Professor Klumpp was raised in the Chicago suburb of Buffalo Grove. He graduated from Buffalo Grove High School.
Buffalo Grove High School
From there, he attended the University of Oklahoma for undergraduate studies in chemistry. While at Oklahoma, he had the privilege of conducting research with Professors Roland Lehr and Sherill Christian. During this time, he also developed lasting interests in Bible study, college football and weight lifting. He enrolled in two art classes – ceramics – as senior electives at Oklahoma. One of his ceramic pieces (entitled, “Carp”) was selected to be in the juried student art exhibit.
University of Oklahoma
His graduate studies were done at Iowa State University. He conducted his graduate research in the laboratory of Professor Walter Trahanovsky - where he studied gas-phase pyrolysis of organic molecules. While at Iowa State, he had the good fortune of taking course work from many eminent chemists, including Richard Larock (organic synthesis), George Kraus (organic synthesis), Glen Russell (physical organic chemistry), Patricia Thiel (physical chemistry), John Corbett (inorganic chemistry), Thomas Barton (silicon chemistry) and others. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1993. During his time at Iowa State, he began painting and wood-working as hobbies. A series of paintings (entitled “Theory of Relativity”) were selected to be in the juried student art exhibit at the university union gallery.
Iowa State University
Following graduate school, he was awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship with Professor George A. Olah at the University of Southern California. His research was related to superacid-catalyzed reactions. During this time, Professor Olah won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1994) for his work on carbocations and synthetic reactions. On the morning the award was announced, Professor Klumpp was sent out to purchase 30 bottles of champagne for the Olah research group. Professors Klumpp and Olah co-authored a book entitled, “Superelectrophiles and Their Chemistry” (Wiley & Sons, NY, 2008).
University of Southern California
While working on his post-doctoral studies, Professor Klumpp continued to paint in his spare time. Several of his works were accepted into juried exhibits around the Los Angeles area. He had several solo exhibits at coffee houses and other venues. During the final year of his post-doctoral studies, he taught an evening organic chemistry lecture at West Coast University and then at California State University, Fullerton.
Professor Klumpp began his independent academic career as Assistant Professor with a tenure track appointment at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. With the support of the Chemistry Department and College of Science, he began research in the area of superelectrophiles. This work was further supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health. With the hard work of many talented undergraduate research students, he published 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts prior to gaining tenure. He taught classes in organic chemistry, general chemistry, polymer chemistry and mechanistic organic chemistry.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
In 2003, Professor Klumpp moved to Northern Illinois University with an appointment at the Associate Professor level. His research continued to involve high reactive, electrophilic intermediates and synthetic methods development. He has since obtained research grants from the American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, as well as from private funding groups. Since joining NIU, he has raised over $1.4 million in external research grants. He and his NIU students have published over 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts and given over 40 presentations at scientific conferences. Professor Klumpp has authored or co-authored 10 book chapters, reviews and books. These papers from NIU have cited over 460 times in other scholar works from around the world.
Besides chemistry, Professor Klumpp enjoys reading about comparative religion, politics and history. He gives science presentations regularly in third-grades classes. Recently, he helped coach a little league baseball team.