, Inorganic Chemistry, 2000


I thank God.
I obey Jesus.
I rely on the Holy Spirit.
I love my wife.
I prize my three children.
I relish stories.
I welcome alternative perspectives.
I delight in chemistry.
I collect analogies.
I feel numbers.
I tackle research.
I lead students.
I care about learning.


Though I do have a doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry, I prefer students just call me “DVG". I specialize in teaching first-year students and mentoring student researchers. In 2012 I was named one of the "Best 300 College Professors" by Princeton Review and later recognized as a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. A lifetime member of the Christian Reformed Church, I now also direct the Calvin Clean Water Institute (, which strives to unleash discerning students and faculty to improve the availability of clean water around the globe. An avid bridge player and occasional dumpster diver, I am also proud to be a 5-time champion of the Calvin Chemistry Chili Cookoff.

Professional experience

  • Director of the Clean Water Institute - Calvin University, 2020 - present
  • Professor of Chemistry - Calvin University, 2002-present
  • Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow - Furman University, 2000 - 2002

Academic interests

  • Synthetic nanotechnology
  • Inorganic thermochromic materials
  • Chemometric analysis of spectroscopic data

Research and scholarship

My lab specializes in nanomolecular building projects, aka molecular Tinker Toys. We place various molecules together in solution so that can assemble themselves into interesting nanostructures. We then use relatively easy spectroscopic measurements, along with advanced math and computer code, to model these complicated chemical systems. You can see for yourself at Through the regular financial support of the National Science Foundation, my research on thermochromic windows, solid state arrangements and nanomolecular building projects has led to 6 patents and over 40 publications with 36 undergraduate coauthors. I have scientific collaborators from Indiana to Italy. We like to present our work at national meetings of the American Chemical Society, and many of my students go on to earn prestigious awards like Goldwater Scholarships and NSF or Fulbright or Hertz Fellowships.


Undergraduate student names appear in bold

“Calculating Soft-sphere Ionic Radii for Solid-state Arrangements from Solution Measurements” Aardema, M. N.; Koeman, J. L.; Vander Griend, D. A. J. Chem. Ed., 2021.

 "An Electroactive Anion Receptor with High Affinity for Arsenate" Etkind, S.I.; Vander Griend, D.A.; Swager, T.M.; J. Org. Chem. 85, 10050-10061. 2020.

“Properly Handling Negative Values in the Calculation of Binding Constants by Physicochemical Modeling of Spectroscopic Titration Data” Kazmierczak, N.; Vander Griend, D. A. J. Chemometrics, 33, 3183-3196. 2019.

 “Sensitivity Limits for Determining 1:1 Binding Constants from Spectrophotometric Titrations via Global Analysis” Kazmierczak, N.; Chew, J. A.; Michmerhuizen, A. R.; Kim, S. E.; Drees, Z. D.; Rylaarsdam, A.; Thong, T.; Van Laar, L.; Vander Griend, D. A. J. Chemometrics 33, 1-13. 2019.

 “Radius Ratio Rule Rescue” Michmerhuizen, A.; Rose, K.; Annankra, W.; Vander Griend, D. A. J. Chem. Educ. 94, 1480-1485. 2017.

 “Fricke-Gel Dosimeter: Overview of Xylenol Orange Chemical Behavior” Liosi, G. M.; Dondi, D.; Vander Griend, D.; Lazzaroni, S.; D’Agostino, G.; Mariani, M. Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 140, 74–77. 2017.

 “Improving Student Results in the Crystal Violet Chemical Kinetics Experiment” Kazmierczak, N.; Vander Griend, D. A. J. Chem. Educ. 94, 61-66. 2017.

