The PhD Molecule - CODAworx

The PhD Molecule


Client: Rutgers University

Location: Piscataway, NJ, United States

Completion date: 2017

Project Team


Larry Kirkland

Project Manager

John Grant

Public Art Services


Artist Larry Kirkland designed the PhD Molecule for the front courtyard of the Wright-Rieman Chemistry Building at the Rutgers University Busch campus in Piscataway, NJ. This 27’ tall stainless steel and black granite sculpture includes key elements that relate to the students who walk through the doors everyday. The stainless steel molecule that sits atop the black granite base represents the caffeine molecule.


A group of chemists were asked what elements were considered most significant to those first learning about chemistry. These chemical equations and elements were then integrated into the sculpture as engravings on the black granite base resembling a chalk board.