Newsletter, Summer 2001

Part II: Congratulations


Congratulations to:

Prof. Colin Baird, on his marriage to Mary (Copeland; née Buckland) on January 27, 2001. We wish the newly-weds many happy years together.

As well as inking his marriage lines, Colin has inked an agreement with W.H. Freeman, NYC, also, to co-author a textbook on Chemistry for Non-Science Students. The first draft is in hand, and the scheduled publication date is Dec. 2002 - just in time for Santa to put one in your stocking in 2002!

Dr. Duncan Hunter on his appointment as Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Science.

When Duncan stepped down as Acting Chair, prior to this appointment, he was the guest-of-honour at a "farewell" party in the Department. Members of the Department presented him with an extraordinary collection of single-malt almost-too-good-to-drink scotch whiskeys.

Views of Duncanís "Leaving" Party: (left) the one-of-a-kind cake, custom-made by UWO Food Services; (middle) the ex-Acting Chair happily "singing for his supper"; (right) the guest-of-honour opening a bottle-shaped mystery package after its presentation by Phil Dean.

Duncan also won one of Western's two OCUFA Awards for Teaching Excellence in 2000. This is no flash in the pan: he has been one of our stars in the teaching arena for many years, not only in terms of classroom teaching but also in terms of curriculum development, student liaison, recruitment and counselling at all levels, and yes, undisguised support and enthusiasm for undergraduate and graduate students and their miscellaneous activities. He has previously been awarded one of Western's Pleva Awards for excellence in teaching.

Prof. John C. Corrigan, who was the inaugural winner of the CSC Faculty Advisor Award (2001). This well-deserved award recognizes Johnís dedication in nurturing the UWO Student Chapter of the CSC ("The Chem Club") into the vital force that it is within the Department today.

Prof. Derek G. Leaist, who won one of two Faculty of Science Awards of Excellence, Undergraduate Teaching, for 2000-1. These awards are based on evidence of excellence in Academic endeavours, with particular emphasis on exceptional performance in undergraduate classroom teaching and undergraduate course/curriculum development. Congratulations, Derek!

Professor Nils Petersen, on his election to Fellowship of The Chemical Institute of Canada. Nils is also to be congratulated on his appointment as one of two Faculty of Science Distinguished Research Professors for the academic year 2001-02. (The other is Prof. Wayne Nesbitt, of the Department of Earth Sciences.)

Professor Dick Puddephatt, who was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in 2000, in the first round of such appointments. He was one of 5 outstanding senior faculty at UWO to receive this honour.

Professor T.K. Sham, who was elected the Vice-Chair of the International XAFS Society (IXS) in 2000. (XAFS stands for X-ray Absorption Fine Structures, an inner-shell excitation technique widely used in probing the structure and electronic properits of matter.) He will serve as in the Vice-Chair until he becomes Chair in 2003.

Professor Sham will return to his normal duties in the department in July 2001. He has been on leave for he last two years to help design the scientific direction, instrumentation and management structure for the Canadian Light Source (CLS), a $173 million Canadian National Laboratory presently under construction in Saskatoon. When the CLS is turned on in 2004, it will deliver unprecedentedly-bright radiation with many frequencies, from infra-red to gamma rays, for a large variety of scientific research programs and applications, from revealing the structure of proteins to making nanoscale electronic chips. In addition to his duties in the department, Prof. Sham will continue to contribute to the CLS effort as a Senior Scientific Consultant. He oversees the implementation of three soft x-ray beamlines, and serves as a member of the Beamline Planning Advisory Committee (BPAC), the Userís Advisory Committee (UAC), and the Canadian Light Source Board of Governors.

Professor Alan Weedon, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who was appointed Acting Vice-President (Research) effective August 20, 2001. Alan is replacing the current Vice-President (Research), Dr. Bill Bridger, who has been appointed Founding President and CEO of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Science and Engineering Research.

Those members of the Department who have received their pin and award for 25 years of service to UWO recently: Professor Robert M. (Rory) Cory, Mr. Robin Hall and Mr. Doug Hairsine in 2000; Professors Martin Stillman, Alan Weedon and Mel Usselman in 2001.

Graduate student Amy Lloyd, who won the Pourbaix award for the best student poster in corrosion science at the March 2001, National Association of Corrosion Engineers Annual International Conference in Houston, TX, for her poster "Investigation of the Localized Corrosion Behaviour of Nickel-based Alloys". At the same conference, graduate student Heather Jensen won the third place award for her poster "Oxide Growth and Breakdown Properties of Zr and Zr-2.5Nb in Aqueous Solutions under Mild Electrochemical Conditions". Both awards come with a plaque and a decent sized cheque.

Kathy deJong, graduate student in the research groups of Profs. Nils Petersen and Peter Norton, who won a Student Travel Award of US $350.00, to attend the 45th Biophysical Society Meeting in Boston in February, 2001. Kathy then continued her winning ways by being awarded first prize of US $300 in the Student Research Achievement Award competition at the conference, for her poster "Identification of Stress Fibres and Fibronectin in AFM Images using Confocal Microscopy." She was also awarded the prize for best Oral Presentation for the Physical-Theoretical Division at the CSC conference in Montreal.

Graduate student Mark Nicholls who won a Faculty of Graduate Studies-Graduate Teaching Assistantsí Union-Society of Graduate Students Graduate Student Teaching Award for his outstanding performance Teaching Assistant in 2000-1. Last year, Mark was awarded a Faculty of Science Teaching Assistant Award.

