Message From The Chair

Kim Baines photoOn behalf of the members of the Department of Chemistry at The University of Western Ontario, I would like to welcome you to our website. We are a large and vibrant Department with much to offer graduate and undergraduate students and visiting scholars. The Department, home to 38 faculty and over 20 staff, has recently undergone extensive renewal: over half of the faculty have been appointed in the last ten years. Concomitant with this renewal in faculty members has been a growth in the number of graduate students in the Department (about 100 students from around the world) and the acquisition of new space. We are excited about the future and invite you to share it with us!

The Department has Undergraduate Poster imagean excellent reputation for the quality of its undergraduate programs and the faculty members that teach them. Our faculty are the recipients of many teaching awards at the university, provincial and national levels. Our undergraduates can enrol in several different modules within the New Academic Choices degree structure, which was introduced by the university in 2004 to provide students greater flexibility in their academic pursuits. The Department provides every student in the Chemistry Specialization or Honors Specialization modules the opportunity to do research in a variety of fields. This allows students in chemistry to experience first-hand, the joys and challenges of research. We value the contribution of undergraduate students to our mission and include them in many of the departmental activities.

Graduate student in labGraduate students in the Department, although primarily in the Chemistry graduate program, also have the opportunity to join the Environmental Science graduate program or the graduate program in Scientific Computing. A graduate program in Materials Science is under development. We offer both MSc and PhD degree programs and guarantee minimum funding of $20,000 per year to all qualified students. Many of our MSc candidates in the Chemistry program transfer directly to the PhD program after a successful year of study. Direct entry to the PhD program is also available for exceptional candidates. The Department offers a wide range of graduate courses each year including a very active graduate student seminar program. Graduate students are critical to our central mission of scholarship and research; there are many opportunities provided to maximize stimulating interactions between all members of the Department.

IRResearch in the Department covers a broad spectrum of chemical specialties but generally falls within three of the research themes highlighted in the Academic Plan of the Faculty of Science: Materials and Biomaterials; Computational Sciences and Environmental Science and Ecology. The Department is home to four Canada Research Chairs: R.J. Puddephatt in Materials Synthesis, T.K. Sham in Materials and Synchrotron Radiation, Y. Huang in Materials Characterization and L. Konermann in Protein Folding and Biological Mass Spectrometry. The Department is also home to two NSERC Industrial Research Chairs: D.W. Shoesmith supported by Ontario Power Generation and J.C. Wren supported by the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. In addition to research chairs, our faculty have been recognized extensively by the Canadian Society for Chemistry and the Chemical Institute of Canada through awards for their contributions to research and service to the community. Research in the Department is supported by excellent staff and facilities (including NMR, X-ray, and Mass Spectrometry, Glassblowing, and an in-house Electronics Shop).

SolventThe Department has strong ties to many research units in and beyond the university such as the Biological Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, The Canadian Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the Canadian Light Source, the National Ultra-high Field NMR Facility for Solids, Surface Science Western, Interface Science Western, the Nanofabrication Laboratory, Western Institute of Nanomaterials Science, the Ontario Photonics Consortium, the Centre for Tribology Research, the Centre for Chemical Physics, the London Health Sciences Centre, the Robarts Research Institute, and SHARCNET. We are also home to the Editorial Office of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry.

Within the last few years, the Department has secured additional space to accommodate its growing needs: we have expanded into the adjacent Biological & Geological Sciences Building and have compleated construction of a new Materials Science Addition.

We are proud of the high quality scholarship and research demonstrated by our undergraduate students, graduate students, visiting scholars, staff, and faculty. We welcome you to visit our Department and our university the next time you are in Southwestern Ontario! Please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kim M. Baines
Chair, Department of Chemistry

Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.