Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Recognizing the Brazilian Chemistry Community

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Brazilian Connections

While many people can properly guess that  the Royal Society of Chemistry originated in the UK, they may not be aware of just how far we’ve come, literally, since our British beginnings in 1841. Over 175 years later, we have offices around the world, including one in beautiful São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil and in the Southern Hemisphere. The city has one of the most vibrant and thriving economies in Latin America, but even though the country has seen growth in the science and engineering research sector over the last decade, times are hard right now for academics in Brazil. In the spirit of internationalization, our office in Brazil has been working hard to promote the science that is being accomplished here to our colleagues around the world. 

It certainly helps that we’re located next to the Science and Innovation Network in Brazil, one of the British government’s strategic partnerships in 30 countries/territories, that aim to mutually benefit both the UK and host-country. Through the RSC’s physical presence in this partner nation, we can forge strong UK-Brazil interactions that support research and innovation for the whole world. We have been working with other partners to create networking opportunities that put researchers in the global spotlight, and lubricate the group gears in the search for solutions to global problems. It is a win-win situation. You interact more, you expose yourself, you embrace big problems and that helps push to solve local (and often critically necessary) ones.

One of our long-term Brazilian partners is Sociedade Brasileira de Química (SBQ), the Brazilian Chemical Society; as a not-for-profit organization like the RSC and as a scholarly and professional society, SBQ supports the chemical sciences in Brazil and even publishes its own Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, which it makes freely available to read to advance science literacy. The RSC’s support of SBQ has been historical and since 2007 we have been taking part in the SBQ annual meeting.

The Brazilian Chemistry Certificate of Distinction

For 2019, the IYPT, apart from the splashing success of our IYPT lanyards, we decided to take a step forward and award the researchers who have been publishing with us in the last 2 years. As a publisher, we measure engagement by publication numbers. More importantly, we want to recognize engagement, and we hope this boosts publications further and leads to further engagement. As examples, we took part of some Newton Fund Brazil activities and also the Brazil-UK Year of Science and Innovation. We worked together with our recent partner, CNPq, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) – the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – which is a part of the Ministry of Science and Technology under the Brazilian federal government. Joining forces with CNPq, we put the new prize together: the Brazilian Chemistry Certificate of Distinction. The idea was to recognize researchers with outstanding publication records and give back the opportunity for networking, to help make the awardees gain further recognition and encourage the new ones in the game to look for opportunities.

During the 42th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Chemical Society in Joiville last May, we presented the prize winners. During the honor ceremony we presented the two awardees. Firstly, representing Women in Chemistry, Prof Dirce Pozebon from UFGRS, was awarded. Prof Pozebon publshed 6 Articles in 2017-2018 which collectively received 39 citations. Prof Eufrânio N. Silva Jr from UFMG, was awarded after publishing 8 Articles in 2017-2018, which received 42 citations. He was not able to attend, but Prof Luis Claudio Barbosa from UFMG (one of our FRSC) represented him during the ceremony.

Prof Dirce Pozebon (3rd from the left) from UFRGS receiving her prize certificate from the hands of Prof Alsion Hulme (representing RSC), Prof Vanderlan Bolzani (representing the CNPq president João Luiz Filgueiras de Azevedo) and Prof Norberto Pereira Lopes (representing SBQ).

Prof Luiz Claudio Barbosa from UFMG receiving Prof Eufrânio´s prize certificate from the hands of Prof Alison Hulme (representing RSC), Prof Norberto Pereira Lopes (representing SBQ) and Prof Vanderlan Bolzani (representing the CNPq president João Luiz Filgueiras de Azevedo).

 

 

The selection guidelines for the Brazilian Chemistry Certificate of Distinction can be found here. This prize it will contribute to winners in their dual roles as the researcher and the professor, with the opportunity to travel abroad to attend an international conference and/or spend some short period interacting with fellow colleagues. The prize includes money towards accommodation and travel from both CNPq and RSC. The Certificate of Distinction shows our commitment to recognizing our interactions with our communities in Brazil. It gives concrete ideas for the future stakeholders who embrace internationalization and networking tools, in giving back to the academic society the knowledge that science, in the end, brings to our lives. A nation with no investment into the scientific community does not flourish, as no progress can be made in the right direction.The scientific production in Brazil needs to be recognized, and the quality of the work done here can make an impact – if only, with all the differences we face and discuss, it is put to the task to solve technological problems. 

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Highlighting the 6th Annual Alberta Nano Research Symposium

NaNoTeCH: Elements of the Periodic Table in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

The Alberta Nano Research Symposium is co-hosted by the University of Alberta Nanotechnology Group and the University of Calgary nanoGroup, and this year it was held at the Shaw Convention Center in Edmonton, Alberta. The interdisciplinary nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology brings together researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds, which makes the Alberta Nano symposium attractive to individuals with backgrounds in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, and Computer Science who were encouraged to share knowledge, develop collaborations, and celebrate their accomplishments with fellow experts in the nanotechnology field. The theme of this year’s symposium, NaNoTeCH: Celebrating the Periodic Table, was chosen to coincide the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT), and continued to highlight the diverse and collaborative nature of the field.

