Department of Chemistry



site header

News Archive - 2017

Donation by the Robins Family (DavosPharma) enhances student education

Robins FamilyQueen’s grads, Barry Robins (BSc 1964 Chem.Eng., centre), and his sons, Dave Robins (BSc 1992 Eng. Chem., left) and Brian Robins (BSc 1994 Chem.Eng., right), made a generous donation of US $100,000 to the Department of Chemistry in support of our undergraduate and graduate student education programs. Barry Robins, an original native of Kingston, is the founder of DavosPharma, Upper Saddle river, NJ. The entire Robins family has been deeply involved in contributing to the welfare of Queen’s Chemistry. Their donation is only the most recent contribution to our department – Barry was one of the founders of the Queen’s Chemistry Innovation Council (QCIC). For many years, the Robins family has been active members in the QCIC and advised our students on advancing their careers and the department about its strategic priorities. Their donation to our department will be endowed to create a new graduate teaching award, to increase support for international graduate students, and to allow for undergraduate student travel to present 4th year research at national conferences. We are all very grateful to their amazing contribution to our department!

Their donation our department will be endowed to create a new graduate teaching award, to increase support for international graduate students, and to allow for undergraduate student travel to present 4th year research at national conferences.

All of us are very grateful to their amazing contributions to our department!


Chemistry installs a new 700 MHz NMR Spectrometer!

Staff & Faculty with the new NMR spectrometerExciting News!! Our new 700 MHz NMR spectrometer is being installed this week! The instrument is equipped with probes for both liquid and solid samples and will support departmental research and contract work for many years. The NMR instrument is part of the $8.8M CFI grant.



Congratulations to Caitlin Miron on receiving the 2017 Mitacs Outstanding Innovation Award-PhD!

Caitlin Miron receiving the 2017 Mitacs Outstanding Innovation award-PhDCongratulations to Caitlin Miron, Chemistry PhD candidate in the Petitjean group, for her achievements in winning the 2017 Mitacs Outstanding Innovation award-PhD, for her discovery and exploration of novel guanine quadruplex binders. Through the Mitacs Globalink program, Caitlin was able to drive a collaborative project between Queen’s Chemistry department (Petitjean group) and the IECB (Mergny group, Bordeaux, France) and identify very promising compounds with applications in health sciences. Caitlin is making news around the globe with her groundbreaking research that has the potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading; to read more please visit: The Whig, CTV News, and SI News.



Professor Gregory Jerkiewicz has been awarded the 2018 Eminent Visitor Award of the Catalysis Society of South Africa (CATSA).

Dr. Gregory JerkiewiczAs described on the CATSA web site, “CATSA aims to recognise excellence in catalysis research by overseas scientists. In acknowledgement of their significant contributions, an Eminent Visitor Award is presented to an influential researcher at the annual CATSA conference.” These awards include a lecture tour of selected universities and main catalysis research centres in South Africa.” More information about the award and the CATSA 2018 Conference can be found at the following CATSA website.





Special Congratulations to Bruce Jameson!

Bruce Jameson ChancellorSpecial Congratulations to Bruce Jameson! 70 years ago, Jameson left Queen’s with one credit short from his degree in engineering chemistry. He started working full-time for a petroleum company right after he left and stayed in the industry for 39 years. Over the years he married, had children, grandchildren and is now retired. On November 14, 2017 Bruce Jameson returned to Queen’s for Convocation and finally received his degree thanks to his grandson. Read the full article on Bruce Jameson’s success on the Gazette.



Dr. David ZechelZechel Lab Receives NSERC Strategic Grant for RoundUp Degradation

An NSERC Strategic Grant worth $851,400 over 3 years was awarded to the Zechel lab and a consortium of researchers to develop methods to remediate soils contaminated with RoundUp (glyphosate), the most widely used herbicide on Earth. Led by Trevor Charles (U. Waterloo), this proposal will combine the expertise of the Zechel lab with Geoff Horsman (Wilfrid Laurier), Ze-Chun Yuan (U. Western Ontario) and Kerri Wang (A&L Canada Laboratories) to select and engineer bacteria to degrade RoundUp.



Matthias Hermann, Chemistry's first graduate of the Stuggart-Queen's Dual Master's Degree Program!

Matthias HermannThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Matthias Hermann on being the first student to graduate from the Stuggart-Queen's Dual Master's Degree program. Matthias's international partnership was featured in the Queen's Gazette, read more on the Gazette.





