Todd Allen, Ph. D.

Director of Chemistry
Todd AllenAssociate Professor of Chemistry

Office: SH 304
Phone: (434) 592-6959
Email: tmallen1@liberty.edu

Education

  • B.S., Chemistry, Gordon College
  • Ph. D., Analytical Chemistry, University of California at Davis

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 107l - Essentials of General & Organic Chemistry Lab
  • CHEM 121/122 - General Chemistry I/II
  • CHEM 321 - Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 322 - Instrumental Analysis
  • CHEM 495 - Independent Research
  • BIOL 495 - Independent Research

Biography

Dr. Allen was born and reared in Oakland, Maine, has four younger sisters, and has lived in Nevada, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Northern California, New Mexico, Southern California, and Hawaii. He has been to all 50 U.S. states, and has traveled internationally to Mexico, Canada, England, Singapore, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. Prior to joining the Liberty faculty in 2013, he worked in private industry for 15 years on a variety of projects including the development of sensors for chemical warfare agents, integration of sensor networks for homeland security threat detection, and most recently, the conversion of algae to biofuels for the Department of Defense. He also developed covert and overt chemical markers and taggants for deterring fraud, counterfeiting, and product diversion and taught analytical chemistry at the University of New Mexico. Although his work in industry and academia was very interesting and exciting, his growing desire was to use his expertise in chemistry combined with his faith in a way that would impact God's kingdom, and to work in an environment, like Liberty, where he had the freedom to integrate God's Word into everyday learning. Other interests include praying for and supporting missionaries and studying end-times prophecy. Dr. Allen and his wife have three children who are homeschooled. Dr. Allen enjoys playing basketball and beach volleyball.

Research

Algae can be grown to have a high protein and/or lipid content, which can be used for animal feed, biofuel, or both. Dr. Allen's group uses GC/MS/FID (Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometric Detection and Flame Ionization Detection) for quantifying the total lipid content in samples obtained from algae biofuels companies. Several companies are researching cost-effective ways to optimize algae growth and harvesting techniques in an effort to convert the lipid fraction of the algae biomass into various types of fuels. The ability to accurately determine the total lipid content of algae is essential to evaluating its fuel potential. The GC/MS/FID results, reported back to the algae company, can be used for improving the production and harvesting techniques.

This work provides students with hands-on, real-world, interdisciplinary training in both chemistry and biology, and provides them with valuable, transferrable skills and knowledge that prepares them for employment, graduate research, or medical school. For example, (1) students will apply fundamental principles of nutrient limitation, stoichiometry, kinetics, and equilibrium learned in their chemistry and biology courses to the preparation and analysis of samples. (2) Students will acquire valuable chemistry and biology research experience through literature searches, in sample/standard preparation techniques, in the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation, as well as in data analysis, interpretation, and reporting. (3) Students will learn how to effectively summarize and communicate scientific information.

Professional Membership

American Chemical Society (www.acs.org)
Virginia Academy of Science (www.vacadsci.org)

Publications

1. Ketol, R; Kotiaho, T; Cisper, ME; and Allen, TM, "Environmental Applications of Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry", J. Mass Spectrom. 2002 V37 N5:457-476.

2. Allen, TM; Cisper, ME; Hemberger, PH; and Wilkerson, CW., Simultaneous Real-time Detection of VOCs, SVOCs, and Organometallic Compounds in Both Air and Water Matrices using Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry. Invited publication honoring R.G. Cooks, Int'l. J. Mass Spectrom., 201, V212, N1-3:197-204. 

3. Allen, TM; Falconer, TM; Cisper, ME; and Wilkerson, CW. Real-time Analysis of Methanol in Air and Water by Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Chem. 2001 V73, N20:4830-4835. 

4. Johnson, RC; Cooks, RG; Allen, TM; Cisper, ME; and Hemberger, PH. Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry: Trends and Applications. Mass Spec. Rev., 2000, V19, N1:1-37.

5. Allen, TM; Cisper, ME; Wilkerson, CW; and Hemberger PH. Real-Time Broad Spectrum Characterization of Waste by Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry: PreliminaryResults. Waste Management Conference Proceedings, Abstract #820, Tucson, Arizona, FEB 28-MAR 4, 1999.

6. Bezabeh, DZ; Allen, TM; McCauley, EM; Kelly, PB; and Jones, AD. Negative Ion Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry of Nitrated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spec., 1997 JUN, V8N6:630-636.

7. Allen, TM; Bezabeh, DZ; Smith, CH; McCauley, EM; Kennedy, IM; Chang, DPY; Jones, AD, and Kelly, PB. Speciation of Arsenic Oxides Using Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass.

8 Gill, CG; Allen, TM; Anderson, JE; Taylor, TN; Kelly, PB; and Nogar, NS. Low-Powder Resonant Laser Ablation of Cooper. Appl. Opt., 1996 APR 20, V35 N12:2069-2082. 

9. Allen, TM; Anderson, JE; Taylor, TN; Kelly, PB; and Nogar, NS. Depth Profiling of Copper Thin Films by Resonant Laser Ablation. Appl. Phys. A., 1995, V61, N2:221-225.

Patent

1. Spall, WD; Allen, TM; Goeller, R; and Kottenstette, P., Combination Marker for Liquids and Identification Methods Thereof. Patent Number US2005019939, Publication Date JAN 27, 2005.

Presentations

1. McClure, GA; Allen, SM; Ponseti, RJ; Sisco, BD; Carney, BW; Lonjin, T; and Allen, TM. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry of Algae: The Fuel of Our Future.  Poster presentation at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, MAY 22, 2015.

2. McClure, GA; Allen, SM; Ponseti, RJ; Sisco, BD; Carney, BW; Lonjin, T; and Allen, TM. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry of Algae: The Fuel of Our Future.  Poster presentation (Best Poster Award) at the 4th Annual LU Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lynchburg, VA, APR 11, 2015.

3. McClure, GA; Allen, SM; Ponseti, RJ; Sisco, BD; Carney, BW; Lonjin, T; and Allen, TM. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry of Algae: The Fuel of Our Future.  Poster presentation (Best Poster Award) at the 671st Virginia Blue Ridge Section Meeting of the American Chemical Society, APR 8, 2015.

4. Allen, TM. Algae to Biofuel: “Oil Systems Go”. Invited oral presentation at the 666th Virginia Blue Ridge Section Meeting of the American Chemical Society, OCT 23, 2014.

5. Allen, TM; Gogg, TJ; and Rucker, JM. Improving Accuracy of CB Sensor Networks by Analyzing Spectral Data. Chemical and Biological Defense Conference, New Orleans, LA, NOV 17-21, 2008.

6. Allen, TM; Ha, JS; Crowley, TA; and Haupt, SG. Multiple Sensor Technologies and Data Fusion for False Alarm Reduction. Invited Oral presentation at the 4th SISPAT, Singapore, DEC 7, 2004.

7. Allen, TM. Natural Chem Bio Tags. Invited Oral presentation at the National Academy of Sciences study on Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community, Washington DC, OCt 27, 2003.