UWO Chemistry News from 2005 - 2006 Academic Year


April 2006: We are pleased announce that Dr. Viktor Staroverov will be joining the department this summer. Viktor is currently a post doctoral fellow at Rice University in Houston, Texas with G. Scuseria. He completed his undergraduate degree at Belarusian State University in Minsk, Belarus, followed by an MSc degree under the supervision of S. Rothstein at Brock University. He then went to Indiana University and completed a very successful PhD with E. Davidson. Dr. Staroverov's research interests lie in the development of density functional theory and its applications in nanotechnology and biology. His interests in computational materials science extend from quantum dot nanostructures to molecular magnets to electrides. He also has interests in the mechanism of enzymatic reactions, particularly nitrogenase. Not only will his appointment ensure the continued success of our Computational Chemistry/Quantum Chemistry courses, his research interests complement those in Materials and Biomaterials in the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science as well as those under the umbrella of WINS. Viktor can be reached at vstarove@mail.rice.edu. Please join us in welcoming him to our department.

April 2006: Chemistry 490 is the senior research and thesis course that is required of all students graduating in Honors Chemistry. It provides each student with a valuable combination of skills and experiences that both motivate and enable them to understand and appreciate how a modern academic research group functions. Each spends some 12 hours a week working on their research project, aiming to complete their experimental work by the end of February. Their efforts culminate in the preparation of a formal thesis (and possibly publications), and a genuine highlight of the course is Chemistry 490 Seminar Day, held this year Saturday April 8th. Each student presented a 17 minute formal talk on their original research work, and answered questions from faculty examiners and the general audience. An informal followed at the Grad Club in Middlesex College after the class photograph (shown below) was taken on the steps of the Western Science Centre. Good luck in your future endeavors graduates of 2006!

Winter 2006: Dozens of Chemistry volunteers have been engaging, educating and entertaining London’s community about the great benefits of chemistry. February 23: Grade 5 & 6 students from the Chatham Christian School spent an exciting morning at UWO where they made Slime with the help of Dr. Claire McCague, Diane Lacey and Natasha Patrito. The students then participated in a Liquid Nitrogen presentation given by Dr. Patrick Whippey and Peter Frank. March 6: Ed Havenga brought his Grade 12 students to Chemistry and they participated in the Qualitative Analysis Experiment followed by a Liquid Nitrogen/Dry Ice presentation. March 7: Dr. Jamie Noel went to Parkhill and gave a 75 minute talk to the Grade 12 physics students at the North Middlesex District High School. He spoke to them about his work on neutron reflectometry and also about nuclear fuel waste management. The students were quite interested and apparently the quietest they have ever been. The teacher was quite impressed with the fact that the students realized that Dr. Noel could show them that he made practical use of what seems to be a bunch of esoteric theories from a text book. March 9: 48 Grade 11 & 12 students from Lord Dorchester Secondary School and 29 students from Saunders Secondary School all descended upon the 1st year labs where they participated in the Qualitative Analysis Experiment with the help of the following - Barry Blight, Helen Hsieh, Sarah Hunt, Avedis, Karadeolian, Simone Lam, Dr. Charmaine Lee, Mike Maris, Amanda Lee Martin, Brad Payne, Gavin Pereira, Mark Pluym, Haiyan Wang, and Peter Zawada! The students then participated in the always exciting Liquid Nitrogen presentation given by Dr. Patrick Whippey and Peter Frank. March 11: March Break Open House - Of the 4500 people (prospective students and their parents) that visited UWO for the day, more than 25% of them came to check out Science! The outreach committee wants to thank the following volunteers for their outstanding work staffing Chemistry's display/presentation - Dr. Woo-Jae Cheong, Dr. Zhifeng Ding, Katarina Sapets, Andrea Wallette, Jason Wickenden, and Dr. Ken Yeung (Grace Yao and Trinity). March 15: WISDOM held Science Day at UCC for students as well as the London community. Andrea Wallette (founder and president of WISDOM) helped set up and staff Chemistry's diplay along with numerous Chemistry Club members - Natalie Campbell, Matt Decan, Sarah Hunt, Janice Lee, Mike Maris, Dr. Paul Ragogna, and Jay Wickenden. Volunteers participated in the liquid nitrogen/ dry ice presentations and helped people make slime. Thank you volunteers!

March 2006: The Chemistry Department, with the assistance of the Undergraduate Chemistry Society, hosted a faculty and student reception to recognize and celebrate this year's winners of undergraduate continuing student awards for academic achievement in chemistry programs. Pictured with Prof. Baines are the award recipients for 2005/2006: from left to right, Anthony Pianosi (2nd year), Jonathan Urben (4th year), Neil Woody (4th year), Brian Boys (4th year), Kevin Daub (3rd year), Michael Johansen (4th year) and Meredith Gullons (2nd year). Congratulations!

March 2006: March 2006. Dr. Marty DeGroot, former Ph.D. student of Professor John Corrigan, has been selected winner of the 2005 Paul de Mayo Prize. Dr. DeGroot will present his award lecture April 12th, 2006. Pictured below, Drs. John Corrigan, Marty DeGroot and Kim Baines.

February 2006: Western Chemistry unveils new website. After almost a decade the department of chemistry is happy to reveal our new updated departmental webpage. The effort was spearheaded by Brian Pagenkopf and technical details and challenges were solved by Ihsan Rehman.

January 2006: Please join us in congratulating Kim Baines, Roland Haines, Felix Lee and Mark Workentin for being entered onto the University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll for 2004-2005. These honours are given to instructors who have scored greater than 6.3/7.0 by the students in their classes on 'overall ability as a teacher'.

December 2005: We are pleased to announced that the following have each won a Christian Sivertz Scholarship in the Department of Chemistry for best overall performance in physical chemistry graduate courses in the year to August 2005. Congratulations go to Natasha Patrito (supervisors Peter Norton and Nils Petersen), Duangporn Wanapun (supervisor Tom Woo), and Jigang Zhou (supervisor Zhifeng Ding).

December 2005: We are pleased to congratulate Ron Martin on his promotion to Full Professor.

December 2005: We are pleased to announce that Dick Puddephatt has been awarded the 2006 Montreal Medal. The medal is given as a mark of distinction and honour for leadership in or outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. The medal is sponsored by the Montreal CIC Local Section. The medal will be presented to Dick at the 89th Canadian Chemistry Conference in Halifax next May. Please join us in congratulating Dick on this latest achievement!

October 21, 2005: Today, in the Western News, five Distinguished University Professorships were announced and ten Faculty Scholars. The “Distinguished University Professor” title has been created to honor and celebrate outstanding scholarly careers at Western whereas the title of Faculty Scholar is given in recognition of significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Three of these have been awarded to faculty in Chemistry! Both Professors Dick Puddephatt and Fred Longstaffe have been given the title of Distinguished University Professor and Professor Mark Workentin is a Faculty Scholar. Please join me in congratulating them on this latest honor!

September 2005: Western is pleased to announce that Professor Paul Ragogna has been awarded the John Charles Polyani Prize. These prizes were established by the Government of the Province of Ontario in honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Each year, up to five prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Economic Science are awarded to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career.

July 2005: The department is proud to announce that Drs Len Luyt, Brian Pagenkopf, Paul Ragongna and Yang Song have joined the faculty this summer.