ChemistryWestern Science

2008-2009 News Archives

June 2009: The Departments of Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy celebrated the Grand Opening of the Materials Science Addition, which houses Canada's newest first-year chemistry and physics teaching laboratories, and state-of-the-art research facilities. Left: Prof. Kim Baines. Right: President Paul Davenport.

June 2009: Several Western students received accolades for presentations and posters at the 92nd 2009 CSC conference held in Hamilton, Ontario. Barb Bajtos (Pagenkopf) won an award for a top oral presentation in the Organic Chemistry Division with "The Application of [3 +2] Dipolar Annulation and Alkylation Reactions Involving Donor-acceptor 2-Alkoxycyclopropanoate Esters in Total Synthesis". Dave Dodd (Hudson) received the "Nucleic Acids Presentation Award (oral)" from the organizers of the Nucleic Acids Symposium. Four poster presentations also won awards: Kevin Daub (Wren) won the best poster award in the Surface Science Division with"An Electrochemical and Surface Analytical study of Carbon Steel Corrosion in the presence of Either Radiolytically-Produced or Chemically-Added Oxidants." Betty Galarreta (Lagugné-Labarthet and Norton) won the best poster prize in the Materials Chemistry division with "Physical and Optical Characterization of Metallic Nanopatterns". Ian Rupar was also involved in this project. Mohamed Moustafa (Hudson) won a poster prize with "Nucleobase Azo Compounds as Analogs of DABCYL: New Florescence Quenchers". Pam Yakabuskie (Wren) has won the best poster prize in the Analytical Chemistry Division with "Radiation-Induced Reactions of Nitrogen-Containing Species". Congratulations Everyone!

June 2009: Professor Brian Pagenkopf receives a National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Accelerator Supplement to support his research on new synthetic methods, natural products synthesis and silole based materials. Congratulations Brian!

June 2009: The winners of this year's ASPIRE award, which allows graduate students to perform research abroad, are Josh Byers and Caleb Martin. Josh will be traveling to The University of Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris-VI) and Caleb is going to The University of California at Riverside. Congratulations, Josh and Caleb!

June 2009: Andrew Leduc was selected to receive the Professor Jack W. Lorimer Convocation Honour. He will wear academic regalia donated by Professor Emertius Lorimer's first PhD student, Dr. Tom Brydges in honour of Professor Lorimer, at convocation. Jack is a world class researcher in various areas of physical chemistry, for example, in the thermodynamics of liquids, transport phenomena in membranes, irreversible thermodynamics, and electrochemistry and has published over sixty publications in these fields. He has remained actively involved in research since retirement including continuing his long time commitment and contributions to the IUPAC. As a teacher at Western, Jack taught extensively at the first year level and has taught, at one time or another, all of Western’s physical chemistry and statistical mechanics undergraduate courses as well as graduate courses in his field of research specialization. He developed, or helped to develop, the precursor courses to many of those offered by our department today. We would like to thank thank Dr. Brydges (left) for recognizing Jack (right) in this way and for his contribution to the department, and say our congratulations to Andrew (centre)!

May 2009: We would like to congratulate graduate student Pellumb Jakupi (supervised by David Shoesmith) on winning the Canadian Nuclear Society 2009 R. Jervis graduate student award!

May 2009: We are pleased to announce that Professor Paul Ragogna has been named The University of Western Ontario's Petro-Canada Young Innovator for 2009-2010. These awards were established to recognize, promote and support outstanding new faculty researchers whose work is particularly innovative, impacts positively on the learning environment in the department in which they study, and has the potential to be of significance to society at large. The program is intended to help attract and retain bright young minds at Canadian Universities and institutes and to help young researchers launch their scholarly careers and enable them to carry their research forward. Congratulations, Paul!

May 2009: We are pleased to annouce that graduate students Duncan Sutherland, Laura Pavelka, and Caleb Martin have received the 2004 CSC Conference travel awards in 2009. The CSC conference was held in London, Ontario, in 2004, and the proceeds of the conference were used to establish these rewards.

April 2009: We are delighted to announce that Joshua Byers is a recipient of a Faculty of Science Graduate Student Teaching Award. Teaching assistants contribute immensely to not only the undergraduate teaching missions of the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science, but also to Western's standing as Canada's Best Student Experience. As a tutorial, help room, and residence/library TA for Chemistry 020, 023, and 1050, Joshua's patience and willingness to help students learn course material did not go unnoticed. To this end, the Award recognizes Joshua’s exceptional contributions to these courses and to the undergraduate experience at Western.

April 2009: We are pleased to announce that Avedis Karadeolian was awarded this year's Robert and Ruth Lumsden Graduate Award and that and Christine Caputo is the recipient of the Robert and Ruth Lumsden Graduate Fellowship. Congratulations, Avedis and Christine!

