Trainees chosen as the September 2017 FQRNT star student researchers
CREATE trainees Xijie Dai and Haining Wang (Li group) have been awarded the September star researcher award by the Quebec Fonds de recherche - Nature et technologies. Xijie and Haining's award-winning publication can be viewed here: Aldehydes as alkyl carbanion equivalents for additions to carbonyl compounds (Nature Chemistry, Volume: 9, pp. 374–378). Congratulations, Xijie and Haining!
2nd CREATE in Green Chemistry Summer School
Held May 16-17, our second summer school for trainees was a resounding success. Focusing on careers in Green Chemistry, our four guest speakers shared their varied career pathways and personal stories with our students (Ms. Cynthia Côté, Laboratoire de sciences judiciaries et de médecine légale du Québec; Dr. Patricia Macleod, Gilead Sciences; Dr. Peter Tsantrizos, Terragon Environmental Technologies; and Dr. Patricia Folkins, Bereskin & Parr LLP). The summer school continued with a crash course on scientific graphical production and free image software by co-PI Dr. Audrey Moores, and a marathon afternoon co-sponsored by TISED with one of the founders of Green Chemistry, Dr. John Warner (Warner Babcock Institute). Everything finished off with 11 trainees competing in a Three Minutes to Present Your Research-style competition. Congratulations to our winners: Sarayu Rao (Ghoshal group), Xijie Dai (Li group), and Amir Nosrat (Maguire group). A huge thank you to all of our speakers and our over 80 participants, as well as to the organizing committee (CJ Li and Karine Auclair), the 3MT organizer (Audrey Moores) and our 3MT judges (Dean Josephine Nalbantoglu, Cynthia Lee and David Syncox).
CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award
CREATE trainee Dr. Cristina Mottillo is the recipient of the prestigious 2017 CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award from the Canadian Institute of Chemistry (CIC). The Award, sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC), recognizes a recent Ph.D. graduate for their outstanding achievement and potential in research. Cristina performed her Ph.D. research in the group of Tomislav Friščić, developing solvent-free and environmentally-friendly routes for synthesizing metal-organic frameworks, recently developed type of microporous materials with applications in gas storage, catalysis and food preservation. She is now one of the co-founders and Chief Technology Officer of the spin-off CleanTech manufacturing company Acsynam, which aims to make MOF manufacturing cleaner and safer. The award will be presented during the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, where Cristina will also provide an invited lecture. Congratulations, Cristina!
And the Honours Keep Rolling In
Spinoff Anomera is the winner of the GreenCentre Canada Innovation House Chemistry Countering Climate Change (IHC4) Competition. Anomera (from the anomeric carbon in glucose) specializes in converting raw biomass and naturally sourced renewable materials from the Canadian forestry industry into proprietary, biodegradable, high-performance cellulose products that are competitive alternatives to mineral, ceramic and environmentally damaging artificial ingredients in cosmetics. Anomera emerged from patient laboratory research by some very imaginative graduate students and postdoctoral fellows: CREATE trainee Monika Rak, Tim Morse and Nathan Hordy. With Professor Mark Andrews, the 4 founders are committed to discovery, sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. Their research has benefited from Federal and Quebec funding, plus five years of validation sponsored by their strategic partner, a globally recognized market leader in cosmetics. Anomera is excited that the Xerox Research Centre of Canada has committed to be its second strategic partner to scale up for volume manufacturing. Anomera gratefully acknowledges McGill University, the Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM), Notman House and the RIC Centre for support. CREATE gratefully acknowledges funding from NSERC.
The start-up ACSYNAM, Inc., a spin-off venture from three CREATE trainees and two CREATE co-PIs, was selected as one of ten semi-finalists to compete for the €100,000 prize in the 2016 Skolar Award competition. The team’s start-up focuses on redesigning the synthesis of porous materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) by using supercritical carbon dioxide as a green, non-toxic, and recyclable solvent. Dr. Cristina Mottillo, post-doctoral researcher and CSO of ACSYNAM, Inc., presented a three-minute science pitch to a panel of judges and an audience with non-scientific backgrounds. The Skolar Award is part of the Science Track at the Slush 2016 startup event, which takes place annually in Helsinki. Slush is an international event bringing together startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists to network and compete for monetary prizes. The competition aims to encourage the pursuit of groundbreaking scientific proposals, and is designed to bridge the gap between academia and business.
