This year’s winner of the 2014 Chemical Institute of Canada medal is Douglas W. Stephan, FCIC, of the University of Toronto. Stephan’s research targets innovative new technologies for the efficient production of desirable chemical products. His group develops new transition metal-based catalysts for hydrogenation, polymerization and metathesis in collaboration with industry. His work on “Frustrated Lewis Pairs” has led to the development of metal-free approach hydrogenation catalysis and new strategies for the activation of small molecules such as olefins, alkynes and greenhouse gases.
The 2014 winner of the Montréal Medal/Médaille de Montréal is B. Mario Pinto, FCIC , of Simon Fraser University. A tireless promoter of chemistry, Pinto has advocated for an ecosystem of pathways from ideas to invention, innovation and commercialization. Underscoring Pinto’s work is a dedication to revitalizing dialogue to advance research and innovation through collaboration. He has promoted chemistry awareness in the public schools and secured a leadership role for SFU internationally.
This past March, the Engineering Institute of Canada conferred the title of Fellow upon Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering members Bruce Peachey, FCIC, and Christopher Yip.
Two chemists are this year’s recipients of the Canada Council for the Arts Killam Research Fellowships. They include Mario Leclerc, of the département de chimie, Université Laval. Leclerc’s project, New Chemistry for Solar Energy, addresses the low-cost production of a renewable source of energy. His group is working on a unique polymerization method to develop efficient and printable polymeric semiconductors. This competitive research area is one of the most promising ways to lower the cost of the energy generated by solar cells. A Killam Research Fellowship also went to University of British Columbia Department of Chemistry’s Stephen George Withers, FCIC, a world leader in the emerging field of engineering carbohydrate-modifying enzymes. Withers’ project, Development and Use of Ultra-High-Throughput Screens for Directed Evolution and Metagenomics, will go beyond the engineering of known enzymes and develop techniques that will enable the discovery of unknown enzymes for their subsequent modification. This has future industrial application in disease-fighting therapeutics.