“A Chiroptical Molecular Sensor for Ferrocene” Agnes, M.; Nitti, A.; Vander Griend, D. A.; Dondi, D.; Merli, D.; Pasini, D. Chem. Commun. 52 (77), 11492–11495. 2016

“The Crystal Structure of a Valinomycin·2Ca2+ Complex and the Multi-Step Solution Equilibria in Acetonitrile Characterized by 1H NMR, UV-Vis, and Mass Spectrometry” Contractor, A. A.; Kazerouni, A. M.; Michmerhuizen, A. R.; Falkenberry, M. L.; Segovia, R.; Blair, N. M.; Kim, S.; Vander Griend, D. A.; Bacsa, J.; Khan, F. A.; Fujita, M., Supramolecular Chemistry29, 129-138. 2016. 

 “Functional Characterization of a Cadmium Resistance Operon in Staphylococcus Aureus ATCC12600: CadC Does Not Function as a Repressor” Hoogewerf, A. J.; Van Dyk, L. A.; Buit, T. S.; Roukema, D.; Resseguie, E.; Plaisier, C. L.; Le, N.; Heeringa, L. Vander Griend, D. A., J. Basic Microbiol.55, 148-59. 2015. 

 “Self-Assembly Snapshots of a 2×2 Copper(I) Grid” Manck, L. E.; Benson, C. R.; Share, A. I. Park, H.; Vander Griend, D. A.; and Flood, A. H., Supramolecular Chemistry, 26, 267-279. 2014. 

 "Reaction Extrema" Vandezande, J. E.; Vander Griend, D. A.; DeKock, R.L., J. Chem. Ed.90, 1177-1179. 2013. 

 "A Chiroptical Probe for Sensing Metal Ions in Water" Caricato, M.; Jordana Leza, N.: Roy, K.; Dondi, D.; Gattuso, G.; Shimizu, L. S.; Vander Griend, D. A.; Forni, A.; and Pasini, D. Eur. J. Org. Chem. 27, 6078-6083. 2013.

 "From Red to Blue Shift: Switching the Binding Affinity from the Acceptor to the Donor End by Increasing the π-Bridge in Push-Pull Chromophores with Coordinative Ends" Caricato, M.; Coluccini, C.; Vander Griend, D. A.; Forni, A.; and Pasini, D. New J. Chem. 37, 2792-2799. 2013. 

 “Modeling Methylene Blue Aggregation in Acidic Solution to the Limits of Factor Analysis” Golz, E. M.; Vander Griend, D. A., Anal. Chem85, 1240-1246. 2013. 

"Detailed Spectroscopic and Thermodynamic Characterization of Nickel(II) Complexes with Methyl/pyridine attained via Factor Analysis" Bediako, D. K.; Vander Griend, D. A., J. Undergraduate Chem. Res12(1), 11-15. 2013. 

 "Equilibrator: Modeling Chemical Equilibria with Excel" Vander Griend, D.A., J. Chem. Ed88, 1727-1729. pdf. 2011

 "Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Sensing of Lanthanides with Pi-Extended Chromophores Incorporating Ferrocenes and a Coordinative End." Coluccini, C.; Sharma, A.K.; Merli, D.; Vander Griend, D.A.; Mannucci, B.; Pasini, D., Dalton Trans. 40, 11719-11725. pdf. 2011

"Structures, Host–Guest Chemistry and Mechanism of Stepwise Self-Assembly of M4L6 Tetrahedral Cage Complexes" Benjamin R. Hall, Lauren E. Manck, Ian S. Tidmarsh, Andrew Stephenson, Brian F. Taylor, Emma J. Blaikie, Douglas A. Vander Griend and Michael D. Ward Dalton Trans40, 12132-12145. pdf. 2011. 

 "Bond Order and Chemical Properties of BF, CO, and N2." Martinie, R. J.; Bultema, J.J.; Vander Wal, M. N.; Burkhart, B.J.; Vander Griend, D.A.; DeKock, R.L., J. Chem. Ed. 88, 1094-1097. pdf. 2011. 