Caption: The co-founders of ACSYNAM, Inc. from left to right: Christopher Nickels, Dr. Cristina Mottillo, Dr. CJ Li, Dr. Tomislav Friščić, and Simon Girard.
Spooky Chemistry a big success
Flash powder, vomiting pumpkins and burning gummy worms abounded as our trainees helped make McGill's Open House a huge success on October 30th. Over 230 visitors learned about about the Chemistry department, including the NSERC CREATE in Green Chemistry program, while our trainees practiced communicating science to the general public. A great day was had by all!
Chemistry Outreach Awards for 4 of our trainees
Congratulations to trainees Igor Huskic (Friscic group), Justin Chang (Auclair group), Victoria Jackiewicz (Arndtsen group) and Pierre-Olivier Ferko (Moores group), along with Siting Ni and Samantha Gateman, for winning the first McGill University Chemistry Outreach Awards. From helping to found the Outreach group to getting students of all ages excited about Chemistry, these trainees have worked hard to communicate science to the general public in a fun, safe and engaging way. We thank all of them for their dedication and creativity!
Trainee wins the 2016 Udho Parsini Diwan Award
The Udho Parsini Diwan Award rewards the graduate student in the McGill Chemistry program who has written the best research article published the previous year. This year's winner is trainee Anna Alberston (Lumb group) for her work addressing the challenge of synthesizing lignan natural products. Read more in her ACIE article and on the Chemistry Department's website. Congratulations, Anna!
1st CREATE in Green Chemistry Summer School
Held May 9-11, our first summer school for trainees was a resounding success. Co-sponsored by CREATE and TISED, Dr. Bhavik Bakshi (Ohio State University) presented a full-day workshop on life cycle analysis (LCA). Then Drs Adelina Voutchkova and Jakub Kostal (GWU) followed with a full-day toxicology workshop and Dr. Chris Wanderwal (Univerity of California, Irvine) presented on his research. The summer school culminated with a day of talks by 4 of our co-PIs (Drs. Li, Friscic, Moores and Jessop) and a Three Minutes to Present Your Research-style competition for students. Congratulations to our winners: Roya Jamarani (Nicell group), Cristina Mottillo (Friscic group), Paolo Schiavini (Auclair group) and Alain Li (honourable mention: Li-Moores group)! A huge thank you to all of our speakers and our over 80 participants, as well as to the organizing committee (CJ Li and Karine Auclair), the 3MT organizer (Audrey Moores) and our 3MT judges (Dean Josephine Nalbantoglu, Carole Graveline and Jacquie Rourke). We are already planning next year's summer school!
Now available on video: Amy Cannon's talk from the 4th Annual Case Competition
Once again, the room was packed for the public keynote lecture on January 22nd as Amy Cannon (Executive Director, Beyond Benign) kicked off the 4th annual CREATE Sustainable Innovation through Green Chemistry Workshop and Case Competition. Thirty CREATE trainees from Chemistry, Engineering, and Management then participated in interdisciplinary seminars led by Roger Zampini and Rubens Verni (Quadra Chemicals), Philip Jessop (Queen's University), and McGill experts, and finished off the two-day event with an interdisciplinary team-based case competition. Co-organized by Prof. Steve Maguire (Director, Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management), Dr. Audrey Moores (Assistant Professor, Chemistry) and Prof. Subhasis Ghoshal [Director, Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED)], this case competition provided opportunities to build a network of potential collaborators in business, engineering, and chemistry. We thank everyone for their support in making this event a success.
View Amy Cannon's talk here.
Trainee chosen as the January 2016 star student researcher
CREATE trainee Hanno Erythropel (Nicell group) has been awarded the January star researcher award by the Quebec Fonds Nature et technologies. Hanno's award-winning publication can be viewed here: Designing greener plasticizers: Effects of alkyl chain length and branching on the biodegradation of maleate based plasticizers (Chemosphere, vol. 134, pp. 106-112). Congratulations, Hanno!