Alberta Nano Poster Prize Winners

Taylor Lynk, winner of the Chemical Science poster prize at the 2019 Alberta Nano Research Symposium

To recognize some of the outstanding research presented at the Alberta Nano symposium, the Royal Society of Chemistry sponsored two poster prizes to be awarded to the young researchers that presented their fascinating research and most impressed the judges. The winner of the Chemical Science poster prize was Taylor Lynk, an MSc Candidate in the McDermott Group at the University of Alberta, where she is focusing on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for the detection and quantification of natural plant products. Her poster showcased the application of this technique to cannabinoid and terpene detection as a method to provide chemical fingerprints for target molecules. Her poster, cleverly titled ‘The Hunger Games: In-Process Quality Control of Cannabis-Based Consumables,’ surely caught the attention of many attendees, as the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada and upcoming legislation processes has presented a clear unmet need for more advanced analytical tools for this rapidly-growing market. Before coming to Alberta, Taylor worked in the research lab of Prof Christa Brosseau at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prof Brosseau’s lab focuses on sustainable chemistry and materials, and Taylor co-authored one of the group’s papers that was published in Analytical Methods earlier this year. You can follow Taylor on Twitter @taylorlynk and you can follow Mark McDermott on Twitter @MarkTMcDermott for more updates from the group. 

Nidhika Bhoria, winner of the Nanoscale Horizons poster prize at the 2019 Alberta Nano Research Symposium.

The winner of the Nanoscale Horizons prize was awarded to Nidhika Bhoria, an MSc student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Calgary, where she works with Prof Md Golam Kibria. Prof Kibria’s research group focuses on electrocatalysis and photocatalysis for the sustainable synthesis of hydrogen and ammonia, as well as carbon fuels or feedstocks, including CO2 conversion to high-value chemicals, which is the focus Nidhika’s work. She presented her poster on ‘Nanostructured MOF Catalysts for Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon dioxide.’ Her poster illustrated the selectivity for 2-carbon and higher products of carbon dioxide reduction, which could provide a basis high-throughput industrial-scale conversion. We look forward to seeing more of the research that both Taylor and Nidhika will be working on over the coming year and wish them the best in all of their endeavors. We will be happy to see the Alberta Nano Research Symposium return again next year and are excited to see how this unique and high-quality meeting continues to grow.  

Highlighting Elements in Nano and Materials Research

The Royal Society of Chemistry has also been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Mendeleev periodic table, and with the addition of elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 to the 7th row of the periodic table in 2016 we were able to complete our beautiful ‘Visual Elements’ interactive periodic table; among our many IYPT-themed activities in the community, we have fun and informative educational resources, new funding and grant opportunities, and special collections we have been putting together from within and across our journals. Just as the Alberta Nano symposium encourages collaboration and diversity, we too have promoted further collaborative efforts across our journals. Many of our various IYPT-themed collections, like the Elements for Next Generation Batteries collection, feature international collaborations and cover rich and diverse aspects of the elements from multiple journals. This particular collection highlights the elements lithium, sodium, zinc, among other elements contained in new battery materials. Thanks to the teamwork and guest editing by Zhiqun Lin, Journal of Materials Chemistry A Associate Editor, from Georgia Institute of Technology, and Xiaodong Chen, Nanoscale Associate Editor from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, it features papers from across the Materials and Nano journal portfolios, including Materials Horizons, Nanoscale Horizons, Journal of Materials Chemistry A and Nanoscale. We hope that you enjoy this and our other special collections as part of the International Year of the Periodic Table!

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Congrats to Prize Winners at the 4th Annual University of California Chemical Symposium

Connor Easley from UC Riverside, Chair of the UCCS, and Jade Fostvedt From UC Berkeley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium.

This year the University of California Chemical Symposium, the 4th annual meeting since its founding by Prof. Seth Cohen from UC San Diego, continued to grow and develop into the world’s premier chemistry conference run entirely by and for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. This year’s UCCS brought nearly 150 attendees from across the University of California and beyond. Special guests this year included the opening keynote presentation for the inaugural Ursa Lecture from Nobel Laureate from CalTech, Professor Rudolph A. Marcus. Prof Marcus delivered a beautiful talk on ‘Connecting the Dots’ along his lengthy and impressive career, inspiring attendees to pursue their own research with the same curious and optimistic attitude.

The closing keynote lecture was given by the inaugural Lux Lecturer, Prof Michelle Chang from UC Berkeley, who is also an Associate Editor for Chemical Science. The attendees enjoyed how approachable and interesting her lecture was for a broad audience, even those who previously had no experience with chemical biology. 

