volunteers for Inorganic Discussion WeekendThe Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted the 54th annual Inorganic Discussion Weekend in November.

Weekend an opportunity for discussion of inorganic chemistry

More than 100 American and Canadian chemists took part in the 54th annual Inorganic Discussion Weekend hosted by the UWindsor Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Nov. 17 to 19.

The IDW meeting has been running for over 50 years since it was started by Barry Lever in 1968, as a mechanism for inorganic chemists to come together, share scientific views, and foster friendships and develop a strong community.

The emphasis of the weekend is to provide the next generation of scientists (undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers) with the opportunity to present their latest research within a supportive environment through two parallel sessions of oral talks, a poster session, and scientific discussion.

“We were thrilled to bring together a diverse community of experts, innovators, and leaders in the field of inorganic chemistry,” says co-organizer Jeremy Rawson. “Over the weekend, we explored cutting-edge research, shared knowledge, and fostered meaningful connections.”

Three keynote speakers presented on a variety of topics. Len MacGillivray from the University of Iowa presented “Molecular Crystals as Chemical Laboratories: Green Chemistry to Sustainable Materials;” Christina Hoffmann from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory gave a talk on “Neutron Diffraction for Research in Chemistry;” and Nate Szymczak from the University of Michigan talked about “Moving Beyond the Metal: Using Lewis Acids to Facilitate Charge Redistribution.”

Co-organizer Nick Vukotic says the conference opened with an inspirational message from Shanthi Johnson, vice-president, research and innovation.

“Inorganic chemistry improves all of our lives and underpinning these developments is often the emergence of new knowledge,” says Dr. Johnson. “I was absolutely delighted to open this prestigious event — which was not only a celebration of scientific achievements, but an opportunity to present and discuss research to help the professional development of the next generation of scientists.”

Faculty members Rawson, Vukotic and Samuel Johnson organized the event, along with a core committee of graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows: Joy-Lynn Kobti, Anton Dmitrienko, Daniel Cutler, Michelle Dao, and Lara Watanabe. Alongside the scientific program, faculty and students were able to showcase UWindsor research facilities through lab tours.

“Having the conference at UWindsor was great for showcasing our facilities — especially the CORe labs — and our students, including over 20 UWindsor volunteers, and 16 oral and poster presentations from UWindsor, providing valuable research contributions to the scientific community,” says Kobti.

“By building long-lasting connections with the attendees, this could lead to future academic collaborations for faculty at UWindsor.”

Dr. Vukotic says the best part of the weekend was seeing the outstanding presentations from the next generation of chemists and scientists: “The conference created an opportunity for students to interact and make strong connections with each other and senior faculty members from several Universities in Canada and the United States.”

Strategic Priority: