2018 Florence Bucke Science Award

The Florence Bucke Science Award recognizes excellence in research conducted by a young and upcoming faculty member. The award was made available through an endowment from the late Florence Bucke who received a BA from Western University in 1926 and went on to teach in Fort Erie until 1971.

The prize consists of a certificate, a $2000 award, and public lecture which will take place on Wednesday, April 25th at 3:30 pm in the Physics and Astronomy Building, Room 100. A reception will follow.

This year's recipient is Dr. Paul Ragogna from the Department of Chemistry. Paul's research focuses on the synthesis of new molecules containing the main group or transition metal elements and their application in practical chemical processes. An abstract for Paul's lecture can be found below.


Fun with Main Group Chemistry

The Ragogna Research Group

The main group elements, a sub-group of the iconic Periodic Table of the Elements, have long been the vanguard for establishing parameters for principles of chemical structure (molecular shape) and bonding (forces holding atoms together). A main group chemist often tries to push the boundaries of established rules for structure and bonding, which makes the research area both interesting and frustrating.

Chemists working with compounds derived from this part of the Periodic Table have not only made ground-breaking, fundamental discoveries (e.g. Noble Gas compounds), but have also generated new materials that are of immense practical benefit to humanity (e.g. Silicone polymers).  Since 2005 our group has spent considerable effort investigating the fundamental chemistry the main group elements, and although we cannot lay claim to such impactful discoveries such as silicones, we do indeed look to discover applications for our new knowledge.  In this context, key fundamental discoveries that have emerged from our lab and the spin-off, industrially-relevant research will be highlighted.  Most importantly, the lecture will be a tribute to the clear dedication, skill, and tenacity of the many undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that have passed through the Ragogna Group laboratories.  As we all know, without such a team, none of the discoveries would have come to fruition.