Not only were the plenary speakers phenomenal in sharing the stories of their research, but the student and postdoc attendees also gave excellent oral and poster presentations. Several RSC journals provided research presentation prizes to recognize these outstanding young researchers. The RSC’s flagship journal, Chemical Science,  provided Research Presentation Prizes for oral presentations and several other RSC journals supported the meeting by sponsoring prizes for poster presentations. 

 

Nobel Laureate Prof Rudy Marcus delivers the inaugural Ursa Lecture at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium at Lake Arrowhead, March 24, 2019.

 


Oral Presentation Prizes

Nor Akmalia Rais, graduate student in the Xue group at UC Riverside, receives her Chemical Science Research Presentation Prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

The RSC’s flagship journal, Chemical Science,  provided Research Presentation Prizes for oral presentations in each of the six sub-categories of disciplines in the chemical sciences. The oral presentation prize in the ‘Analytical’ category went to Nor Akmaliza Rais from the Min Xue research group at UC Riverside for her talk on ‘Nanoparticle Enhanced Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) Biosensing on an Antifouling Lipid Membrane in Undiluted Serum.’

The Chemical Science prize in the ‘Chemical Biology/Biochemistry’ category went to Tyler Heiss from UC Irvine for his presentation ‘Cyclopropeniminium Ions Exhibit Unique Reactivity with Bioorthogonal Phosphines.’ Tyler is a graduate student in the Prescher Lab, led by Prof Jen Prescher, who actively posts about the group’s activities on Twitter.

Tyler Heiss, graduate student in the Xue group at UC Riverside, receives his Chemical Science Research Presentation Prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

Caleb Karmel, graduate student in the Hartwigroup at UC Berkeley, receives his Chemical Science Research Presentation Prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

 

The Chemical Science prize in ‘Organic Chemistry’ went to Caleb Karmel from the Hartwig Group at UC Berkeley for his talk on the ‘Iridium-Catalyzed Silylation of Aryl C-H Bonds.’

Dr. Ido Ben-Shalom from UC San Diego receives his Chemical Science Research Presentation Prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium.

Prizes also went to Andrew Ostericher for his presentation in the ‘Inorganic’ category for the ‘Rational Tuning of Hydrogen Transfer for CO2 Reduction and Hydrogen Evolution’ and Sebastian Hietzschold for his presentation in the ‘Materials/Nano’ category, ‘Reductase-Free Synthesis of Highly Monodispersed Silver Nanoparticles Using NADPH as the Sole Reducing Agent.’The ‘Physical/Theoretical/Computational’ prize was awarded to Dr. Ido Ben-Shalom for his talk on ‘Simulating Water Exchange to Buried Binding Sites.’

 


Poster Prizes

Zhili Guo, graduate student in the Xue group at UC Riverside, receives the Analyst poster prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

From Analyst, the poster prize went to Zhili Guo from UC Riverside. The title of his poster was ‘A Chemical Approach to Quantify Fatty Acid Uptake in Single Cells.’ Like Nor, who won the oral presentation prize in this category, Zhili is a graduate student in the research group of Min Xue, which is focused on developing chemical probes to achieve single-cell resolution for bioanalytical methods. Work like Zhili’s would enable more precise detection of metabolites from tumor cells, for example, which would allow surgical treatments for cancer to be more effective.The Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry prize in the Chemical Biology/Biochemistry category went to Sierra Williams from UC Irvine for her work on ‘Orthogonal Bioluminescent Probes from Hybrid Luciferins.’

Sierra Williams, graduate student in the Prescher group at UC Irvine, receives the OBC poster prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

Samuel Jacob, graduate student at UC Santa Barbara, receives the Dalton Transactions poster prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

 

The prize from Dalton Transactions for the ‘Inorganic’ category went to Samuel Jacob from UC Santa Barbara for his poster, ‘Investigation of a Redox Active Tetra-Nickel Cluster for Small Molecule Reactivity.’

 

Ling Zhang, graduate student from UC San Diego, receives the Materials Horizons poster prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

Margery Cortes-Clerget, graduate student from UC Santa Cruz, receives the ChemComm poster prize from Chair Connor Easley at the 2019 University of California Chemical Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

The Materials/Nano prize from Materials Horizons went to Ling Zhang from UC San Diego for her poster on ‘Hyper-Expandable Self-Healing Macromolecular Crystals.’

The ‘Organic’ category prize from Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry went to Margery Cortes-Clerget from UC Santa Barbara for her poster, ‘Bridging the Gap Between Transition Metal- and Bio-Catalysis.’

The PCCP poster prize in the Physical/Theoretical category went to A’Lester Allen from UC Santa Cruz, for his poster on the ‘Development of a Hollow Multibranched SERS Based Biosensor for Early Disease Detection.’