Dr. Cathleen CruddenDr. Cathleen Crudden is one of the recipients of the 2017 Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research!

Dr. Cathleen Crudden is the most recent professor in a long line of accomplished chemistry faculty who have won this award in the past: 2015 Guojun Liu; 2011 Victor Snieckus; 2010 Philip Jessop; 2007 Suning Wang; 2006 Stan Brown; 1999 Axel Becke; 1998 Michael Baird; 1997 Almeria Natansohn; etc.


Dr. Philip Jessop receives Alumni of Honour Award

Alumni of Honour AwardsIn honour of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the University of Waterloo, their Faculty of Science presented Alumni of Honour Awards to 10 alumni, including Philip Jessop. The ceremony, presided over by Bob Lemieux, took place on Friday the 29th of September.








Collage photo of the inaugural Baird LectureProf. Richard Schrock (MIT) presents the inaugural Baird Lecture

The inaugural Baird Lecture was given on September 28th, 2017 by Prof. Richard Schrock (MIT) who presented a historical overview of the different discoveries related to the olefin metathesis reaction. Of course, Dr. Schrock’s own contributions were ultimately recognized with the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Prof. Schrock also showed highlights of his more recent work.





Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz and group's research was featured in the (e)AFFECT Spring 2017 issue. Congratulations!

Dr. Gregory JerkiewiczThe research of Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz has been featured in the Spring 2017 issue of (e) AFFECT magazine. Dr. Jerkiewicz is reaching out globally to help create a greener and cleaner world. To read more, view page 22 to 23  of the Spring 2017 issue of (e)AFFECT.




A drop of water sits on a superhydrophobic surface.This photo by Timothy Hutama, a master’s student in the Oleschuk lab in the Department of Chemistry, received honourable mention in the Queen’s 2016 Art of Research photo contest.Congratulations to Dr. Richard Oleschuk whose research was featured in the Queen's Alumni Review

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Oleschuk whose research was featured in the Queen's Alumni Review! Dr. Oleschuk's curiosity about water rolling off a Colocasia plant inspired further investigation, which led to the development of laser-patterned microfluidic chips. These microfluidic chips have different wetting properties that could be used to perform on-the-spot diagnostic tests for plant viruses and bacteria, water quality, or infections and other diseases in humans. Read more on the Queen's Alumni Review website.



Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Chemistry TA Award winners!

Andrew Burnie, Amy MacLean, Christene Smith, Mai-Jan Tom & Derek EsauAndrew Burnie was awarded the Fisher Scientific Award. Amy MacLean and Derek Esau each received the Friends of Chemistry Award. Christene Smith was recognized with the David Thomas Award and Mai-Jan Tom was presented with the Patrick Doolan Award.








Dr. Suning Wang & StudentsCongratulations to Dr. Suning Wang for winning the Queen's University 2017 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student supervision.

This award recognizes Dr. Wang’s achievements as a researcher and mentor of graduate students. The nomination was prepared by present and former students who shared compelling anecdotes about the outstanding education they received while working in Dr. Wang’s group.


Congratulations to Morgan Lehtinen for winning the Graduate Student Speaker Award!

Morgan LehtinenCongratulations to Morgan Lehtinen, an MSc Candidate in the Liu Group who was awarded the Graduate Student Speaker Award for an oral presentation in the field of Self-Assembly at Surfaces sponsored by Chemistry of Materials and ACS publications at CSC 2017.







Congratulations Drs. Avena Ross and Matthew Zamora!Drs. Avena Ross and Matthew Zamora

We congratulate Drs. Avena Ross and Matthew Zamora on their marriage.


Chernoff Hall Undergoes the Single Largest Climate Action Project on Queen's Campus

Constructing the strobic fansStrobic FansIn the summer of 2017, Chernoff Hall installed heat exchanges coils into the building air take and into the building exhaust. Chernoff Hall increased the number of "virtual stacks" from 6 to 8 and as a result the temperature of the incoming air can be adjusted using a fraction of the energy. The energy savings are approximately $90,0000 annually and CO2 emission savings are about 635 tons annually.



Chemistry welcomes Ben Geiger our new Instrumentation Technologist

Ben GeigerWe are pleased to announce that Ben Geiger has joined the Department of Chemistry as our Instrumentation Technologist. Ben has extensive technical skills working with and repairing robotics, electronics, sensory systems, pneumatic and hydraulic systems.  Additionally, he has a strong IT background with innovation and process improvement experience.  Needless to say, Ben brings a wealth of experience and a dynamic insight into supporting and maintaining our teaching and research instrumentation.



