Pretending to be an Organic Chemist

I love the diversity of people I can collaborate with at the University of Edinburgh. People do all kinds of neat stuff. One person who is particularly fun to collaborate with is Steve Thomas. We co-supervise a student together – and that student has just done a great thing… Get me to publish a paper in an organic chemistry journal!

Congratulations to Kailong (Kevin) Zhu on his paper “Stable and Easily-handled Fe(III) Catalysts for Hydrosilylation of Ketones and Aldehydes” which is accepted for publication in the European Journal of Organic Chemistry. Well done Kevin!

Glen Briand and MtA

Congrats to Glen Briand, my indium collaborator at Mount Allison University. We screened some of Glen’s indium complexes for activity in ring-opening polymerisations of cyclic esters when we were still back in Canada and a paper based on these results has just been accepted in the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry. I miss good ol’ Mt. Allison. My alma mater for my undergraduate degree (oh so long ago), I look back fondly at the excellent training and personal attention I received at this small liberal arts college. I wouldn’t be the scientist I am today without those experiences. Bru!

Genny and Canadian Chemistry

Congratulations to Genny Keefe (Team Canada, soon to be Team Edinburgh) and our collaborators from Dalhousie University (Jean-d’Amour and Bruce). Our paper has been accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Chemistry.

Two quick thoughts:

(1) This is Genny’s first paper and captures work she did in between the 2nd and 3rd year of her undergraduate degree at the University of Prince Edward Island. It is SUPER important to get young scientists involved in real laboratory work early in their careers. Genny is proof that this experience can also be quite productive!

(2) It is also SUPER important to recognize the role that Can. J. Chem. plays in supporting the Canadian chemistry community. It is an important journal and one that Canadian scientists should strive to publish high quality work in more frequently.

Anyway, congrats Genny! Now get to work on that monomer for the NEXT paper!

Under Pressure

I’ve just returned from a very rewarding trip to the Georg-August-Universitat Göttingen to visit the labs of Professor Michael Buback. Professor Buback is a world leader in understanding the kinetics of polymerization reactions – especially under extreme conditions. We are hoping that he can help us to understand the mechanisms behind some of our catalysts – no “pressure” though, guys!

Much thanks is deserved for the great hospitality during my visit, especially from the ATRP team (Hendrik Schröder, Nicolai Sörensen, Sebastian Smolne and – of course – Michael Buback). I enjoyed the opportunity to talk about our synthetic work to a physical chemistry audience and to learn a bit about the intriguing work that the Buback team is doing (thanks Hendrik and Nico!) and the amazing tools they have at their disposal. I focussed my evening efforts on debating the health benefits of Gluhwein and Creme Brulee with Team ATRP!