Department of Chemistry

DEPARTMENT OF

Chemistry

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A message to the Queen’s Chemistry Community

Following statements from the Queen’s Principal and the Chemical Institute of Canada, we at the Queen’s Chemistry Department condemn anti-Black racism. The events of the past few weeks have emphasized the serious and systemic racial injustices and violence that are and have historically been committed against Black people, Indigenous peoples, and minorities in Canada.

We have an urgent obligation to act against the ideology of white supremacy and institutionalized racism that is experienced by Black chemists in Canada. As discussed in C&EN, our discipline continues to fail to recruit, retain, and support Black students, or to hire and promote Black chemists to faculty positions.

The Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University has a vision to become the most collaborative and diverse in Canada, and we recognize that there is significant work to be done to achieve this. We are taking the following actions:

  • We will write and establish a Code of Conduct that will ensure discriminatory behaviours and language are not acceptable in our Department.
  • We commit to self-education on the past and current racial injustices in chemistry and will not burden Black and Indigenous people with this invisible work.
  • We will begin the process to create Chemistry Graduate Awards for Black and Indigenous students. These will complement the recent university-wide awards for racialized students at Queen’s.
  • This year we created the Queen’s Chemistry Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity Award, which is annual awarded to a graduate student and fully funds them to attend the LOGIC Retreat and also covers travel to the CCCE Conference.
  • We are in the process of creating a new member resource group, a chapter of the CWIC, that is aimed at promoting equity and inclusion for women and minorities in our Department.

The Queen's Chemistry Department commits to tackling anti-Black racism and affirming through direct action that Black lives matter.

Resources:
Resource list from the Queen’s Black Academic Society.
Anti-racism resources for white and non-Black/Indigenous people
Decolonizing science reading list, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Donate:
Black Lives Matter Toronto (Toronto)
Black Legal Action Centre (Ontario)
Nia Centre for the Arts (Toronto)
Black Women In Motion (Toronto)

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Queen's Remembers Dr. Suning Wang

Photo: In memory of Dr. Suning WangWe report with great sadness that Dr. Suning Wang, 61, passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020 after a long illness. Dr. Suning Wang was a well-known, highly respected, distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Beloved wife of Kai Salomaa, dear daughter of Shulan Wu and the late Zhongye Wang, loving sister of Zhugang Wang and Zhude Wang. Suning will be sadly missed and dearly remembered by her extended family, colleagues, numerous students and the international Chemistry community. Dr. Wang was dedicated to her graduate students, she received numerous major awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Please view the Queen’s Gazette to read about the exceptional achievements of Dr. Wang. If desired, memorial donations for flowers for Dr. Wang can be sent/delivered on the afternoon of May 8th to Gordon F. Tompkins Funeral Home Central Chapel, 49 Colborne St., Kingston ON K7L 4Y8, Canada (for Suning Wang or a donation to in memory of Dr. Wang can be made to "The Palliative Care Trust Fund" on the page use the link "Donate today".

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Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and GreenCentre Canada develop hand sanitizer to help local hospitals

Photo: Top photo from Gazette article, bottom two photos showing post-doc working and end productThe Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering along with the GreenCentre Canada are in the process of making hand sanitizer to help local hospitals. In the Queen's Gazette article, Dr. Richard Oleschuk, Head, Department of Chemistry says "our health care professionals have enough to worry about at the moment and should not have to be concerned about rationing hand sanitizer as we try to ‘flatten the curve’. We know that we are not going to be in the long-term business of supplying hand sanitizer, as eventually supply will be brought online to meet demand. However, we felt that our interdisciplinary team had the skill set and infrastructure to make a difference in the short term.” There are three sites being used (two at the university and one at GreenCentre Canada) to make 300 litres of product per week to help meet the needs of Kingston hospitals. The project was also featured in the Kingston Whig Standard.

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Ni Electro Can Project featured on NSERC's Impact Stories

Photo:Ni Electro Can TeamThe achievements of the Engineered Nickel Catalysts for Electrochemical Clean Energy (Ni Electro Can) project is featured on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) homepage under Impact Stories. Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz and his prominent team of Canadian and international researchers received a competitive $4 million Discovery Frontiers grant from NSERC and since has been revolutionizing clean energy technology with the use of nickel electrochemistry and electrocatalysis.

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Congratulations! LOGIC 2020 EDII Awarded to Nicole Dozois!

Photo: Nicole Dozois & Dr. Amanda Bongers MSc Candidate Nicole Dozois was awarded the Queen’s Chemistry EDII Award which funds her trip to the CWICNetwork LOGIC2020 Retreat! This award was sponsored Queen's University Arts and Science and recognizes her equity, diversity, & inclusion efforts at Chemistry!  The Leaders Overcoming Gender Inequality in Chemistry (LOGIC) retreat will be hosted on May 23rd & 24th, 2020 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This year the theme is “Beyond the Visible Spectrum”. The two-day program for the LOGIC Retreat will focus on productive discussions for working in the chemical sciences, including aspects of equity, diversity, and inclusion. There are currently five invited speakers, with Dr. Jess Wade (known for tackling gender bias on Wikipedia) as the keynote speaker. In addition, there will be two workshops that will focus on writing EDI statements for grant applications (hosted by Dr. Lisa Willis) and leading with inclusion (hosted by Catalyst). Attendees will have many networking opportunities with time to share their research and present their EDI initiatives. To conclude the event, a panel discussion will occur with representatives from various industries. Learn more about this fantastic retreat hosted by CWIC Network here: https://cwicnetwork.com/logic-retreat/

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Introducing Dr. Farnaz Heidar-Zadeh to the Department of Chemistry

Photo: Farnaz Heidar-Zadeh Dr. Farnaz Heidar-Zadeh’s group in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry will develop new mathematical tools, numerical algorithms, and computer software to qualitatively and quantitatively predict the outcome of chemical phenomena. Her group is the lead developer of the free and open-source ChemTools software package, which encompasses a collection of tools for interpreting the numerical output of quantum chemistry calculations to gain chemical insight. They combine strategies from quantum chemistry and state-of-the-art machine learning methods to develop rapid, accurate, and efficient techniques to computationally predict molecular properties, and ultimately design molecules with desirable properties.

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