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2020-2021


A Send-off for the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022!

The Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 finally got their in-person send-off on Friday 3rd June after 3 years of socal distancing restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. The group met outside the Chemisty building and then moved across to the the Pav where students and staff were able reunite to unwind from exam and pandemic stresses over some food and a drink or two.

The School of Chemistry is extremely proud of the achievements of the graduating classes who came through their studies under unprecedented stress and uncertainty and had to adapt to whole new methods of learning during their time with us. We are greatly looking forward to following their careers as they move on to new adventures.

Congratulations Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022. Best of luck for the future and don't forget to keep in touch!

Young Group Leader Award and Election to College Fellowship for Professor Max Garcia-Melchor

Professor Max Garcia-Melchor

What a week of success for Professor Max Garcia-Melchor!

Max was elected to College Fellowship on Trinity Monday last week and this week it was announced that he has been awarded the Young Group Leader Award from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry.

Max arrived at Trinity College in November 2016, when he took up an Assistant Professorship in Chemical Energy Systems in the School of Chemistry. He currently leads the Computational Catalysis and Energy Materials (CCEM) Group and is one of the youngest funded investigators in the Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) Centre. His research group at Trinity strives to use state-of-the-art computational methods to shed light on the underlying mechanisms of homogeneously and heterogeneously catalyzed reactions relevant to sustainable energy. The group also aims to leverage this knowledge together with machine learning algorithms to ultimately impel the accelerated rational design of more efficient and cost-effective (electro)(photo)catalysts.

Throughout his scientific career, Max has received several national and international awards, including the Springer Theses Award, the Sant Jordi Award from the Catalan Chemical Society, the Young Investigator Award from the Organometallic Chemistry Division of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Roger Parsons Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has co-authored over 50 research articles in top scientific journals such as Science, Nature Communications, and Nature Energy, including 1 book and 2 book chapters. Some of his research has been featured by Thomson Reuters as 'Hot Papers' for being top 0.1% of their academic fields, in various journal front covers and in a number of international media. To date, his publications have received over 3,950 citations (h-index = 25). He is also a member of several scientific societies, detailed below, member of the Early Career Advisory Board of the journal ChemCatChem and Reviewer Editor of Frontiers in Catalysis. Since 2021, Max is also the Course Director of the MSc in Energy Science at Trinity College Dublin.

Congratulations Max. We look forward to following your continued success!

A full list of newly elected Fellows and Scholars can be found here.

More information about the Young Group Leader Award can be found here.

Happy Birthday Professor Lyons!

Professor Lyons with Birthday cake

The School of Chemistry wishes a very happy birthday to our Head of School Professor Michael Lyons today. We agreed not to reveal his age on the internet and he agreed not to fire us for our dreadful singing voices!

Happy Birthday Mike!

New Journal Publication for Draper Group

Congratulations to the Draper research group who recently had a paper accepted for publication on the cover of Journal of Materials Chemistry C. The paper was entitled "Exploring the dark: detecting long-lived Nile Red 3ILCT states in Ru(ii) polypyridyl photosensitisers" and can be viewed here.

Prof. Valeria Nicolosi elected to the Council of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

Congratulations to Prof. Valeria Nicolosi wh was recently elected to the Council of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings will be chairing all the Chemistry meetings from 2022 onwards.

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings provide a globally recognised forum for exchange between Nobel Laureates and young scientists. They inspire scientific generations and build sustainable networks of young scientists around the world.
Since their foundation in 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have developed into a unique international scientific forum. The annual Meetings provide an opportunity for an exchange between different generations, cultures and disciplines. Once every year, around 30-40 Nobel Laureates convene in Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists: 600 undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world.

The theme of the Lindau Meetings alternates between Physics, Chemistry or Physiology and Medicine – the three Nobel Prize scientific disciplines. Every five years an interdisciplinary Meeting takes place, while the Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences is held every three years. The varied formats of the scientific programme – lectures, discussions and more – are designed based on the principle of dialogue and to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists.

The 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting for Chemistry will run from the 26th June to 1st of July and more information can be found at their website.

A Fond Farewell to Patsy Greene

Patsy stands beside the School of Chemistry Plaque

On Friday 24th September, the School of Chemistry wished Patsy Greene a very happy retirement with a presentation in the Large Lecture Theatre, followed by a get-together in one of his old haunts, The Pav.

Patsy has been in TCD since 1977 and in Chemistry since 1996, running the PhysChem lab and acting as social secretary for us all, whether it be an annual pitch-and-putt tournament, a lottery syndicate or an after-work drink (in pre-Covid times). He has been a very popular member of the school, with students and staff alike, and he will be sorely missed by all.

Happy Retirement Patsy. Enjoy the extra golfing time and don't forget to stop in and see us occasionally!

Patsy in front of the Chemistry Building entranceTeresa Mc Donnell, Mike Lyons and Patsy Greene in the Large Lecture Theatre

Prof. Max Garcia-Melchor wins Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Young Researchers

We are delighted to announce that the Organometallic Chemistry Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry award for young researchers 2020 has been awarded to Prof. Max Garcia-Melchor for 'his contributions to organometallic chemistry from the perspective of the computational modelling of various types of catalysis with metals’.