Undergrad trainee helps launch The McGill Green Chemistry Journal
Volume 1 of The McGill Green Chemistry Journal has officially launched! Consisting of articles written by McGill students in Drs. Audrey Moores' and Robin Rogers' undergraduate Green Chemistry course, the journal reports on and critiques issues related to the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. The journal broadens the definition of green chemistry by accepting the perspectives offered by the authors, and the articles highlight different ways for sustainable chemistry to directly and indirectly improve people’s lives. This initiative gives McGill students a platform to publish work on the scientific advances in green chemistry and to develop writing skills and interest in the topic. CREATE trainee Ross Koby is one of the Associate Editors of the journal. Check it out! McGill Green Chemistry Journal
Undergraduates present their summer research
Yanning Liu, one of 5 recipients of the 2015 CREATE Summer Undergraduate Award, was invited to present her research at the McGill Chemistry mini-symposium showcasing summer research efforts. The symposium also included talks by CREATE trainee Davin Tan (Ph.D. in Friscic Group), Dr. Tomer Noyhouzer, and Professor Gonzalo Cosa. Congratulations, Yanning!
Photo credit: J. Farrell
Trainees make it to the 2015 Dobson Cup final
The Q-MOF team was extremely lucky to be able to participate in the 2015 McGill Dobson Cup Start-Up competition. Composed of CREATE Professors Chao-Jun Li and Tomislav Friscic and three graduate students (Chris Nickels and CREATE trainees Simon Girard and Cristina Mottillo), the Q-MOF team is starting a McGill University spinoff company for the green manufacture of advanced porous materials. Thanks to our mentor's precious advice, the impeccable support from the Dobson Center for Entrepreneurship, help from trainee Arash Amirkhany (Management), as well as the Dobson workshops on presentation skills and how to write a business plan, we successfully made it through to the final. During the process we were introduced to the business world and had the opportunity to present and defend our business plan to the experts. It also gave us the momentum to start the production of our material and make contact with potential distributors. While we did not win the competition, we gained fantastic advice and priceless contacts to support us in the process of developing our company.
- CREATE trainee Simon Girard
Photo credit: Arcouette & Co. Photography
24h de science/Science Rendezvous
Join us as we celebrate 24h de science and Science Rendezvous on May 9th. The Chemistry Outreach group will be doing demonstrations in the Otto Maass labs from 10:00-14:00, and the Office of Science and Society will have special presentations by Dr. Joe Schwarcz (13:00) and Dr. Ariel Fenster (14:00). All are welcome and all activities are free of charge. 801 Sherbrooke St. West, corner University.
24h de science is celebrating its 10th year; if you would like to help support them, please see their crowdfunding site.
Outreach on the move
The McGill Chemistry Outreach group visited two schools recently: Marianopolis College (CEGEP level) and Edinburgh Elementary School. Our trainees explored the principles of Green Chemistry with Marianopolis students through discussions about renewable energy, a demonstration of how to make solar cells using blackberry juice, and a hands-on solvent-less chemistry experiment. At Edinburgh, grade 3 students in the enriched science lunch-hour class and two grade 5 classes learned about states of matter, physical and chemical changes, and the effect of temperature on gases through demonstrations and hands-on experiments with instant snow (gr. 3) and PVA slime (gr. 5). A huge thank you to the schools for hosting us!
Photos 1-2 courtesy of Prof. Michèle Saumier. Photos 3-7 courtesy of Christine Downey. Used with permission.
Green Chemistry Trivia Night
The McGill Green Chemistry Student Association held its first formal events on Friday: a bagel hour and a Green Chemistry Trivia Night. The association was formed by CREATE trainees following a CREATE seminar on How to Start Your Own Student-Led Green Chemistry Initiative by Laura Reyes (U. of T.) last August. The Trivia Night was a resounding success, with over 60 participants attending. The Faculty/Staff team included CREATE members CJ Li, Tomislav Friscic, and Audrey Moores, CREATE coordinator Jacky Farrell, and CREATE outreach member Alex Wabha. They took on teams of students in a fun-filled evening discussing everything from astroturf to miners' strikes in South Africa and their impact on Platinum prices. The event helped recruite new members for the Outreach group and others interested in joining the Association. We look forward to the next event from this talented group of trainees.
A focus on innovation and creative thinking
The room was packed for the public keynote lectures on January 16th as Eric Beckman (Co-Director, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering) and Robin Rogers (Canada Excellence Research Chair in Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals, McGill) started off the 3rd annual CREATE Sustainable Innovation through Green Chemistry Workshop and Case Competition. Thirty CREATE trainees from Chemistry, Engineering, and Management then participated in interdisciplinary seminars led by David Constable (Director of the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute), Philip Jessop (Queen's University), and McGill experts, and finished off the two-day event with an interdisciplinary team-based case competition. Co-organized by Prof. Steve Maguire (Director, Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management), Dr. Audrey Moores (Assistant Professor, Chemistry) and Prof. Subhasis Ghoshal [Director, Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED)], this case competition provided opportunities to build a network of potential collaborators in business, engineering, and chemistry. This year we were pleased to include TISED as a partner in this event and we thank them for their support.