March 2009: Professor Rob Lipson has been named a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada! CIC Fellowships are granted to individuals for exceptional contributions to the chemical profession, including scientific and technical contributions, contributions to teaching, and/or contributions to scientific management including contributions to the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC). As winner of the Florence Bucke Award and a Distinguished Research Professorship from the Faculty of Science, a Pleva Teaching Award winner, former Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Western, past Chair of the 2004 CSC Conference and current member of the Board of Directors of the CSC, Rob is certainly deserving of this honor.

February 2009: The Department of Chemistry is pleased that Prof. Lars Konermann has been appointed Canada Research Chair in Biophysical Protein Mass Spectrometry. Lars is one of Western's four newsest Canada Research Chairs.More details here.

February 2009: We are pleased to announce that the Senate Subcommittee on Teaching Awards has selected Professor Felix Lee as the recipient of The Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching! Congratulations Felix, on this recognition of your many efforts and successes in teaching our students! The award is awarded based on evidence of outstanding contributions in the area of classroom, laboratory, or clinical instruction, and is intended for faculty with less than seven years' experience.

February 2009: Dr. Barry Blight, a recent graduate from the Wisner group, has been selected as the recipient for this year's Paul de Mayo Award for Excellence in Chemical Research! Congratulations. This is the most prestigious graduate student alumni award Western Chemistry has to offer. The award consists of a medal, a plaque and funds to cover travel costs to return to Western and present a seminar. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

February 2009: We are delighted to announce that Katayoun Yazdanfar in the Clara Wren and David Shoesmith groups has been selected as the recipient for this year's Dr. Joseph Soltys Graduate Award in Chemistry. Congratulations Katayoun! This award was established by Mrs. Judith Soltys and others, in memory of Dr. Joe Soltys (BSc '63, PhD '69), through Foundation Western.

January 2009: We are extremely pleased to announce that Professor Bernie Kraatz has been awarded the 2009 Florence Bucke Science Prize. The Bucke Prize is awarded to a junior faculty member for outstanding contributions to research. His award address will be given at 7:30 pm on March 31, 2009. Mark your calendars; more details to follow!

December 2008: Cheryl O'Meara retired after 27 years of service to Chemistry (~36 years to Western). Cheryl will be fondly remembered for her many contributions particularly as the Graduate Coordinator but also as a former secretary to the Photochemistry Unit and several faculty. She also was instrumental in planning many social events, including the Hallowe'en potluck, the golf tournament, and the chili luncheon. I am sure Danny will enjoy her company for the rest of the days of his life. If you would like to send Cheryl a message, her e-mail ( is still active. We wish her all the best and much happiness in her retirement!

December 2008: Dr. Ted Hewitt, VP (Research and International Relations) held a reception is honour of the latest CFI and CRC awardees. Professors Paul Ragogna and Leo Lau were honoured for their success in the recent CFI New Opportunities Fund competition and Professor Francois Lagugné-Labarthetwas recognized as the recipient of a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Nanomaterials and Photonics. Congratulations to all!

December 2008: We would like to welcome Ms. Aneta Borecki back to the Department of Chemistry. Aneta will be working in Chemistry Stores as a Stores Assistant and for Prof. Beth Gillies as a Technical Assistant. Aneta graduated from the Department of Chemistry with a BSc in 2004 and a MSc in 2006, she worked at KGK Synergize Inc. as an analytical chemist.

December 2008: At the 41st Inorganic Discussion Weekend held at Brock University,graduate student Julie Hardwick (Baines group) was awarded the first place Dalton Poster Prize. In the same competition, graduate student Christine Caputo (Jones group) was awarded second place. Congratulations Julie and Christine!


November 2008: We are delighted to announce that the following professors in the Department of Chemistry have been named to the University Students' Council 2007-2008 Teaching Honour Roll for their outstanding performance in teaching: Beth Gillies, Robert Hudson, Lars Konermann, Francois Lagugné-Labarthet, Felix Lee, Dick Puddephatt, Martin Stillman, Mel Usselman, and Mark Workentin.

November 2008: We very pleased to announce that Professor Bernie Kraatz has been granted tenure and promoted to Professor effective July 1, 2009. Congratulations, Bernie!

November 2008: At the Quebec-Ontario Mini-Symposia in Synthetic and Bioorganic Chemistry (QOMSBOC), hosted by the University of Toronto, graduate student Andrew Leduc (Kerr group) won one of four awards for best poster. Congratulations, Andrew!

November 2008: We would like to congratulate our graduate students, Catherine Nowierski (first-place poster winner, joint graduate student in the Shoesmith and Ding groups) and Ajit Mishra (student travel grant, graduate student in the Shoesmith group), for their award-winning efforts at the Canadian Section Electrochemical Society Conference.

September 2008: We pleased to announce that Dr. Mathew Willans will join our department as the NMR Facility Manager. Mat just completed his PhD in solid state spectroscopy at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Prof. Rod Wasylishen. Welcome to Western, Mat!