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Phil Buhlmann

Phil Buhlmann obtained a PhD degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland, based on research in the field of chemical sensors. He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1993–1994) and a research associate (1994–2000) at the Department of Chemistry, School of Science, The University of Tokyo. Since 2000, he has been at the University of Minnesota (UMN), where is now full professor. His research interests focus on molecular recognition, fluorous materials, and nanoporous materials and their use in the development of electrochemical sensors with exceptionally high selectivities, low detection limits, and long-term stabilities suitable for continuous in-situ monitoring. Through his role as director of graduate studies in chemistry at the UMN since 2012, he has made stress and mental health a focal point for his department. His approach is not to lower the bar for the PhD degree. Instead, he strives to eliminate unnecessary sources of stress and create conditions in which students feel engaged, supported, and empowered. The key to this initiative lies in the collaboration of students, staff, faculty, and the university health services to address stress and mental health together. While only professionals can provide therapy, Buhlmann is one of three faculty members who serve as Mental Health Advocates for his department.