John Miecznikowski was born and grew up in Bristol, CT. He graduated from Bristol Central High School in 1996 where he was named class valedictorian. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry with Honors from Trinity College, in Hartford, CT. As an undergraduate student, he worked on developing and characterizing thin films of nanoporous silica with Prof. Christine Broadbridge and solving crystal structures of iridium hydrides with Prof. Ralph O. Moyer, Jr.
In September 2000, he began is doctoral studies in Inorganic Chemistry at Yale University, in New Haven, CT. John’s research with Prof. Robert Crabtree focused on developing several new aspects of transition-metal N-heterocyclic carbene chemistry. John synthesized a variety of novel chelated iridium(III) bis-carbenes, which are air-stable complexes for the transfer hydrogenation of ketones, aldehydes, enolizable aldehydes and imines. Also, he found that chelating bis-imidazolium salts having (CH2)n chains of different lengths (n = 1, 2, 3, 4) linking the azole rings show very large reactivity differences on metallation with [Rh(cod)Cl]2. In addition, John synthesized a variety of palladium(II) chelating pincer compounds, and he found that different mechanisms may be involved in the fast conformer interconversion of closely related palladium(II) pincer complexes. Furthermore, John also studied ion-pairing effects, and found that counter-ion effects switch ligand binding from normal (C-2) to abnormal (C-5) in kinetic carbenes formed from an imidazolium salt and IrH5(PPh3)2. John was awarded his M.S. degree in Inorganic Chemistry in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry in 2004.
John started as a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow (PFF) at Boston University after receiving his Ph.D. There, he was involved in team teaching General Chemistry I (CH101), and Inorganic Chemistry (CH232), and he did postdoctoral research under the direction of Prof. John Caradonna. His research focused on synthesizing and characterizing Fe(II) and Fe(III) model complexes for the 2-His 1-Carboxylate Motif of mononuclear nonheme iron enzymes.
In January 2007, John formally accepted a position of Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Fairfield University and started his independent career there in September 2007. He was selected as the Undergraduate Teacher of the Year at Fairfield University by Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honor Society) in 2011. He was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure in 2013. In 2014, Prof. Miecznikowski was awarded the George E. Lang, Jr. Award at the Connecticut State Conference of the American Association of University Professors for outstanding faculty service at Fairfield University. He has served on the 2015 and 2017 full year American Chemical Society full-year General Chemistry committee. He is currently serving on the 2020 Inorganic Chemistry American Chemical Society Exam Committee. In 2017, he was elected Secretary of the College of Arts and Sciences and was named Marshal-in-Chief for the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Exercises at Fairfield University. In 2020, he was named a Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Resource Fellow where he will participate in an innovative study to develop, test, and refine a flexible foundation-level inorganic chemistry course. He teaches three courses a semester and his research program centers on synthetic inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry. He was promoted to full Professor in 2020.