More details can be found here: http://geqo.es/en/premios-geqo/premios-2020/.

Congratulations Max from everyone in the School!

Professor Aidan McDonald Elected to College Fellowship

Professor Aidan McDonald

Congratulations to Professor Aidan McDonald who was elected to College Fellowship On Trinity Monday!

Aidan is an Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry. Aidan received a B.A. in Chemistry from TCD in 2002 and completed Ph.D. studies at the University of Utrecht in 2008. Following that he performed postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota. Aidan returned to TCD in 2012 as an Assistant Professor. Aidan was previously a NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein fellow and a Marie Curie fellow, and currently holds both an ERC Starting Grant and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. He was recently honoured with the award of the Royal Society of Chemistry Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship and was awarded the EuroBIC medal for 2020. Aidan’s research group focuses on the field of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, a field that explores the roles metals play in Biology. His group investigates the role of manganese in DNA synthesis and repair as well as the potential of biomimetic iron, nickel, and copper systems for the design of new man-made catalysts.

A full list of newly elected Fellows and Scholars can be found here.

Senge Group Wins Laboratory Team of the Year

Senge group photo

Congratulations to Professor Mathias Senge and his research group members who won Laboratory Team of the Year at the Irish Laboratory Awards on March 5th. Some pictures from the night are below.

BoC Gases Bursary Awards 2019

L-R: Shelley Stafford, Susan Callaghan and Neil Taylor each pictured being presented with a certificate by BoC Gases managing director Andreas Bieringer

The annual postgraduate BoC Gases bursaries were awarded to three PhD students from the School of Chemistry yesterday, Thursday January 16th. Students were nominated by their supervisors for consideration for the bursary in Semester 1 and a panel of the school’s academic staff judged the submissions. With great difficulty due to the high standard of submissions, the judges identified three students whose work shone above the rest. Shelley Stafford (Gun’Ko group), Susan Callaghan (Senge group) and Neil Taylor (McGouran group) each gave a 15-minute presentation of their work to the school and to BoC Gases representatives including Managing Director Andreas Bieringer who presented them with certificates and their bursaries of €1,000, €600 and €400 respectively.

Congratulations to all three award recipients and sincere thanks to BoC Gases for their continued support of chemistry research and development!

Remembering Dr Mary Carson

Mary carson RIP

Everyone in the School of Chemistry was deeply saddened just before Christmas to hear of the passing of our friend and former colleague, Dr Mary Carson. Professor Peter Boyle remembers her below.

MARY CARSON                      IN MEMORIAM

We have lost a friend, we have lost a colleague, we have lost one who dedicated the whole of her professional life to Trinity and to its chemistry department.   Mary Carson died on Sunday 8th December 2019 in the loving care of the staff of the Gascoigne home in Dublin where she had been so well looked after during her last difficult months and it is with a great sense of sadness that we record her passing. As the first female lecturer in the School of Chemistry, she blazed a trail for all those who came after her!  She joined the academic staff of Trinity Chemistry Department in 1967 and served faithfully in that capacity until 2000 when at the age of 60 she took early retirement.   Apart from a short period of teaching in Zambia, she spent her whole working life in Trinity.  She had come from Alexandra College with an entrance scholarship in 1958 and she graduated in Trinity in 1962 with a first-class moderatorship.   She was in every sense an intellectual, and it was a natural progression for her to proceed to a PhD degree under the supervision of Professor Cocker.  And then, after obtaining her doctorate in 1965 she was privileged to carry out research with Professor Prelog in the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, commonly known as the ETH.     This was, and still is, one of the leading chemistry departments in the world, and Professor Prelog was one of the most distinguished chemists of his time.   He was to go on to receive the Nobel prize in 1975.   Mary came to us therefore with impeccable credentials and in Trinity she settled down to a lifetime of service.   Always ready and willing to undertake whatever was required of her, she will be particularly remembered for work in keeping the departmental library together.  Although there is no library now in the chemistry department – journals today are available online – in Mary's time the library was the nerve centre for all research and it demanded a huge amount of work to keep it going efficiently.  Many of us still remember meeting Mary in College Park on a Friday, pushing a carrier on wheels packed with all the new journals that had come in.   Mary had taken upon herself the onerous job of collecting them every week from the main library and bringing them down to chemistry.  But Mary's horizons stretched much further than chemistry.  She was very much involved in her church in Adelaide Road, and she had an abiding interest in music - not just listening to it but also making it.   She was a keen choir singer and an accomplished performer on the recorder.   Mary was also a key member of the Dublin Naturalists' Field Club, and was able to link this with her chemical interests.  Finally, she was one of the most conscientious, helpful and sympathetic tutors in College, always prepared to devote her time unstintingly to any student with a problem, be it academic or personal in nature.   When Mary retired in 2000, she continued to serve Trinity when she threw herself enthusiastically into the great annual book sale. Those of you who know it will realise what a monumental effort it is.   Thousands of books are donated throughout the year and all have to be taken in, sorted and priced, and finally set out for sale in the exam hall.   Mary quietly and efficiently and with no fuss did a great amount of work for the College and it is sad to think that with her passing another link with earlier days has now gone for ever.   We remember her with gratitude for her contribution to the Chemistry Department and to the College, but above all we remember her as a loyal colleague and a good friend.