The Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship is awarded to undergraduate through early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding research or educational interest in green chemistry. Breen Fellows receive financial support to participate in an international green chemistry technical meeting, conference or training program. The 2014 winner is Dr. Jennifer Dodson from the United Kingdom.
Jennifer Dodson did her PhD work under Prof. James Clark at the Green Chemistry Centre at the University of York in the UK on the thermochemical conversion of biomass. While there, she became interested in the how to recover and recycle valuable elements with a mesoporus material she developed directly from fresh seaweed.
Then in 2012, she began a post-doc study with Prof. Claudio Mota from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil. “During her period in my group,” said Dr. Mota, “[Jennifer] did very good work, combining her experience and skills in hydrothermal carbonisation of biomass, with the group’s capability in catalysis, especially related to biomass conversion.”
In addition to her research interests, Jennifer, or “Jennie” as she goes by, is a strong advocate for communicating science to the public. She has done outreach to hundreds of school children in both the UK and Brazil, and is developing a green chemistry community outreach strategy for UFRJ’s Green Chemistry School. “Jennie is a very dedicated person and was instrumental in setting up our outreach activities in Green Chemistry,” says Dr. Peter Siedl, Professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in the Department of Organic Processes. “She is highly deserving of our recognition and gratitude.”
Jennie has also gained an understanding of science policy communication during a 2011 fellowship at the House of Parliament in the UK where she conducted briefings on sustainable technologies. As a past participant in the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy, she is developing an international early-career network for scientists and engineers.
“Jennie Dodson is one of the most able and motivated young researchers I have had the privilege of working with in my career,” says Prof. Clark. “She is a very talented research chemist with a wide knowledge and understanding of green chemistry and a real desire to see the principles of sustainability applied in all walks of life. She is a very fitting winner of this Fellowship that honours the man who started the green chemistry movement in the United States.”
Jennie will be using her Breen Fellowship to travel ACS GCI’s 18th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and Student Workshop this June where she will be presenting a poser on her research, “Novel natural solid-acid catalysts from carrageenan for the upgrading of glycerol”, as well as an oral presentation in the Education track, “Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientists and Engineers (NESSE): an initiative from the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy 2013.” We are thrilled to have her participation!
Dr. Joe Breen was an US EPA chemist and manager who played a major role in creating the EPA’s Green Chemistry and the Design for the Environment program. He went on to collaborate with colleagues in government, industry, and academia to found the Green Chemistry Institute—which later became part of the American Chemical Society—and is now known as ACS Green Chemistry Institute®.
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