His research focuses on the synthesis of new materials made from nanoparticles for use in electronics, chemical and biological sensing systems, biomedicine and renewable energy applications. His lab aims to harness and fine tune the properties of nanoparticles, which are thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair, using techniques that enhance their functionality while reducing waste during production and ensuring their safety in the environment and human health.
Hutchison was a pioneer in green chemistry and green nanoscience. With UO colleagues, he produced the nation’s first curriculum on green chemistry for use in undergraduate organic chemistry laboratories and the first textbook for green organic chemistry. He has championed experiential graduate education in the UO’s Graduate Internship Program.
Hutchison founded the first center for green nanoscience, the Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, a state signature research organization. He has co-authored several reports of the National Academy of Sciences on nanotechnology and green chemistry, has published more than 130 scientific papers and won numerous national awards.