IDW2017: Celebrating 50 years of discovery and discussion

January 2018
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

The Inorganic Discussion Weekend (IDW) is a perennial fall meeting that has been part of the fabric of the Canadian inorganic chemistry community for 50 years. Originally initiated by York University Professor Emeritus Barry Lever, FCIC, the dream of bringing together the chemistry community from different regions of Canada began in 1968

The 50th IDW’s commemorative hockey game, held at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The 50th IDW’s commemorative hockey game, held at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

at the Guild Inn, near the Scarborough bluffs on Toronto’s west end waterfront. Since then the IDW has become one of the largest regional meetings in Canada, often attracting researchers from coast to coast to coast. The 2017 meeting was hosted by Ryerson University in November and included 210 attendees.

The IDW conference kicked off with a mixer and commemorative hockey game held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens, marking not only 50 years since the founding of IDW but also the last time Toronto won the Stanley Cup.

Conference organizer Bryan Koivisto from Ryerson University notes how he wanted something special for this landmark event. ”We had a lot of fun planning the whole thing, but I particularly liked the hockey game,” he says. Attendees received commemorative IDW hockey jerseys as part of their registration package.

 Nick Vukotic (Principal Scientist & PDM), Robert Drake (Sales Manager), Janet Casey (Marketing Specialist and Graphic Designer), Stanislav Veinberg (Application Scientist)

The team mounted by instrument maker PROTO Manufacturing, a gold sponsor of IDW 2017: Nick Vukotic (Principal Scientist & PDM), Robert Drake (Sales Manager), Janet Casey (Marketing Specialist and Graphic Designer), Stanislav Veinberg (Application Scientist)

The scientific portion of the conference began the next morning with a plenary lecture from Ian Manners, Professor and Chair of Inorganic, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry at the University of Bristol, who outlined his lab’s work with new inorganic soft materials. The morning and afternoon continued with graduate student presentations ranging from novel materials to catalysis. A second plenary lecture by University of British Columbia Professor Chris Orvig, FCIC, on radiopharmaceutical inorganic chemistry closed off the presentations for the day and then it was off to the poster session and banquet.

This year’s event organizers also felt that the milestone anniversary called for a special tribute to its founder, Barry Lever. This included an IDW history lesson and lively serenade from University of Toronto Professor Bob Morris, FCIC, who presented Lever with his own jersey.

“This is my first hockey jersey and it will certainly be treasured,” Lever observed. “My thanks especially to IDW organizers, for thoughtfully honouring me in this fashion — certainly a memorable night.”

Dr. Bryan Koivisto honours Dr. Barry Lever with his own IDW 2017 hockey jersey

Dr. Bryan Koivisto honours Dr. Barry Lever with his own IDW 2017 hockey jersey.

These high spirits carried into the last day, when University of Bern Professor of Chemistry Martin Albrecht gave a keynote plenary lecture on ligands for bond activation and oxidation catalysis. After more student presentations the IDW was closed out with the final plenary by Queen’s University Professor Cathleen Crudden, FCIC, who discussed the many applications of N-heterocyclic carbenes on surfaces.

"This celebratory event couldn’t have been successful without the help of all the volunteers, sponsors and attendees," concluded Dr. Koivisto. “Thank you all for your tremendous support and congrats to all the presentation winners.”

Congratulations to the following IDW 2017 presentation winners:

Posters:

Top poster: Caitlin T. Dao, University of Toronto
Runner up poster: Cally Li, Queen's University
Honorable mention: Jeanette A. Adjei, Ryerson University
Honorable mention: Monika Stolar, York University
Honorable mention: Fioralba Taullaj, University of Toronto

Talks:

Top Talk: Soren K. Mellerup, Queen's University
Runner up: Ryan R. Maar, Western University
Honorable mention: Alysha A. Alaimo, Brock University
Honorable mention: David Armstrong, University of Toronto