 "Nesting Complexation of C60 with Large, D2 symmetrical Molecules." Coluccini, C.; Dondi, D.; Vander Griend, D.A.; Pasini, D.; Caricato, M. Org. Biomol. Chem. 8, 3272-3280. pdf. 2010.

 "Dynamic Switching between Binding Sites in the Complexation of Macrocyclic 'Push-Pull' Chromophores to Lanthanides." Coluccini, C.; Pasini, D.; Righetti, P. Vander Griend, D.A., Tetrahedron 65, 10436-10440. pdf. 2009. 

 "Reduction of a Redox-Active Ligand Drives Switching in a Cu(I) psuedorotaxane by a Bimolecular Mechanism." McNitt, K.; Parimal, K.; Share, A.; Fahrenbach, A.; Witlicki, E.; Pink, M.; Bediako, D.; Plaisier, C.; Le, N.; Heeringa, L.; Vander Griend, D.A.; Flood, A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 1305-1313. pdf. 2009. 

 "Methyl-β-cyclodextrin Directly Binds Methylene Blue and Blocks both its Cell Staining and Glucose Uptake Stimulatory Effects," Scott, J.; Uitvlugt, J. M.; Tidball, A.; Lucia, M.; Vander Griend, D. A. ; Louters, L. L. Biochemie91, 271-276. pdf. 2009. 

 "Modeling Triazolophane-halide Binding Equilibria Using Sivvu Analysis of UV-Vis Titration Data Recorded Under Medium Binding Conditions," Flood, A. H. ; Li, Y.; Vander Griend, D. A. Supramolecular Chemistry21, 111-117, pdf. 2009. 

 "Detailed Spectroscopic, Thermodynamic and Kinetic Characterization of Nickel(II) Complexes with 2,2'-bipyridine and 1,10-phenanthroline attained via Equilibrium-Restricted Factor Analysis," Bediako, D.K.; DeVries, M.J.; DeJong, N.A.; Heeringa, L.P.; Vander Griend, D.A. Inorg. Chem. 47, 656-662. pdf. 2008

 "Equilibrium: A Teaching/Learning Activity," Vander Griend, D.A. J. Chem. Ed. 84, 1428. pdf. 2007. 

 Sivvu (Computer Program for Unrestricted and Equilibrium-Restricted Factor Analysis of Spectrophotometric Data), DeVries, M. J.; Vander Griend, D. A. 2006.

"Chemistry and Materials Science for All Engineering Disciplines: A Novel Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching Approach," VanAntwerp, J. J. VanAntwerp, J. G.; Vander Griend, D. A.; Wentzheimer, W. W. Am. Soc. Engr. Educ. 1171. 2004. 

"Vanadium and Molybdenum Disorder in M5VMoO8 (M = Mg, Mn, Zn) Determined with Neutron Powder Diffraction and Phase Formation Studies of Mg2.5+xV1+2xMo1‑2xO8," Wang, X.; Pless, J. D.; Vander Griend, D. A.; Stair, P. C.; Poeppelmeier, K. R.; Hu, Z.; Jorgensen, J. D. J. Alloys Compd., 379, 87-94. 2004. 


1) Ligand exchange thermochromic systems and high ε ligands , US 8,431,045, 2013.

2) Ligand exchange thermochromic systems and high ε ligands , US 8,182,718, 2012.

3) Ligand exchange thermochromic, (LETC), systems, US 8,018,639, 2011.

4) Ligand exchange thermochromic (LETC) systems, US 7,542,196, 2009.

5) LETC systems containing exchange metals, US 7,538,931, 2009.

6) Multi-Layer ligand exchange thermochromic systems. US 7,525,717, 2009.


  • Calvin UniversityStudent Faculty Research Award - 2019
  • Carl Henry Regional Discussion Fellow - 2016 - present
  • Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar - 2014
  • Princeton Review- National List of the "Best 300 Professors" - 2012
  • Calvin University- Chili Cook-Off Champion - 2005, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2018

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