Lightning Talks

One unique aspect of the UCCS is the Lightning Talks, which are short, minimalist and direct presentations. With a total of 5 minutes and 3 (non-animated) slides allowed , speakers have only 3 minutes to talk and 2 minutes to answer questions about their work. The topics are broad and cover the span of the chemical sciences. The audience participates by live-voting on their favorite talks, to crowd-source judging to determine the winners. This year’s Lightning Talks were all fabulous, but there were a few that really stood out to this particular audience. 

The first place winner and recipient of a $100 cash prize was Jade Fostvedt from UC Berkeley for her talk, ‘Towards Low Valent Early Metal Systems: Small Molecule Reactivity of Tantalum N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes.’The second place winner and recipient of a $50 cash prize was David Nenon from UC Berkeley for his talk, ‘Design Principles for Trap-Free CsPbX3 Nanocrystals: Enumerating and Eliminating Surface Halide Vacancies with Softer Lewis Bases.’The third place award and a $25 cash prize went to Myles Drance from UC San Diego for his talk on ‘Coordination of Diatomic Boron Monofluoride to Iron.’

Congratulations to all of these award winners from the 2019 UCCS who gave outstanding presentations to their peers and experts in the field. We hope that everyone was able to share their research and also share in the research of others at the meeting, and we are already looking forward to the next one!

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An Intense Year of Chemical Science Activities in Brazil

 

After the winter break in the Southern Hemisphere, Brazil’s position as a leader of science research was showcased, with several chemistry-related meetings happening all over the country. The focus areas ranged from CO2 storage and utilization at the International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization (ICCDU), molecular magnetism at the International Conference on Molecular-based Magnetism (ICMM), new and advanced analytical science at National Meeting on Analytical Chemistry (ENQA) and diverse aspects of inorganic chemistry at the Brazilian Meeting on Inorganic Chemistry (BMIC). These concentrated activities coincide with the Northern hemisphere summer break, making it possible for international speakers to come over and bring the right international flavor. Several engaged RSC authors and editors came and we were able to foster future collaborations. For the RSC, we are happy that the local community now easily recognizes our journals and we can show our commitment to increasing the submission and publication of high-quality work from the region.


The International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization

UK-Brazil Year of Science and Innovation network reception at the British Council residence in Rio.

The ICCDU had partnered with the UK-Brazil Year of Science and Innovation, and so a UK delegation was deeply involved in several activities (Profs Michael North, Peter Styring, Katy Armstrong) as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Green Chemistry, Prof Philip Jessop. The event was included on the Year calendar web site. Above is a photo of the main networking event during the meeting, which brought together Brazilians and international researchers.

Poster prize winners at the 2018 ICCDU; pictured from left to right: Adriano H Braga (USP-Brazil), Juan Arturo Mendoza-Nieto (UNAM-Mexico) and Mathias Smialkowski (Ruhr-Universität Bochum-Germany)

The RSC offered several poster prizes on behalf of our sustainability and energy journals, and wish to take the opportunity here to congratulate the winners: Adriano H. Braga from the University of São Paulo in Brazil won the Sustainable Energy & Fuels prizethe Energy & Environmental Science prize went to Juan Arturo Mendoza-Nieto from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México); and the Green Chemistry prize was awarded to Mathias Smialkowski from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany.     


The International Conference on Molecule-based Magnetism

ICMM is a joint community gathering that brings together chemists and physicists, together with biologists and materials scientists for deep and focused discussions on different topics in the field of molecule-based magnets, including metal organic frameworks, modelling and theory of electronic structure, magneto-chiral and frustrated systems, bio-magnetic phenomena, and magneto-optic and magneto-caloric nanomaterials. 

Left to right: Jonathan J Marbey (Florida State University) receiving his prize from JMC C Advisory Board Member, Prof Roberta Sessoli; Luca M Carrella (Univ Mainz-Germany) centre, receiving his prize from Profs Miguel Novak (conference chair) and Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers Editor-in-Chief, Song Gao; Marcus J Giansiracusa (Univ Manchester-UK) centre, receiving his prize from Dalton Transactions Advisory Board Member, Prof Masahiro Yamashita and the conference Chair, Prof Miguel Novak.

RSC offered poster prizes and we wish to take the opportunity here to congratulate the winners. Jonathan J. Marbey from Florida State University won the Journal of Material Chemistry C prize, which was presented by one of the journal’s Advisory Board Members, Prof Roberta Sessoli from the University of Florence in Italy; Luca M. Carrella won the prize from Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers, which was presented by the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Prof Song Gao and conference chair Prof Miguel Novak; and Marcus J. Giansiracusa received the Dalton Transactions prize, which was presented by the conference chair and one of the journal’s Advisory Board Members, Prof Masahiro Yamashita. What an honor for all of us.


