Chuck Wight
  • Volunteer Faculty, Sr Vp Academic Affairs - Oper


  • Bachelor of Science, BCHEM, University Of Virginia Main Ca
  • Doctor of Philosophy, DCHEM, California Institute Of Techno


Charles A. Wight has served as Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Utah since July 2009.  His primary academic appointment is in the Chemistry Department, where he has taught since 1984.


Wight’s research is focused on the chemistry of high explosives and rocket propellants.  His group carries out kinetic and mechanistic studies on small samples of energetic materials, and incorporates the results into computational models of combustion and detonation.  The models are implemented into high-performance computer simulation software developed by the Utah Center for Simulation of Accidental Fires and Explosions, where Chuck served as Deputy Director 2000-2010.


Each year, Chuck teaches an Honors General Chemistry course to a small group of highly motivated undergraduate students.  He is the founder of, an Open Education web site for teaching and learning General Chemistry.  His video lectures on YouTube and iTunesU are viewed more than 1000 times every day.

Research Summary

Wight's research interests include solid state reaction kinetics, reactions of explosives and propellants, and high-performance computer simulations of explosions.