Graduate student Marty DeGroot, who received a Faculty of Science Teaching Assistant Award for 2000-1.

Nick Mosey and Joey Raheb, two members of year-4 Honors class in 2000-2001 (Nick in Hons Chemistry, Joey in Hons Applied Math (Chemistry Option), who were Meritorious Winners in the 2001 International Mathematical Contest in Modeling. This year 496 teams participated (264 from the US, 232 international). Meritorious Winners are ranked in the top 14%, so this is a worthy honour.

The problem that Nick and Joey's team picked was about "bicycle wheels and what edge they may give to a race. Before any race, professional cyclists make educated guesses about which one of the two basic types of wheels to choose for any given competition. For this problem, participants had to come up with a better system to help determine what kind of wheel would be best for any given race course via computer and mathematical modeling."

R. Alexandra Stefan, who received the first "Chem Club Travel Award", which is to be given each year to that yearís Chem 490 student whose undergraduate thesis work is judged as most outstanding. The award is being started to foster interest in graduate research. Alexandra made good use of her award by participating in the Undergraduate Poster Session at the 2001 Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) 84th Annual Conference and Exhibition held in Montreal, where she won First Prize with her poster entitled "The interaction of four novel iminopyridine platinum (II) complexes with DNA". The poster was based on her honors research project, which she carried out under the supervision of Prof. Robert H. E. Hudson, Department of Chemistry.

At the Faculty of Science Annual Awards Ceremony on the morning of June 7, 2001, Alexandra was presented with The UWO Gold Medal for Honors Biochemistry and Chemistry (for the highest standing in the final year of the Honors Program), the Andrew E. Scott Medal and Prize (for the highest average of all year-2 to year-4 chemistry courses in an Honors Chemistry program) and the N.B. Patel Award (for showing particular aptitude for research). All these awards were presented by Prof. Hudson.

Alexandra graduated with distinction on the afternoon of June 7, and clearly has a great future in front of her. She starts medical school at the University of Toronto in Fall 2001.

Department Chair Rob Lipson admires Alexandraís Gold Medal.

[Ed - it should be noted that the medal that is part of the Scott Award is also a gold medal.]



Lianne M.C. Beltran, who was the 2001 winner of the Alumni Association Gold Medal in Honors Chemistry and the Society of Chemical Industry Merit Award (both for the highest standing in final year of the Honors Chemistry program) and the Hypercube Scholar Award (given to a student in an Honors Chemistry program who intends to pursue graduate work). All these awards were presented to Lianne at the 2001 Faculty of Science Awards Ceremony by Prof. John Corrigan, who was the supervisor of her Honors Research Project in Chemistry (Chem 490).

Many members of Lianneís family were on hand to watch her receive the awards on the morning of June 7 and also to watch her graduate with distinction in the afternoon ceremony the same day. In between, they toured the Department of Chemistry, with Prof. Phil Dean and Lianne herself as guides, to see where Lianne had spent so much of her time over the last 4 years.

Lianne is taking up graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, in Fall 2001, supported by an NSERC graduate studentship. We wish her well in all her future endeavours.

Lianne (centre, holding flowers) and members of her family (including her mother, to the left of Lianne in the picture), when they visited the Department in between the Awards Ceremony and Convocation on June 7. Included in the picture is Dr. John Corrigan (right), who supervised Lianneís Chem 490 project.


Chantelle D. Tremblay, who received the UWO Gold Medal in Honors Chemistry with Environmental Science (for the highest standing in the final year of the Honors program) at the Faculty of Science Awards Ceremony, 2001. The award was presented by Prof. R.R. Martin, who supervised her Chemistry 490 research project, which was entitled "Dendroanalysis of White Pine Using Ultra-Trace Inductively-Coupled Mass Spectrometry" (try saying that fast several times!).

Chantelle plans to work outside the university for a year, and then to pursue graduate work. We expect to hear great things of her in the future.

The winners of the Varian Canada Prize for Analytical Chemistry (for Chem 322), Nicholas R. Trefiak and Kelly E. Rigby. This award is given to the top two students in Chemistry 322, who complete their third year with an overall average of 75% or more. Nickís award was presented to him by Prof. Martin J. Stillman at the Faculty of Science Awards Ceremony on June 7. Kelly has chosen to continue towards an Honors degree, and so, unfortunately, was ineligible to receive her award on June 7, when the ceremony was for graduating students. She will receive her award at the Departmentís annual presentation ceremony. [In fact, the Office of the Dean of Science has sent Kelly her award by snail mail - Ed]

Russ Viirre (supervised by Prof. Rob Hudson) who captured a best oral presentation award in the Biological/Medicinal Chemistry Division at the CSC conference in Montreal.

Scott Banfield working with Michael Kerr, who won an Organic Division Award for his poster presentation titled "Diels-Alder Reactions of Quinone Imine Ketals" at the same meeting.

Arnold J. Kell and Robert L. Donkers (supervised by Prof. Mark Workentin), who both won Organic Division Awards for their oral presentations at the CSC conference. Arnold Kell's talk was entitled "Aryl ketone photochemistry in monolayer protected gold colloids: utilisation of the Norrish Type I and type II reactions in the study of mobility constraints". Robert Donkers won for his presentation entitled "Mechanism of reduction of anthracene-based endoperoxides".


go to part III



Copyright @ 2000. University of Western Ontario - Department of Chemistry. All rights reserved.
Designed by Cyberteks Design