Encontro Nacional de Química Analítica: The National Meeting on Analytical Chemistry

The Meet the Editor session at ENQA; pictured from left to right: Prof Dion Dionysiou, Prof Jailson B de Andrade, Prof Susan Lunte, RSC Editorial Development Manager Beth Magalhaes, and Prof Carlos Garcia.

ENQA was something else! With more than 1200 attendees, the meeting was a celebration of their achievements and the internationalization that is clear. Prof Wendell Coltro of Universidade Federal de Goiás (the Federal University of Goiás) did a fantastic job helping us organize a Meet the Editor session; he brought along Prof Carlos Garcia, who serves as an Associate Editor for RSC Advances, to join efforts with Prof Susan Lunte and Prof Jailson B de Andrade, who serve on the Advisory Board and Editorial Board of Analytical Methods, respectively.  Prof Dion Dionysiou from the University of Cincinnati, an engaged author and Editor of the new Chemistry in the Environment books series, was also present to give some tips.

Prof Marcia Mesko, JAAS Lectureship awardee from Univ Pelotas-Brazil, was also honored during the event.

Tayane A. Freitas (UFSCar-Brazil) receiving her RSC Advances prize from Prof Carlos Garcia.

We just could not compete with the parallel section on Women in Chemistry, which goes to show how the Analytical community are discussing diversity and inclusion. Related to that, Prof Marcia Mesko from Universidade Federal de Pelotas was also honored for her recent achievements. She was awarded the JAAS Lectureship in 2018 and was selected for both the 100 Women in Chemistry and Young Analytical Scientists web collections, which include her recent paper from JAAS. She is now an Advisory Board Member for JAAS; she also currently serves as the Analytical Division President at SBQ, the Brazilian Chemical Society, and will be organizing the next ENQA. 

Analyst/Analytical Methods and RSC Advances offered poster prizes and we wish to congratulate the winners. The Analyst/Analytical Methods prize was given to Bernardo F. Braz Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. The RSC Advances prize was awarded to Tayane A. Freitas from Universidade Federal de São Carlos and we took took the opportunity to have Prof Garcia present it.

 

 


The Brazilian Meeting on Inorganic Chemistry

BMIC has a long-lasting relationship with the RSC and its Inorganic Division. This time the event went to Fortaleza, the Brazilian capital closest to Europe that is also easy to reach from North America. Perhaps lured by the lovely sightseeing and beautiful beach, the event brought renowned academics from around the world to Brazil. Americans including Prof Thomas Meyer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Associate Editor for New Journal of Chemistry Prof Debbie Crans from Colorado State Universityand ChemComm Associate Ediot Prof T. Don Tilley from the University of California, Berkeley, joined international attendees like Prof Peter Junk , also an Associate Editor for New Journal of Chemistryfrom James Cook University in the UK, Prof Osamu Ishitani from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, Frank T. Edelmann from Magdeburg University in Germany, Cedric Fischmeister from Université Rennes 1 in France, and Brazilians like  Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences Editorial Board Member, Prof Mauricio Baptista from the University of São Paulo.

Left to right: Poster prize winners Isabela Moreira Soares Diógenis (UNICAMP , Brazil); Santiago Rostan (UdelaR, Uruguay); Victor Eulogio Lopez Guerrero (UNAM, México) with Peter Junk and Don Tilley.

Our journals Nanoscale, ChemComm and Nanoscale Advances awarded poster prizes and we would like to say congratulations to the winners: Isabela Moreira Soares Diógenis from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil, Santiago Rostan from Universidad de la República(UdelaR) in Uruguay, and Victor Eulogio Lopez Guerrero from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico. The winners received their prizes from Profs Peter Junk and Don Tilley.


Chemistry for Everyone

As a final message, we would like to encourage the Brazilian community to continue its engagement with the RSC. There are many ways to engage with us, such as using social media to participate in online discussion forums and promote events, by tagging our twitter account @RoySocChem to start a conversation with us, and taking advantage of relevant hashtags; researchers can explore our grants opportunities, dig into our events page, explore and read our portfolio of journals, magazines (ChemistryWorld and Education-in-Chemistry) and databases, and approaching us with ideas.  We understand that the success of our community depends on our ability to encourage and nurture the talent of the best people, regardless of who they are or their background.

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Summer Board Member Awards and Accomplishments

We wish to extend our sincerest congratulations to all of our Board Members, as they continue to impress the community with their achievements and contributions!

Several of our Chemical Science Board Members have been recognized for outstanding contributions to their respective fields.

Many other Board Members across the US and Canada have been recognized for their accomplishments with a variety of awards, prizes, and appointments. 

