A silhouette of an eagle flying over a red background.

Eric Watson, SJ, PhD

Associate Professor


Teaching and Research Interests

Dr. Watson’s research interest concerns the preparation, characterization and reactivity study of original triple-layer bimetallic complexes. Exhibiting beautiful symmetry and unusual bonding properties, bimetallic complexes also possess interesting electrochemical and optical characteristics. Electrochemical studies will seek to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomena of metal-metal interaction across bridging ligands and collaborative research involving hyper-Rayleigh scattering experiments will probe the suitability of this class of organometallic compounds as nonlinear optical materials.

In the preparation of organometallic complexes, students in the Watson research group learn a variety of organic and inorganic synthetic techniques and have the opportunity to discover some of the challenges and delights associated with synthesizing remarkable new compounds. In addition, the study of metal-metal interactions and of nonlinear optical properties affords student researchers valuable experience in spectroscopic, electrochemical and theoretical analysis.

Dr. Watson teaches General Chemistry, Fundamental and Advanced Inorganic Chemistry.


Dr. Watson obtained his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Oregon State University in 1996, investigating rhenium complexes under the direction of Prof. Kevin Gable. In 2000, he completed a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry from Brown University, working with Prof. Dwight Sweigart on hydro-desulfurization chemistry and organometallic synthesis. With Prof. Paul Pregosin at the ETH-Zurich, he studied the mechanism of allylic alkylation (2003) and with Prof. James Mayer at the University of Washington, he investigated the oxidation of methane and methanol (2004-2005).

Shortly after completing his Ph.D., Eric Watson joined the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). During a two-year novitiate, he tutored high school students on the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana and served in impoverished areas of Appalachia. From 2002-2004, he studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and in 2009, obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Regis College in Toronto. Dr. Watson was ordained on June 6, 2009 in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Watson began his academic career as an assistant professor of Chemistry at Seattle University in fall 2009.


Book Recommendations