Congratulations to Dr. Jutae Kim! Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz and Dr. Jutae Kim

We congratulate Jutae Kim, a former PhD student in the Laboratory of Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz, on having been appointed Research Professor at the Global Frontier Center for Multiscale Energy Systems at Seoul National University in South Korea. Jutae defended his PhD thesis in May 2017 and was appointed Research Professor the following month.


Dr. Hans-Peter Loock Head of Chemistry

Dr. Hans-Peter LoockCongratulations to Dr. Hans-Peter Loock who has been appointed as Head of the Department of Chemistry for the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021.  



Congratulations to our 2017 Chemistry Graduates!Graduating Class of 2017

From the left: Tia A., Nausheen S., Hao C., Nic A., Gurpaul K., & Lacey R.


Congratulations to Dr. Victor Snieckus on being named the 2017 Yoshida Lecturer!

Dr. Victor SnieckusDr. Victor Snieckus has been named the 2017 Yoshida Lecturer in recognition of his accomplishments in organic chemistry.  He will present lectures at Osaka and Kyoto Universities and participate in the Nordic/Japan Symposium during the June 20-25, 2017 period. For more information on Organic Chemistry for Humankind please the IOCF website.




The 2017 Chemistry FamilyThe 2017 Chemistry Family

Every year our department takes a group photo; see how this year's photo came together.





Congratulations to the Undergraduate Class of 2017!

The Graduating Class





A former PhD student, from the Liu group, has been awarded a highly prestigious title!

Dr. Xiaoyu Li, a former Ph.D. student of the Liu group, has been awarded a thousand-young-talents position by the Chinese government. With this highly prestigious title, he will now join the Beijing Institute of Technology as a faculty member. After receiving a Ph.D. degree at Queen's, he has worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bristol, England, and then RIKEN, Japan.


Robin Roberts of the Department of Chemistry is retiring as of June 30, 2017

Robin RobertsRobin joined the Department of Chemistry in 1980.  Over the years, he has continuously worked to keep our instrumentation running smoothly.  His dedication to fixing all equipment (both large and small); supporting the NMR and Surface Analysis instrumentation, among our other teaching and research facilities have been instrumental to the ongoing success of our department and will always be remembered.  Robin is looking forward to spending time traveling over the next year, golfing, fishing, and drumming with his band!


Congratulations to the newest Canada Research Chair in Chemistry, Dr. Cathleen Crudden!

The Crudden Group

The announcement came recently that Dr. Crudden has been awarded a Tier 1 Chair. She is the only new appointee at Queen’s this round, and joins colleagues Drs. P. Andrew Evans, Philip Jessop, Guojun Liu, Jean-Michel Nunzi and Tucker Carrington, other Chairholders in the Chemistry department.

Dr. Crudden’s research involves investigating the interaction of organic compounds with metals in the synthesis of novel materials and for the development of highly active catalysts. Controlling the interaction between organic and metal species is important in the development of new catalysts that are useful in the production of pharmaceuticals and in state-of-the-art biosensing applications where metals must interface with organics. Building on work from her catalyst development, Dr. Crudden has shown that carbon to metal bonds can be significantly more stable than originally believed. Through the Canada Research Chairship, her group will investigate the implications of these novel strong linkages for the preparation of novel biosensors, microelectronics and catalysts. Work will focus on films that are 100,000 times thinner than the human hair and on nanoscopically ordered particles featuring bonds between metal clusters and organic ligands.


Dr. Jean-Michel Nunzi is the recipient of the Visiting Scientist Award. Congratulations!

Jean-Michel Nunzi receiving the visiting scientist awardJean-Michel Nunzi received the Visiting Scientist Award of the Chinese academy of Sciences under the CAS President’s Fellowship Initiative for 2017. Research on Nonlinear Nanophotonic Devices will take place at the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.




Chemistry participates in Pitch-in Kingston 2017

Elisa, Meredith, Michelle and Barb

Some of our administrative staff took their lunch hour to participate in Sustainable Kingston's Pitch-In week.








Professors Crudden, Jessop, Loock and Wu have articles featured in the Royal Society of Chemistry special issue in honour of the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition

The Royal Society of Chemistry has put together a special issue of the best of Canadian chemistry, in honour of the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition. Articles from Professors Crudden, Loock, Wu, and Jessop are included.


