Brady AustenChemistry student Brady Austen received a national award for his undergraduate research.

Chemistry student earns national award for research

The Canadian Society for Chemistry Inorganic Division has named a UWindsor student as the winner of its Award for Undergraduate Research in Inorganic Chemistry (AURIC).

The AURIC recognizes a student registered in an undergraduate program in Canada during the year preceding the nomination deadline, whose ability to perform research in the field of inorganic chemistry is judged to be of outstanding quality.

Brady Austen earned an honours bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Windsor in 2021. He is currently pursuing Master’s studies under the supervision of Marcus Drover, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

“As a first year MSc student, Brady has published six peer-reviewed publications, including two as co-first author — incredibly, all these contributions were made during his honours project or during last summer. This level of achievement is simply outstanding,” says Dr. Drover.

“The AURIC award is highly competitive with so many deserving applicants across Canada. It is very exciting to see Brady be acknowledged in this way.”

Austen’s research concerns how to build carbon-carbon bonds using transition metal catalysis. Such structural motifs are important building blocks for fine chemicals such as pharmaceuticals.

“The Drover group is broadly interested in ligand design: ligands are attached to a transition metal complex and have a profound influence on its reactivity,” says Austen.

“I got into Dr. Drover’s lab group in third year and was able to obtain a lot of hands-on, one-on-one training, and the team encouraged me throughout my thesis. The team’s research output has been incredible, and it gave me the opportunity to be an author on several papers, which is unusual at this stage in my career.”

Austen says he was driving home when he received news of the award.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “I’m thankful for being selected and I thank Dr. Drover for giving me all these opportunities and for his mentorship.”

Austen will present a 20-minute award lecture in a symposium at the 2022 Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, June 13 to 17 in Calgary. He will receive a framed scroll and reimbursement for his conference registration.