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Congratulations to Dr. Crudden who has been awarded the 2019 Montréal Medal!

Dr. Cathleen CruddenCongratulations to Dr. Cathleen Crudden for being this year’s recipient of the Montréal Medal! This award is presented to an individual for their leadership and outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. For more information about the award and Dr. Crudden’s successes, please visit the Chemical Institute of Canada's page.


Somayeh Mirzaee and Dr. Jean-Michel Nunzi featured in OSA Publishing

Somayeh Mirzaee and Jean-Michel Nunzi (J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 36(1) 53-60 (2019)) The Optical Society (OSA) selected a recent exploration by Somayeh Mirzaee and Jean-Michel Nunzi (J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 36(1) 53-60 (2019)) for their Spotlight on optics. It highlights the impact of ongoing study on the development of next-generation broad-band photodetectors and solar energy harvesters based on electro-optic rectification of light to voltage. These devices distinguish themselves from regular photodetectors by the simplicity of the materials used and thier relevance to electronics manufacturing, as they do not rely on band-to-band transitions. To view the Spotlight, please visit the OSA Publishing website.


Congratulation to Soren Mellerup in Suning Wang’s group who has won the 2019 CCUCC (Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs) Chemistry Doctoral Award

Dr. Soren MellupThis award is to recognize outstanding achievement and potential in research by a graduate student whose PhD thesis in chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12–month period preceding the nomination deadline. Soren is currently a Banting postdoctoral fellow in Professor Holger Braunschweig’s group at the University of Würzburg, Germany. He will receive this award at the 102nd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE 2019) which will take place in Quebec City from June 3-7, 2019.



Saying Goodbye, Dr. Erwin Buncel

Dr. Erwin Buncel 1931-2018Dr. Erwin Buncel passed away on December 19, 2018.

For over 50 years Erwin was one of the pillars of our department. He joined the chemistry department in 1962, and was research-active well beyond his retirement in 1997.

He co-supervised students as recently as 2015. Erwin also published over 400 papers, over 20 book chapters and review articles, three books and over a dozen edited monographs. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has received many awards for his work in physical-organic, bioorganic and bioinorganic chemistry. In 1998 a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry was published in his honour.

Erwin had a strong loyalty to our department and cared deeply about our students. In 2008, Erwin, his wife Penny and daughters Irene and Jacqui established the Dr. Erwin Buncel Scholarship to support students who enter the 3rd year of a chemistry program.

Erwin was born in Presov, eastern Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), in 1931; he and his family suffered greatly during the atrocities of the Second World War. The Buncel scholarship had been established in memory of his parents, Ignacz and Irena, and his sister Marta, who were persecuted and died during the war.

Erwin only received a continuous and high-quality education after moving to England in 1946, where he attended William Ellis Grammar School in London, obtained a B.Sc. degree and eventually a Ph.D. at University College London on organosilicon chemistry in 1957. He then performed postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina with Joe Bunnett, and at McMaster with Arthur Bourns. After a brief stint as an industrial chemist at the American Cyanamid Central Research Labs in Stamford, CT, he returned to Canada to join our department at Queen’s in 1962. He quickly rose through the ranks and was a Full Professor by 1970.

Erwin’s many humanitarian contributions must be mentioned; he was the director of a CIDA-funded project for the establishment of the Centre for Agrochemical Technology in Nigeria, and he served as the Canadian representative on the IUPAC initiative Chemical Research Applied to World Needs (CHEMRAWN). In his humble and gentle way Erwin was making our world a better place.

He will be missed by all of us!

Erwin Buncel obituary from the Globe and Mail (PDF, 78 KB)


Introducing the new NSERC-funded graduate student program CREATE-Materials for Advanced Photonics and Sensing (MAPS)

CREATE-Materials for Advanced Photonics and Sensing (MAPS) is a new NSERC-funded program that provides graduate students with comprehensive training in photonics problem solving using the best tools and approaches from physics, chemistry and engineering. We do this by providing: international and industrial internships, an innovative approach to supervision including external mentors, a new method of planning, tracking and summarizing skill development tailorable to each student's unique professional goals, and learning modules that focus on problem solving, leadership, ethics and professional development. For more information, please visit the Materials for Advanced Photonics Sensing website.