CREATE trainees go back to school with the Chemistry Outreach Program
Trainees from the CREATE in Green Chemistry and CREATE in Neuroengineering have joined forces with McGill staff to form the McGill Chemistry Outreach Program. This initiative is funded through CREATE, the Department of Chemistry, and the Tomlinson Project in University-Level Science Education (T-PULSE). We visited our first school today, Kells Academy in NDG, where we did presentations on states of matter for the entire elementary school. Dry ice, instant snow, hydrophobic sand, and Elephant's toothpaste were enjoyed by all! Thanks, Kells, for hosting us and thanks to all of the students there for their great questions. You're helping our trainees learn how to communicate science to the public!
Former CREATE trainee awarded an NSF Research Grant in Green Chemistry
Reuben Hudson is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Colby University in Maine (Katz group), where he studies the synthesis of polymers. He earned his PhD from the Department of Chemistry at McGill in 2013 after working under the supervision of CREATE members CJ Li and Audrey Moores, and he was a trainee in the CREATE in Green Chemistry program. This summer he and renowned green chemists Sankaran Thayumanavan (UMass-Amherst), Eric Beckman (University of Pittsburgh), and John Warner (Warner-Babcock Institute) were awarded a large research grant in Green Chemistry from the Science, Education, and Engineering for Sustainability (SEES) program of the National Science Foundation. Congratulations, Reuben! Read more here.
Tak-Hang (Bill) and Christina Chan Fellowship in Chemistry awarded to CREATE trainee
We are proud to announce that CREATE trainee Davin Tan in Dr. Tomislav Friscic's group has been awarded the 2014 Tak-Hang (Bill) and Christina Chan Fellowship in Chemistry. This scholarship is awarded by the Department of Chemistry to an outstanding graduate student to support graduate studies and research in the Department. Previous students receiving this fellowship include CREATE trainees Nick Uhlig (2012-2013) and Cristina Mottillo (2013-2014). Congratulations, Davin!
A breakthrough for organic reactions in water
CREATE in Green Chemistry Director CJ Li and CREATE trainee Dr. Feng Zhou have discovered a catalytic system which for the first time allows direct metal-mediated reactions between aryl halides and carbonyl compounds in water. Using rhodium as a catalyst with zinc as a mediator, this new technique bypasses a number of challenges posed by the conventional Barbier-Grignard reaction, which is widely used in synthesizing fine chemicals, biologically active molecules, and pharmaceuticals. The new aqueous approach promises to “streamline synthetic sequences and make them safer and more efficient,” said Prof. Li. Read more in the June 26 edition of McGill News and Nature Communications.
CREATE summer undergraduate awards
We are pleased to announce the names of the five students selected to receive a CREATE undergraduate award this summer: Alexander Fabrikant (Arndtsen group), Ohhyeon Kwon (Lumb group), Benjamin Palevsky (Ghoshal group), Olivia Trautschold (Moores group), and Katherine Wagner (Maguire group). McGill's CREATE program in Green Chemistry is pleased to support students wishing to be involved early in their career in research and to improve their knowledge in the laboratory of a member professor. Congratulations to all of you!
What is green chemistry? A CREATE student video explains
Meet the CREATE profs and students in green chemistry at McGill as they explain what they do and why they do it. This video was created by undergraduate student Vanessa Chazelle (Moores group), with funding from CREATE. View the video here.
CREATE trainees discuss their research with the UK Minister of Universities and Science
The Rt. Hon. David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, United Kingdom, and world-renowned chemist Martyn Poliakoff visited McGill University’s green chemistry labs on February 11, 2014. Here to learn from McGill’s expertise as a center for Green Chemistry as they explore how to to set up exchanges and collaborations for students and green chemists at McGill and in the UK, they visited with CREATE trainees in CJ Li’s lab.