  • Sarah Tolbert was appointed the Director of the new UCLA-led Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables, or SCALAR. Sarah is a professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Materials Science & Engineering and serves on the Editorial Board of Nanoscale Horizons and led the organizing committee of the 10th International Mesostructured Materials Symposium, IMMS10, which took place September 10-13, 2018 at UCLA.
  • Green Chemistry Associate Editor Chao-Jun Li was awarded a prestigious Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts. CJ is the E.B. Eddy Chair Professor of Chemistry at McGill University, Canada Research Chair in Green/Organic Chemistry, and Director of the NSERC CREATE Center for Green Chemistry Training.
  • Professor Heather Maynard serves on the Editorial Board of Polymer Chemistry and was selected for the 2018 UCLA Faculty Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award.
  • At this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Professor Geoffrey Coates was presented with the 2017 Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the for the best paper published in Science. Geoffrey serves on the Editorial Board of Organic Chemistry Frontiers.
  • Peter Vikesland has been named the Nick Prillaman Professor in Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Peter is the Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Science: Nano and a professor of the civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Other North American Board Members were honored by the RSC with awards and medals for their contributions to advancing the chemical sciences.

  • Professor Bradley Moore, Editorial Board Chair of Natural Product Reports, was honored by the RSC with the Natural Product Award for his pioneering discoveries in the chemical biology, biosynthesis, genomics and engineering of marine natural products. 
  • Professor Warren Piers was recognized for his contributions to detailed mechanistic understanding of catalytic reactions with the 2018 Ludwig Mond Award. Warren is S. Robert Blair Chair in Polymerization Catalysts and Canada Research Chair in the Mechanisms of Homogeneous Catalysis and serves as an Associate Editor for Dalton Transactions.
  • Professor Yang Shao-Horn was honored by the RSC as the first woman to win the Faraday Medal for her work at the chemical/materials physics and physical/materials chemistry interfaces. Prof. Shao-Yang serves on the Editorial Board of Energy & Environmental Sciences 

See all of the 2018 winners of Royal Society of Chemistry Prizes & Awards, which include many of our Advisory Board Members, colleagues and friends from around the world.

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Outstanding Student Profile: Caroline Rouget-Virbel

We introduced the Certificate of Excellence in 2017 and continued it in 2018 as a way for institutions to recognize students who have shown outstanding achievement in the chemical sciences; this year we want to showcase one of the recipients who embodies the spirit of the award and who inspires those around her to pursue their dreams while making a difference not only in their own communities but also those around the world. We are pleased to introduce you to Caroline Alice Rouget-Virbel, who will be starting her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley this fall.

At Princeton’s Class Day ceremony for Chemistry seniors in the Class of 2018, Caroline was recognized for her academic performance and her contributions to the department. She earned Highest Honors in Chemistry, was elected to Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, and was awarded The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Certificate of Excellence. But Caroline was not the typical Princeton University undergraduate. She grew up in Pélissanne, a small town in the south of France, in what most would describe as a rural area. She attended a public school and then applied to an international boarding school, Ecole Internationale de Manosque (EIM) in the French Alps, for her high school education. There she obtained a British OIB (International Optional Baccalaureate) diploma, a joint educational degree between the French Department of Education and the University of Cambridge.

While in high school, Caroline developed interests in both science and foreign languages, which in turn got her excited about applying to foreign universities in the U.S. and England. To put this in context, Caroline grew up in a comprehensively working class environment and it was not typical and expected in her family to apply to college. To then take the step of applying outside of France for higher education was quite remarkable. She took a major leap of faith and applied to Princeton University. When she was offered admission along with a generous grant for financial aid, she simply could not turn down the opportunity. Needless to say, her acceptance of Princeton’s offer not only provided a highly constructive four-year experience for Caroline, but her contributions to the department and to the campus as a whole proved to be a plus for the University community.

During her first week on the Princeton campus, Caroline quickly identified a way to produce a steady income. Always determined to pay her own bills and add to her personal savings as much as possible, she held down a paid position as a Dining Services Student Manager, training new incoming workers and overseeing meal services for her dining hall and for special catered events. In fact, she continued to hold that job during all four years at Princeton. The summer after freshman year, she added another country to her growing list of travel experiences by serving as a volunteer at the Mahatma Gandhi Orphanage in Jaipur, India. While there, she assisted with childcare, global health initiatives, and infectious disease prevention efforts. And, of course, she explored the area and soaked in the culture.

Caroline hails from Pélissanne, a small town in rural France and is the first person in her family to apply for college, but by following her passion for science, foreign language, and community service, she has managed to expand her horizons and travel the globe.

