Newsletter, Summer 2001

Part I: Appointments, Retirements, and Visitors

The Department Photo, September 20, 2000


As noted briefly in the last Newsletter, Prof. Rob Lipson took over as Chair in July, 2000. Since he was on leave at the University of Rennes, France, at the time of his appointment, he successfully ran the Department by e-mail until his return at the end of August, adding a new meaning to Distance Education!!

Rob obtained his BSc Hons and MSc in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, followed by a PhD in Physics from the same University. Thereafter, he was a Research Associate in the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, at the National Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in Ottawa. He came to Chemistry at UWO in 1986 as an NSERC University Research Fellow, with the rank of Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate and Full Professorship in 1991 and 1996, respectively. Since being at UWO, he has earned his stripes both as a teacher - he was on the University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll in 1995-96 - and a researcher - he was awarded the Florence Bucke Science Prize for Research Excellence in 2000. More about our new Chair can be found at

This has proved a challenging year for Rob, as it has for all university administrators, as the various aspects of the first union agreement of the UWO Faculty Association have been introduced. However, we are pleased to report that he is thriving in the job!!!


New Chair Rob Lipson, thriving at his work.


Looking forward, on July 1, 2001, we will welcome Dr. Ken Yeung, as an Assistant Professor in Proteomics, with a joint appointment between this Department and the Department of Biochemistry. Ken obtained his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Calgary in 1999, where his thesis dealt with isotopic separations in capillary electrophoresis. Thereafter, he was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Zare at Stanford University and then with Dr. Liang Li at the University of Alberta. We welcome Ken and his family to London and UWO and we wish them much happiness and success here.

At the same time, there was an occasion for mixed emotions at the end of the 2000-1 Academic Year: both Professor W.J. (Bill) Meath and Mr. Lampros Iakovidis retired, Bill after 36 years in the Department, and Lampros after 19 years (almost 29 years at UWO in all). The Department held a reception in honour of these two stalwarts, on June 27, 2001 at Windermere Manor, followed by a barbecue (reflecting Billís well-know liking for this type of al fresco dining!) A very large group of well-wishers assembled, including the families of Bill and Lampros, faculty and staff of Chemistry, both past and present, many with their significant others, friends and colleagues from other UWO departments, and the Dean of Science. Lampros (The Greek tycoon! Does he own Masonville?) was feted by the Chair, Mike Mosley, and Lesley Tchorek, while Billís attributes were praised by the Chair, Colin Baird, Diana Timmermans and Nils Petersen. Both near-retirees got chance for a rebuttal, before large bouquets were presented to their spouses, Litsa I. and Kay M., and heaps of gifts were plied upon the reluctant(?) retirees themselves. The evening was warm and sunny, the barbecued food and associated salads and desserts splendid, and the party continued well past the advertised time of 8:00 pm, the temperature on the patio being very pleasant as the sun retreated. (There is a rumour that some of the party-goers didnít get home until almost sunrise the next day!)

Of course we hope that neither Bill nor Lampros will be strangers in the Department after their retirement.

Back for a second visit is Mr. Lloyd Samuels, who is the scientific glassblower at the Kingston, Jamaica, campus of the University of the West Indies. Lloyd will spend the Summer months of 2001 in the Department, learning some of the more advanced arts of glassblowing from the department scientific glassblower, Mr. Bruce Harwood. Welcome back, Lloyd! We hope that you (and, later, your family, when they join you for a holiday) find your time here worthwhile and enjoyable.

Lloyd Samuels (right) hard at work in the Glass Shop, while UWO Glassblower Bruce Harwood (left, posing for the camera!) watches.


Distinguished Academic Visitors to the Department:

The 3M University Lectureship reaches back to 1962. We are grateful to 3M for their continued support over this long period.

Professor Ian G. Dance, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of New South Wales, was the recipient of the 3M University Lectureship for 1999-2000. During his visit in May, 2000, Professor Dance gave three formal lectures: "Inorganic Chemistry in the Gas Phase: Frontiers"; "Supramolecular Inorganic Chemistry in the Crystal Phase: Design Principles and Engineering"; and "Inorganic Chemistry in the Protein Phase: Choreography" . He also gave a light-hearted presentation entitled "Molecules Are People Too!"

Prof. Dance, and the host for his visit, Prof. Phil Dean, compare optimal caffeine doses during a part of the social programme associated with the 3M University Lectureship in 2000, a trip to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake


The 3M University Lecturer in Chemistry for 2000-2001 was Professor K.C. Nicolaou, of The Department of Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and of The Scripps Research Institute, where he is the Chair of the Department of Chemistry and holder of the Skaggs Professorship of Chemical Biology and the Darlene Shiley Chair of Chemistry. Professor Nicolaou visited the Department in March 2001, and presented two lectures: Chemistry, Biology and Medicine of Natural and Designed Molecules" and "Enabling Technologies for Biology and Medicine Arising from Endeavors in Total Synthesis".

The Fred Pattison Senior Lecturer in Chemistry for 2001 was Professor Dennis Curran, Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and Bayer Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. During his May, 2001, visit, he presented three lectures: "An Introduction to Fluorous Techniques for the Synthesis of Small Organic Molecules"; "The Tandem Radical Approach to the Camptothecin and Mappicine Class of Molecules: From Traditional Synthesis through Parallel Synthesis to Fluorous Mixture Synthesis"; and "Asymmetric Reactions of Axially Chiral Amides".

This annual lectureship is to support a truly outstanding chemist (to rotate between biological chemistry, organic chemistry and organometallic chemistry) to visit the Department for one week and give three lectures. We are happy to report that Dr. Pattison was able to attend the lectures, and also, with his wife, Anne, to dine with the visitor on the evening of the Windermere Manor official reception.


go to part II


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