Dr. Thomas was born and raised in the South Bay and Sacramento areas of Northern California. After spending 7 years in construction as a carpenter, he began his college career at Sacramento City College where he experienced the impact that teachers can have on a student. After graduating from UCDavis with a B.S. in chemistry, he continued his studies at GeorgiaTech where he received his Ph.D. in 2006 in inorganic and green chemistry. Dr. Thomas joined the faculty at Carroll College in the fall of 2008.
Dr. Thomas lives with his wife Denise, his daughters Molly and Rachel, and his two dogs Bella and Suzy. When not at Carroll, he golfs (poorly), drinks and brews craft beers, hikes, and generally enjoys the awesome beauty of Montana living.
While developing his courses and campus connections, he has begun investigating the catalytic properties of abundant transition metals (e.g. Cu, Ni) to affect chemical transformations better associated with the increasingly rare and expensive metals of the platinum group. Of current interest is the cyclotrimerization of nitriles to afford symmetrically substituted 1,3,5-triazines employing Cu(II) complexes.
Hurtle, Bryan; Eichhorn, David M.; Thomas, Colin A. "Copper catalyzed nitrile cyclotrimerization: Toward a green method for the preparation of s-triazines." Montana Section ACS, Fall Social. Oct. 23rd, 2010.
Thomas, C. A.; Gill, Z.; Eichhorn, D. M., Investigation of copper catalyzed nitrile trimerization: Toward a method for the preparation of s-triazines.Abstracts of Papers, 239th ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, United States, March 21-25, 2010 2010, INOR-997.
Gill, Zach; Eichhorn, David M.; Thomas, Colin A. "Investigation of the scope and reaction properties of metal promoted reactions with nitriles in the formation of triazine containing species" Montana Section ACS, Fall Social. Oct. 17th, 2009.
Summer Research positions are available in Dr. Thomas's research program. Fill out the applications here!