Congratulations to undergraduate students Lea Gozdzialski and Rachel Ross for their award winning 4th year research projects!

Lea Gozdzialski, Peter Loock and Rachel Ross

Lea Gozdzialski (Stamplecoskie Group) won the Walter MacFarlane Smith Prize in Chemistry for her thesis ' Optimization of a Cobalt Redox Shuttle Electrolyte in Metal Cluster Sensitized Solar Cells'.


Rachel Ross (Evans Group) won the M. Sullivan and Son Limited Scholarship for her thesis ‘Enantioselective Iridium-Catalyzed Allylic Amination with an Azaylide Pronucleophile'.



Congratulations to Abouzar Toubaei on receiving the Christopher Knapper Teaching Award!

Abouzar Toubaei is the recipient of the Christopher Knapper Teaching Award for the Fall semester of the 2016-2017 academic year presented by the Teaching Awards Committee of the Alma Mater Society (AMS). Congratulations Abouzar!

To view the all the Teaching Award recipients, please click here.

4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Project Presentations

Mark your calendars for Monday, April 10th and Tuesday, April 11th: You will have a great opportunity to listen to the 4th year undergraduate thesis project presentations and learn about a variety of research topics pursued in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s. Everyone is welcome to attend! Click here to access the 4th year student presentation schedule (PDF, 102 KB).

Congratulations to Dr. Diane Beauchemin on receiving the 2017 Maxxam Award!

Dr. Diane BeaucheminThe Canadian Society for Chemistry President, Rui Resendes, MCIC and the Board of Directors have announced that Dr. Diane Beauchemin has won the 2017 Maxxam Award. This award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of analytical chemistry while working in Canada. It is available to government, industry and academia, on a rotating basis. The award will be presented during the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition this summer.



Dr. Philip Jessop is one of the 2016 Strategic Partnership Grant Winners!

Dr. Philip JessopNSERC has announced the winners of the 2016 competition for Strategic Partnership Grants. Dr. Jessop has been awarded $552,740 for research on using waste CO2 and waste heat to recover drinkable water from seawater and wastewater. Read more in the Queen's Gazette.




New Approach to Technology Transfer

There has been an announcement regarding a change at PARTEQ Innovations and Industry Partnerships. Queen’s is implementing those recommendations by integrating the PARTEQ, Industry Partnerships, and Innovation Park teams as a shared service within the Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio. To read more about PARTEQs recent announcement, please visit the Queen's Gazette website.

NanoFabrication Kingston featuring a new logo

NanoFabrication Kingston LogoDr. Richard Oleschuk, Chair of the NFK Science and Management Committee, comments on the new NanoFabrication logo: "The new logo, a bold black and gold geometric shape, suggestive of origami, was chosen for its strong, clean lines and its three-dimensional look. It suggests the idea of transformation, and about thinking big on a small scale. That’s what this lab is going to help us do." NanoFabrication Kingston is growing and has been featured in the CKWS news.

Research Results of Dr. Jerkiewicz and His French Collaborators Published in Science Advances

Dr. Gregory JerkiewiczIn the latest issue of Science Advances, Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz and his French collaborators of the Université de Poitiers, Drs. Stève Baranton and Christophe Coutanceau, report on an exceptionally high H loading of octahedral Pd nanoparticles of 7.8 nm in size.  Upon H absorption, the nanoparticles develop a core-shell-skin structure, the existence of which is observed for the first time.  Read more in Science Advances.




Congratulations to Dr. Tucker Carrington on receiving the Humboldt Research Award!

Dr. Tucker CarringtonEvery year, the Humboldt  Research Award is granted to a maximum of 100 researchers worldwide in recognition of achievements that have had a significant impact. Tucker Carrington received the award for his research in new methods for solving the Schrödinger equation to compute ro-vibrational spectra.  The iterative methods he has developed are now widely recognized as methods of choice for molecules and reacting systems with more than three atoms. They make it possible to study, at a detailed level, systems of real chemical interest. Read more.






Congratulations to Dr. Cathleen Crudden on receiving the 2017 R.U. Lemieux Award of the CSC!

This award is presented to an organic chemist who has made a distinguished contribution to any area of organic chemistry and who is currently working in Canada.”

Dr. Crudden is the first woman who won the award, since it was launched in 1992, but she is not the first Queen’s professor. Stan Brown (2007), Erwin Buncel (1999), Victor Snieckus (1997) and Saul Wolfe (1992) had won the award previously.