During Caroline’s freshman and sophomore years, she began work with the campus mental health initiative. In addition, knowing how it felt to be an international student, she became involved with the University’s David International Center, taking on the responsibility of planning and leading events for incoming undergraduate and graduate students, as well as year-long community-building activities. This particular type of involvement helped not only others adjust, but also helped her as she took steps to find her place within the University, so much so that she continued to contribute to this program until she graduated. During the spring of her sophomore year, Caroline gathered information about the various science departments at the University and, after much deliberation, elected to major in chemistry. With that plan in place, she lost no time laying out her “What Next?” The summer of 2016 offered her yet another opportunity to live abroad. Caroline traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to pursue research at the National Children’s Research Center. She studied the underlying patho-mechanisms of the dysregulation of the NOX-1 and -4 genes in Hirschsprung’s-Associated Enterocolitis. Her work gave her the opportunity to add skills in protein expression and PCR analysis, gel electrophoresis, and immunofluorescence microscopy to her research “toolbox.”

As a first semester junior, Caroline decided to join a research lab a full term earlier than her peers. That plan led to a round of investigations to identify a lab that would be the right fit with her interests and her style of learning. By the second month of the term, she was hard at work in the lab of Professor David W. MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry. While 12 to 14 hours of original research per week is the expectation for young chemists, Caroline spent as much time on her project as the demands of her coursework and extracurricular commitments permitted. That dedication spoke volumes since the junior year for chemistry majors is extremely demanding with regard to reading assignments, papers to write, problem sets to complete, discussion groups to attend, and the time commitment need to complete the required experimental laboratory course. She also took on the role of undergraduate preceptor in our newly restructured organic chemistry sequence. Preceptors assist instructors of auxiliary class sessions that work on learning material and practicing skills outside of the lecture period. Caroline was one of the preceptors instrumental in developing and running review sessions prior to exams. She also spent many hours tutoring students one-on-one, providing not only academic guidance, but also a “Can Do” attitude for her students who were concerned about doing well in mastering a difficult subject.

During that same period, Caroline elected to plan for a semester of study abroad with the goal of completing her Spring 2017 term in Australia. The opportunity to explore another country and live in yet another culture proved irresistible. Within no time at all, plans were put in place for her to study at the University of Melbourne. Adjusting to a program with courses that involved no periodic evaluation until the final exam, blending into a different culture, completing an original research project in a new chemistry laboratory, and pursuing opportunities to explore Australia formed the perfect combination for this intellectually curious student. And, as luck would have it, her sister was pursuing a program in Southeast Asia, so they were able to meet up and travel together, exploring the beautiful landscape of New Zealand, spending two full weeks road-tripping and camping around the South island. Caroline’s world was expanding rapidly from the rural area of France into a global viewpoint.

The summer prior to the start of her senior year was spent on the Princeton campus in order to focus on her senior thesis research. During those months, she was the senior class catalyst, bringing all of the summer researchers together for meals and other activities to create a sense of community. In her senior year, the craving for travel led her to plan a trip to the Caribbean for yet another cultural experience, which she hopes will be her next voyage into unfamiliar lands. In September of senior year, Caroline was off and running, returning to her role as a preceptor and tutor for undergraduate organic chemistry courses. Her dedication has yet to be matched. She developed a reputation for patience and careful instruction. As side projects, she designed a senior class t-shirt that included a structure from each of the senior chemistry theses and organized various get-togethers for her classmates. She also served as a Peer Academic Advisor, shepherding first and second year undergraduates as they settled into University life. All the while, Caroline was tackling her own demanding academic schedule, which included graduate level coursework, and was spending innumerable hours on her laboratory research project. The culmination of Caroline’s research was the submission of her senior thesis entitled “Application of Dual Nickel-Photoredox Catalysis to the Synthesis of Unnatural Amino Acids.”

To quote her faculty mentor, Professor MacMillan, “Caroline is one of the best undergraduates that I have ever worked with in 20 years of being an independent academic. She is smart, driven, funny, creative, and a team player. She is beloved by my research group and she can hold her own with any current graduate student in terms of her research drive.” Caroline has been accepted into the chemistry PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley. We have no doubts whatsoever that Caroline will continue to be an outstanding student and researcher as she works towards her graduate degree.

Special thank you to Kirsten M. Arentzen, Undergraduate Administrator for the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University, for contributing the majority of the content for this article, for continuously supporting the student body, and encouraging the recognition of outstanding undergraduates. 

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Congratulations to the ACS Reaction Mechanisms Conference poster prize winners!

We want to say congratulations to the winners of the RSC poster prizes at the recent ACS Reaction Mechanisms Conference, hosted by University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada!

Juliet Macharia won the prize from Catalysis Science & Technology. Juliet is originally from Kenya and is now a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the field of organic chemistry at the Binghamton University in New York. Juliet says her career in science was led by curiosity. She wants to understand how and why things happen the way they do to provide a “path to illumination of the many mysteries of the universe.”

