Chemistry Department

​​Welcome to the DMACC Chemistry Department website. Take chemistry classes or earn an Associate in Science Degree that transfers to many four-year schools.

For information about chemical safety for specific labs, click the following link - chemical safety information.

Chemistry Instructors

Ankeny Campus​

Richard Roberts, Science District Chair
Phone: 515-964-6292

Vincent Asiago

Michelle Barger

Brian Becicka

Sean Curtis

William Gamble

Chandana Karunatilaka

Boone Campus

Heather Riley

Scott Rothfus

Carroll Campus

Nadine Jessen
Phone: 712-792-8504

Newton Campus

Kanishka Epa

Ronald Zarn

Urban Campus

Rachel Duncan

Harold Goldston

Jeffery Mottishaw

David Vanderlinden
Phone: 515-248-7224

Terry Webster

Chandana Karunatilaka

Chandana Karunatilaka

Associate Professor
Ankeny Campus
Building 4, Room 18

Chandana joined DMACC in 2011 summer and since then has been teaching all levels of chemistry classes at the Ankeny campus as a regular and an honors faculty member.  In addition to his teaching duties, he is also serving as the REU coordinator and the STEM club advisor at the Ankeny DMACC campus and a team member of the DMACC - IINSPIRE LSAMP (The Iowa Illinois Nebraska STEM Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) team.  He also serves as the faculty leader of the chemistry blackboard community at DMACC. 
Chandana got his first degree, (B.Sc. Honors Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics) in 1998 from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.  Soon after completing his B.Sc., he joined the Open University of Sri Lanka as a Chemistry Instructor and worked there for a little over two years before joining the Department of Chemistry, The University of Arizona to read for his Ph.D. in the year 2000.  Immediately after finishing his Ph.D., Chandana joined the Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, Indiana as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant and worked for one year before moving to the University of Iowa as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the year 2008.  While doing his research in the fields of Microwave / Laser Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy over the years, he has taught several undergraduate chemistry classes at these institutions. 

Chandana primarily teaches the Introductions to Chemistry (CHM122) and General Chemistry I & II (CHM165 & 175) face-to-face and web-blended classes at the Ankeny Campus. 

Ph.D. - Physical Chemistry -  The University of Arizona (2007)
B.Sc. (Honors) -  Chemistry & Pure Mathematics - The University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (1998)

Professional Appointments:
Associate Professor (Chemistry) – DMACC (2012 – Present)
Adjunct Instructor (Chemistry) – DMACC (2011 - 2012)
Post-doctoral Research Associate – The University of Iowa (2008-2011)
Post-doctoral Research Assistant – Purdue University (2007-2008

Selected Publications:

1. Chandana Karunatilaka, Dejan K. Bučar, Lindsay. R. Ditzler, Tomislov Friščić, Dale C. Swenson, Leonard. R.
    MacGillivray and Alexei. V. Tivanski,Softening and Hardening of Macro- and Nano-Sized Organic Cocrystals in a
    single-crystal transformation", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2011), 50, 1 – 6.

2.  Chandana Karunatilaka, Amanda J. Shirar, Giana L. Storck, Erin B. Biddle, Rickie Crawley Jr., Kelly M. Hotopp,
     Brian C. Dian, “Novel Application of a Shape-Sensitive Detector; Combustion Pathways of 2,3-Dihydrofuran Using
     An Electric Discharge Source", The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, (2010), 1, 1547–1551. 

3.  Chandana Karunatilaka, Brandon S. Tackett, John Washington, Stephen G. Kukolich,   “Structure of
     Tetracarbonylethyleneosmium: Ethylene Structure Changes upon Complex Formation"    Journal of the American
     Chemical Society (2007), 129(34), 10522-10530.

4.  Chandana Karunatilaka, Ranga Subramanian, Davian  Pedroza, Deanne J. Idar, Stephen G.   Kukolich, “High-
     Resolution Infrared Spectrum of the n1 Band of h5-C5H5NiNO"   Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2007), 111(28),

5.  Brandon S. Tackett, Chandana Karunatilaka,  Adam M. Daly, Stephen G. Kukolich, “Microwave Spectroscopy
     measurements of Bis(cyclopentadienyl)tungstendihydride, (C5H5)2WH2" Organometallics, (2007), 26, 2070-2076.