A message from the Head (Graduate)

September 1st, 2023

Welcome to Queen’s Chemistry!

We are excited to begin charting our course as a department for the next 5 years. Our faculty and staff met for two days this past May to develop our 2024-29 strategic plan, which will be published this December. We’re very excited by the prospects of this plan and how it will position us as a leading Department in fields such as Green chemistry, materials chemistry for production and storage of energy, bioanalytical chemistry, and chemical biology. And we’re equally enthusiastic about our plans to prepare our undergraduate and graduate Chemistry students for the opportunities and challenges that face us in the 21st century, especially climate change, pandemic preparedness, waste plastic, and the rise of artificial intelligence and machine leaning.

Our department has seen several changes in faculty and staff over the past 3 years. Richard Oleschuk completed his term as Head this summer and will be replaced by Philip Jessop at the start of 2024. Lindsay Lee has taken over as Department Manager following many years of excellent service by Heather Drouillard, while Matthew MacArthur is stepping in for Lindsay while she is on maternity leave. Candace Chabot is our new Administrative Assistant who has the challenge of keeping the Head on track. Drs. Michael Mombourquette and Igor Kozin retired this summer after many energetic years of as instructors for our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year undergraduate courses and labs. Stepping into these key roles are Dr. Alaina Boyd and Kristen Harrington, both who are Queen’s Chemistry alumni! Andrew Boddington, Laura Hull, and Yvette Liu have joined our technical staff to keep our instruments and labs running smoothly. And we have another new faculty member, Dr. Lucia Lee, who joined our department in 2022 and is keen to recruit students into her research program on main group supramolecular chemistry.

In addition to having great students, supporting staff, and Faculty, there are several reasons why you should consider joining or engaging with Queen’s Chemistry as a student, alumni, prospective faculty member, or industry partner:

  • Our Department is located in Chernoff Hall, an award winning building with inspiring architecture and state of the art facilities.
  • Queen’s Chemistry has 25 faculty, including 8 women, one of the highest percentages of female faculty in Canada.
  • Our research interests are broad and continue to evolve, covering: analytical / environmental, biological, chemical education, inorganic / organometallic, materials / polymer, organic, physical, and theoretical / computational chemistry.
  • Our department hosts the Carbon-to-Metal-Coatings Institute (C2MCI), a Tier 1 research institute that aims to develop coating materials that will enhance the stability of metals used in transportation, electronics, and precision medicine.
  • Our department is a member and co-leader of Open Plastic, a Genome Canada funded program dedicated to finding a biological solution to reduce waste plastic.
  • Our department has undergone dramatic renewal by hiring 9 new faculty members, including 4 women, over the last 5 years.
  • Our faculty are among the most decorated in Canada, and include 4 Canada Research Chairs, a Bader Chair, and an Allie Vi Douglas University Professorship. They have also won many international awards and nearly every award from the Canadian Society for Chemistry!
  • Our Department offers a number of exciting undergraduate degrees in chemistry, including a joint program with Environmental Studies. We also provide the chemistry expertise required for Engineering Chemistry undergraduate students to graduate with dual accreditation (as both engineers and chemists). Undergrads have many opportunities to work in our research labs during the summer months, or as 4th year students during their capstone research projects. Such students often attend chemistry conferences and become co-authors of articles that are published in top chemistry journals. Many of our undergraduates proceed to graduate studies.
  • We also offer an exciting graduate studies program that is currently instructing over 100 graduate students at the MSc and PhD level. Our students receive a competitive minimum stipend (which rapidly increases with awards!), are unionized, and are ably represented by the Queen’s Graduate Chemistry Society. They are also highly successful in winning awards (nearly 50% are award holders!), and go on to hold positions in academia, government, and industry following graduation.
  • Our Department offers an accelerated MSc program for our ambitious chemistry undergraduates, and a Dual MSc program in partnership with the University of Stuttgart to those students who wish to study abroad.
  • In addition to studying chemistry in our graduate program, we also offer graduate courses in Scientific Ethics, Business Skills for the Chemical Industry, and Leadership Skills.
  • Our Department is closely connected to industry through the Queen’s Chemistry Innovation Council (QCIC), a group of business leaders and executives who advise our department and provide career guidance to our graduate students.

In closing I would like to highlight one last distinguishing feature of our Department, and that is our sense of community. Chernoff Hall, with its many common areas, encourages many informal chats between students, faculty, and staff during coffee and lunch breaks. Undergraduates hang out and study outside the offices of faculty in our wonderful 4th floor atrium, and often get to know our faculty personally. With this in mind, if you are interested in joining our chemistry community as an undergraduate or graduate student, please feel free to contact me for more information at depthead@chem.queensu.ca.

I look forward to hearing from you!



David Zechel

Acting Head