Juliet Macharia with her poster

Juliet’s current research focuses on the chemistry of a class of compounds called “arylboronic acids”. These molecules are widely used in fine chemical, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and modern-material industries due to their stability, easy preparation and environmental benign nature. The key step in many reactions employing arylboronic acids involves carbon-boron (C-B) bond cleavage. Due to the relative inertness of the C-B bond, the in-situ generation of a more reactive ‘boronate’ species is considered to be vital to the success of these reactions. Her goal is to determine the exact mechanism of C-B cleavage in reactions using a physical organic tool, Kinetic Isotope Effects (KIEs) at natural abundance. In the future, she will utilize the mechanistic information from these studies for the rational design and development of new catalytic processes.

Anna Lo, who works with Professor Jared Shaw at UC Davis, was the winner of the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry prize. She says that she decided to pursue a career in chemistry to take advantage of the creative thinking and liberty in the practice of organic synthesis.

Anna Lo

Anna’s work focuses on two goals: (1) to elucidate conditions that provide reliable selectivity for additions to a-chiral imines, (2) to develop a mechanistic rationale for the deviating selectivity trends her research group observes. Stereoelectronic models such as the Felkin-Ahn model and Cram’s rules have been used as powerful tools in the asymmetric synthesis of complex synthetic targets. Due to their robust utility, Felkin-control and chelation-control have been generalized to imine stereocontrol, despite fundamental differences in reactivity between N-substituted imines and their carbonyl analogues. Recent work has illuminated a class of a-chiral aldehyde derived imines that deviate from previously well-established stereoelectronic models. This illuminated a gap in understanding of existing stereocontrol models, specifically when applied to N-substituted imines, which Anna is now investigating.

This conference sounds like it was a great event, and we’re glad to support young researchers as they build their careers!

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Certified Excellent: Congratulations Winners!

We are happy to announce the recipients of the 2018 Certificate of Excellence! Back for its second year, this special program was developed to recognize outstanding students who have shown special achievement in the chemical sciences. Join us in congratulating these stellar students who are being honored by their departments for their achievements. We first introduced the Certificate of Excellence in 2017 as a way to recognize the younger generation of students who have shown interest and curiosity and a passion for learning in the chemical sciences. If you’re interested in getting your department involved in future Certificate of Excellence programs, please contact us at americas-editorial@rsc.org.

 

 

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Congratulations Alberta Nano Research Symposium!

For the fifth year running, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary Nano Groups co-organized the two-day Alberta Nano Research Symposium. The symposium provides a platform for showcasing innovation in nanotechnology research done in Alberta, as well as fostering deeper connections among researchers in academia and industry.

Students from across Alberta in all nanotechnology disciplines were invited to present their research, with prizes awarded to the top oral and poster presentations. Plenary speakers – leaders in nanotechnology – from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan were invited to give talks on some of their latest work. A poster session and a networking event brought together the community in the evening.

Special congratulations to Muhammad Zubair, who won the RSC Nanoscale Horizons Poster Award. He presented a poster about the development of a novel membrane based on chicken feathers/graphene oxide for water purification. In Canada, approximately 100,000 tons of poultry feathers are produced every year, and most of them are landfilled or burnt. He is using these chicken feathers to make membranes for water purification, which will not only help to reduce the environmental pollution related to chicken feathers but also bring a new and low-cost solution to existing water purification membranes.

The RSC is particularly enthusiastic about supporting the efforts early career researchers, so we want to say congrats for a successful event!

Nanoscale Horizons Poster Award winner Muhammad Zubair (center), with Nicolas Macia (L) and Alyx Aarbo (R), co-chairs of the Symposium. Photo credit: Vladimir Kabanov.

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Congratulations CQMF prize winners!

Materials Horizons, posters, prize

Prof JF Masson presents the Materials Horizons poster prize to Nicolas Zindy

The Centre Québécois sur les Matériaux Fonctionnels/Quebec Center for Advanced Materials recently held its annual meeting in Montreal, and we were pleased to sponsor poster prizes from Analyst and Materials Horizons at the event. Congratulations to winners Nicolas Zindy from Laval University and Régis Imbeault from the University of Sherbrooke!

Régis won the Analyst prize for his poster describing the development of high performance functionalized polynorbornenes (PBBEs) from simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly synthesis procedures. Because of their very high physicochemical properties and their low anticipated cost, these new materials can compete with many commercial products, while offering a greener alternative and bringing new solutions for advanced applications.

Nicolas won the Materials Horizons prize for his poster that presented a new strategy to create a pi-conjugated polymer using pyromelltic diimide (PMDI) as an aromatic C-H bond bearer for direct heteroarylation polymerization (DHAP) with 1,4-dibromobenzene. This material has been difficult to synthesize with conventional methods such as Suzuki or Stille couplings and has potential to be used as a cost-effective active material in next generation Li-ion batteries.

Editors from two of our journals also took the initiative to present their advice on publishing, following our Meet the Editor format. Thank you Profs Jean-François Masson from Analyst and Federico Rosei from Journal of Materials Chemistry C for helping us educate the community about good publishing practice!

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