The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Professor finds stride in retirement

Dye advises students to "find something you have fun doing"

When it came time for him to retire as a professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing, James Dye made a deal with his boss.

He said he would stay on, work with students and conduct research for no salary. In return, his one request was to have a laboratory. That was 17 years ago. And in that time, Dye now not only has remained active, he has flourished.

James Dye follows his advice to students
James Dye follows his advice to students at Michigan State University in East Lansing: "You can be involved as you want to be."

In 2004, working with Michael Lefenfeld, he founded SiGNa Chemistry, which, according to its website, has commercialized "chemistry materials based on the company's core technology for transforming reactive alkali metals and their derivatives — which have historically been dangerous to use and store — into safe, free-flowing powders."

In other words, Dye, who spent 50 years researching for research's sake, started using his skills for practical purposes. And one of his biggest breakthroughs is a method for stabilizing alkali metal-silicide powders, which can be used for hydrogen cartridges that provide energy to fuel cells designed to recharge cellphones, laptops and GPS units.

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February issue


Embracing diversity