ChemistryWestern Science

2012-2013 News Archives

June 2013: Student accolades at CSC 2013

We are pleased to announce that at the 2013 CSC held in Quebec City that three students won presentation awards. Nastaran Kazemi-Zanjani (FLL) got first prize for an oral presentation in the Surface Science Division. Jonathan Dube (PJR) was awarded first place for his poster on his PH3 chemistry (including the flame thrower degassing process). And Adam Elmehriki (RHEH) won an undergraduate poster award. Congratulations to all!

May 2013: Matt Ward receives the 2013 Jack Lorimer Convocation Honour

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Matthew Ward has been awarded the 2013 Jack Lorimer Convocation Honour. Matt did his distinguished Ph.D. studies with T.K. Sham and is currently a postdotoral fellow at Cornell.

Recently, a former PhD graduate of this department, Dr. Tom Brydges, donated Ph.D. convocation robes to the Department in honor of Professor Emeritus Jack Lorimer. Each convocation, a Ph.D. graduate from our Department will be selected to wear these robes in honor of Jack. Many congratulations to Matt.

Professor Emeritus J.W. (Jack) Lorimer joined the Department in 1961 as an Assistant Professor, “progressed through the ranks” to become a full professor, and retired in 1994 as an Emeritus Professor. He was born in Oshawa, Ontario, and obtained his B.A. (1951), M.A. (1952) and Ph.D. (1954) from the University of Toronto. He then did postdoctoral work at the University of Leiden, and was an Assistant and then Associate Research Officer at the Atlantic Regional Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada in God's Country, before taking up his appointment at Western. During his career, Jack was a Visiting Professor at Murdoch University, Glasgow University and the University of Southampton, and is a Fellow of The Chemical Institute of Canada. He has had a long time involvement with The Electrochemistry Society and The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (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.

April 2013: Ryan Guterman places in 3-Minute Thesis competition

We are pleased to announced that Mr. Ryan Guterman (Ragogna) placed third in this year's annual 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for his talk entitled, "From the Lab to your Kitchen Counter: Understanding Water Repellent Surfaces". [Full Western News Story] Congratulations, Ryan!

April 2013: 3M Lecturer Prof. Ian Manners

This year we are pleased to welcome Prof. Ian Manners from The University of Bristol as this year’s 3M Lecturer. Prof. Manners visited us for two days and had the opportunity to interact with faculty and students. Below Prof. Joe Gilroy (left) presents the commemorative plaque to Prof. Manners.

April 2013: Chemists weigh in on Franklin lead debate

Research from Prof. Ron Martin and co-workers from Chemistry at Western University on the role of lead poisoning in Franklin's ill fated 19th-century voyage to explore the Arctic is featured in a CBC story. A related story also appears on page 3 of Western News.

April 2013: Dr. Lijia Liu wins 2012 Bancroft Thesis Award

Congratulations to Dr. Lijia Liu, a recent graduate of this department, for being selected as the winner the 2012 Bancroft Thesis Award of the Canadian Light Source! This award was set up in honor of our colleague, Mike Bancroft, Professor Emeritus, the inauguration Director of the CLS for his contributions to synchrotron science in Canada and was given annually to award outstanding thesis research conducted at the CLS. Read more about the award here.

April 2013: Western excels at SOUSCC

At the 2013 Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference (SOUSCC) held at McMaster University, March 30, 2013, our program was well represented with 15 students participating. And, once again it’s impressive that many of our students won presentation awards. The prize winners are: Evelyn Asiedu (PJR, 3rd prize in Inorganic), Ashley Evans (PJR, 1st prize in Inorganic Materials), Christopher Harrison (JBG, 3rd prize in Organic Materials), Connor Hart (ZD, 2nd prize in Materials and Spectroscopy), and Regina Sinelnikov (TSK/YH, 2nd prize in Inorganic Materials). Congratulations to all the winners!

April 2013: Chemistry Awarded SSD Funds

We are extremely pleased to announce that through the generosity of the Science Student Donation Fund (SSDF) the Department of Chemistry has been awarded $29,525 for the purchase of new undergraduate lab equipment.

The Department of Chemistry will partner with the Student Science Council to purchase three electrochemical workstations with the associated software and rotating disk electrodes to upgrade our undergraduate laboratory capabilities in physical and analytical chemistry. Electrochemical methods are widely used in modern chemistry due to their exceptional versatility and sensitivity, for instance, for qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis, for measurements of diffusion coefficients, ion mobility, etc. The instruments will be another unique feature contributing to the strengths of the Western Chemistry program.

In addition, funds were received to purchase 6 new melting point apparatuses for Chem 2213/2223 in our ongoing efforts to modernize the equipment in these large important courses.

We thank all science students who contribute to this fund and the Science Students Donation Allocation Committee and the Student Science Council for the administration of these monies. This fund is absolutely instrumental (...pun) in helping keep our undergraduate laboratories in the Department of Chemistry well equipped. Thanks to Mr. Ron Maslen and Professor Martin Stillman for coordinating this year’s request.

March 2013: Prof. Konermann honored with the 2013 Ken Standing Award

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Professor Lars Konermann has been awarded the 2013 Ken Standing Award. The Ken Standing Award is presented by the sponsors of the Enabling Technologies (ETP) Symposium to honor a young scientist who has made a significant contribution to technology development in support of research in the life sciences. The award honors the career of Ken Standing, Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, who was a major figure in the development of time-of-flight mass spectrometry for bioanalytical applications.

