Chemists win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry awards

Sunday 8 May 2016


Two University of St Andrews chemists have won prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry awards.

Professor Ifor Samuel is the winner of the Society’s Chemical Dynamics Award for 2016 and Dr Catherine Cazin is the Chemistry of Transition Metals Award winner for 2016.

Professor Samuel’s research concerns remarkable plastic-like materials that can conduct electricity and emit light. He uses laser-based measurements to understand the light-emission process and guide the development of improved materials. Applications of these materials include displays, lighting, solar cells, and skin cancer treatment.

The Chemical Dynamics Award is for outstanding innovative research on the dynamics of molecules, including spectroscopy, kinetics or molecular interactions in the gas, liquid or solid phase. Professor Samuel receives £2000, a medal and a certificate.

rsc-chemistry-mainbody-samuelProfessor Samuel (pictured right) said: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award because of the recognition it brings to my work to understand fundamental photophysical processes in organic semiconductors. I am looking forward to explaining it to new audiences on the lecture tour.”

Dr Cazin’s research focuses on designing and synthesising ‘molecular tools’ – transition metal complexes that act as a catalyst in the formation of bonds between carbon atoms, and between carbon and nitrogen atoms. In this way complex molecular structures can be built, for the synthesis of drugs and the treatment of diseases.

The Chemistry of Transition Metals Award, established in 1971, recognises outstanding research in any aspect of the chemistry of d- and f-block elements for researchers under 40. Dr Cazin receives £2000, a medal and a certificate.

‌Dr Cazin (pictured below) said: “Considering my passion for the area of transition metal chemistry, I feel privileged to be recognised and also very humbled to now appear alongside past awardees, some of whom are true giants.”

rsc-chemistry-mainbody-cazinAn illustrious list of 47 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including Harry Kroto, Fred Sanger and Linus Pauling.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “It is an honour to recognise the illustrious achievements of our prize and award winners in our 175th anniversary year.

“We were founded in 1841 by a group of academics, industrialists and doctors who understood the power of the chemical sciences to change our world for the better. Our winners share that vision and are advancing excellence in their fields, whether through innovative research or inspirational teaching and outreach.

“We are proud to celebrate and support the work of inspiring and influential individuals, whose work has the potential to improve so many lives.”

Award winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

Notes to news editors

Rewarding Excellence and Gaining Recognition

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. They are intended to reward those undertaking excellent work in the chemical sciences from across the world.

There are over 60 Prizes and Awards available in the main portfolio, covering all areas of the chemical sciences. Recognition is open to everyone, whether they are working in research, business, industry or education.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the oldest chemical society in the world and, in 2016, is celebrating 175 years of progress and people in the chemical sciences. It is the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists, with over 50,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe. This not-for-profit organisation with 175 years of history and an international vision of the future promotes, supports and celebrates chemistry, working to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office, contactable on 01334 467310 or [email protected].

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