Photos courtesy of Nicole Arbour
CGCC Graduate Scholarships awarded to two CREATE trainees
We are proud to announce that CREATE trainees Nick Uhlig in Dr. CJ Lee's group and Sourjya Bhattacharjee in Dr. Subhasis Ghoshal's group have each been awarded a 2014 Centre in Green Chemistry and Catalysis (CGCC) Graduate Scholarship. These scholarships offer a monetary supplement to graduate students who have displayed productivity/creativity in their research project in green chemistry or catalysis. Congratulations, Nick and Sourjya!
Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship awarded to CREATE trainee
We are proud to announce that CREATE trainee Cristina Mottillo in Dr. Tomislav Friscic’s group has received a 2014 Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award. Sponsored by the ICDD, this award supports the education and research program of promising graduate students in crystallography-related fields. Congratulations, Cristina!
New catalyst for hydrogenation
CREATE members CJ Li and Audrey Moores, CREATE trainee Reuben Hudson, and colleagues at RIKEN and the Institute for Molecular Science, have developed a new iron nanoparticle catalyst that makes hydrogenation reactions safer, cheaper, and greener. Read about their discovery in Green Chemistry, the McGill and RIKEN news, Chemistry World, Science Daily, and Canadian Chemical News.
McGill in the top 8 Green Chemistry institutions
Ecochem has released its list of the top 8 world-renowned Green Chemistry institutions making an impact on sustainability, and McGill is right up there. For a more in-depth look at Green Chemistry at McGill, check out this video produced by Making Headway: Exploring Research at McGill.
2nd Canada-China Workshop in Green Chemistry and Catalysis a huge success
Held on September 5 and 6, 2013, this workshop gathered 25 speakers and close to 75 participants for two days of some of the latest advances in Green Chemistry. A big thank you to keynote speaker Barry Trost and to our Chinese colleagues for travelling to Canada and creating this one-of-a-kind opportunity for our students.
"Professor Steve Maguire has implemented a great workshop that pairs MBA students with chemistry graduate students"
The 2nd CREATE Sustainable Innovation through Green Chemistry Workshop and Case Competition, held on September 13 and 14, 2013, was featured on the ACS Green Chemistry Institute's blog and in the Western Sustainability & Pollution Prevention Network newsletter. Co-organized by Prof. Steve Maguire (Director, Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management) and Dr. Audrey Moores (Assistant Professor, Chemistry), this case competition provided opportunities to build a network of potential collaborators in business and chemistry. It included guest lectures by Dr. David Constable (Director of the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute) and Lynn Leger (Director of ALCERECO), interdisciplinary seminars led by McGill experts, and a real-time case competition with teams comprised of 20 management and chemistry students. Read more on the ACS blog and in the WSPPN newsletter.
Three Minutes to Change the World
Doctoral candidate Feng Qi (Friscic lab) was one of ten students chosen to participate in the 2013 edition of Three Minutes to Change the World. Organized by McGill’s Office of Sustainability, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and the Post-Graduate Students Society, Three Minutes to Change the World features McGill graduate students summarizing their research initiatives and highlighting the importance of their work to a non-specialist audience.
Department of Chemistry, Ph.D candidate
Acceleration of Nature’s Green Strategy for Material Synthesis and Mineral Processing
Accelerated aging implements the principles of Green Chemistry and atom economy by using inexpensive and abundant starting materials, and avoiding excess reagents, high temperatures and organic solvents. The materials already explored in Feng's research resemble those encountered in ore concentrates, indicating the opportunity to develop a cleaner technology for mineral processing and metal extraction. In the laboratory, their methodology has been scaled to 10 gram amounts, with no obvious obstacles for further scaling up.
Green Chemistry in video
For a more in-depth look at Green Chemistry at McGill, check out this video produced by Making Headway: Exploring Research at McGill.
The Chemistry of the Future
Dr. Audrey Moores discusses McGill's Green Chemistry research in Le Devoir, Nov. 2 2012: McGill - La chimie «verte» est la chimie de l’avenir, in the McGill Tribune, Oct 2 2012: "On a quest for Greener chemistry", and in the McGill Reporter, July 3, 2013: Making Hydrogenation Greener.
First CREATE Sustainable Innovation through Green Chemistry Workshop and Case Competition
The first Business/Chemistry Graduate workshop (Sept 7,8 2012), co-created and co-organized by Prof. Steve Maguire from the Desautel Faculty of Management and Dr. Audrey Moores (Assistant Professor, Chemistry), was in the news in the McGill Reporter and on the website Advancing Green Chemistry.
Funding provided by