The ETP Symposium was initiated as part of a Genome Canada project sponsored by MDS Sciex, Genome Alberta and Genome Prairie. Its major theme was to have world-renown scientists present papers on their experiences with novel technologies that have, or will have a major influence on research in the life sciences. The popularity of the original two symposia led to the creation of a not-for-profit entity, ETP Symposium Inc., who now is responsible for organizing the symposium on a biennial basis. The theme remains the same: alerting scientists in the life sciences to advances in new technology that could have a significant impact on their research activities.

Please join us in congratulating Lars on this accomplishment!

March 2013: Welcome Professor Johanna Blacquiere

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Johanna Blacquiere has accepted our offer of an appointment as Assistant Professor of Chemistry! Dr. Blacquiere completed her PhD in 2011 at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Professor Deryn Fogg where she worked in the area of organometallic chemsitry with applications in olefin metathesis and dinitrogen activation. She then joined the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, a collaborative Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in Seattle, Washington, as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow working with the world-renowned chemist Professor James Mayer.

Dr. Blacquiere's research interests are diverse ranging from transition metal to mechanistic chemistry. Her research program is aimed at developing sustainable transition metal catalysts. Not only will her appointment ensure the continued success of our inorganic and organic chemistry courses, her research interests complement those in the Energy and Mechanism and the Synthesis and Catalysis research clusters in the Department of Chemistry and the research interests at Western in the area of Environment and Sustainability.

Johanna's email is Please join us in welcoming her to our department. She will start on July 1.

March 2013: Prof. Corrigan awarded Florence Bucke Science Prize

We are pleased to announce that Professor John Corrigan has been awarded the 2013 Florence Bucke Science Prize of the Faculty of Science. The Bucke Prize is awarded to a faculty member in Science for outstanding contributions to research. His award address will be given at 7:30 pm on March 27, 2013.

Please join us in congratulating John on this outstanding achievement!

December 2012: The Centre for Synchrotron Radiation Research

This month, Western celebrated the opening of the Soochow University-Western University Centre for Synchrotron Radiation Research, located in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. The centre will be physically located at Soochow, although a node will be located at Western. Read the full news story here.

November 2012: Graduate Student Accolades

We are proud to share that Shannon Hill (Shoesmith) won the student poster competition at this fall’s National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) International North Eastern Area Conference in Toronto. Nafiseh Ebrahimi (Shoesmith) also received a poster award at this meeting. Additionally, Daniel Vaccarello (Ding) won the second poster prize and Tom Stockmann (Ding) was selected to give the only student talk at the Electrochemical Society (ECS) Canadian Section Fall Symposium held at Laurentian University. And, Jonathan Dube (Ragogna) was awarded the best oral presentation at the recent Inorganic Discussion Weekend for his lecture on harnessing the reactivity of low valent/low oxidation state P and As compounds. Brad Berven (postdoc, Ragogna) received a first place poster award at the recent ACS Fluoropolymer conference in Las Vegas for his work on UV curable, hydrophobic surfaces.

Congratulations on the awards and recognition!

September 2012: Dr. Hossein Ismaili delivers De Mayo Award Lecture

IMAGE picture with kim, hossein and mark

September 2012: Dr. Hossein Ismaili from the Workentin group returns to Western to deliver the Paul De Mayo Award Lecture. His lecture, entitled "Semiconductor-Based Photocatalytic Organic Transformations and Efforts Towards Single-Molecule Catalysis," is based on his postdoctoral studies in the Sciano group at the University of Ottawa. Shown in the photo are Kim Baines (Chemistry Chair), Hossein Ismali and Mark Workentin.

September 2012: Mark Milne wins poster prize

Mark Milne (Hudson group) won a first place poster award at the World Molecular Imaging Conference held in Dublin, Ireland for his work on MRI contrast agent development. The WMIC conference is a premier international conference, this year having about 900 poster presentations.

September 2012: Prof. Sham Elected RSC Fellow

We are pleased to announce that Professor TK Sham, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Synchrotron Radiation and Professor of Chemistry, has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Read the story here.

"Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada. Its mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world.

For three decades, Prof. T.K. Sham has been a Canadian and international leader in the development and use of soft X-ray synchrotron techniques for the study of matter and has become internationally known for his unique studies of nanomaterials. He has developed three novel techniques: conductivity XAFS of liquids; x-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL); and time-resolved XEOL (TRXEOL). The latter two have been applied to obtain unique structural and electronic information for a variety of technologically important materials."

Please join us in congratulating TK on this important recognition.

August 2012: Students win poster prizes

We are pleased to announce that Kirby Chicas (Hudson) won a “best poster” prize at the recently held 20th International Roundtable on Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids in Montreal. Competition was tough, with over 280 posters presented from scientists coming from 31 countries representing 5 continents. Susan Howett (Wren) won the "best poster" competition at the Radiation Chemistry Gordon Research Seminar, held in Andover, NH, USA. And, Pam Yakabuskie (Wren) won the "best poster" competition at the 2nd workshop on "Radiation Effects in Nuclear Technology" held at University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Additionally, three of our students won top prizes at the 24th Canadian Material Society conference organized in London June 5-8 2012. Best Oral presentation, first prize for Nastaran Kazemi-Zanjani, (Lagugne) for "Principles and Applications of Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Material Science," second Prize for Poster - Mohammadali Tabatabaei, (Lagugne)" Surface-Enhanced Fluorescence (SEF): Mapping Individual Hot-Spots in Silica-Protected 2D Gold Nanotriangle Arrays," and third Prize for Poster- Ryan McBride, (Gillies) "Kinetic Evaluation and Mechanistic Modeling of the Effect of Chain Length on Self-Immolative Degradation in a Linear Polymeric System." Among 5 prizes up for grabs, Chemistry got three.

Congratulations to all the winners!