The 2017 Dr. Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship winners are Samantha Smith, from the University of Toronto, and Caitilín McManus of Trinity College, Dublin. Each year, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) awards one or more Breen Memorial Fellowships to undergraduate-through-early-career scientists who demonstrate outstanding research or educational interest in green chemistry. The award sponsors the participation of a young, international green chemistry scholar in a green chemistry technical meeting, conference, or training program. The American Chemical Society (ACS) established the award through the ACS International Endowment Fund in 2000.This fund commemorates Dr. Joseph Breen’s commitment to and accomplishments for the advancement of green chemistry.
Winner Samantha Smith is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto. She is currently studying the design and application of new iron-based hydrogenation catalysts. Her research is focused on improving hydrogenation and dehydrogenation chemistry, specifically focusing on “developing catalysts that are able to either move or break molecular hydrogen.” The purpose of Smith’s research is the “direct applications [it has] in synthesis for flavor, fragrance, fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries, but could also be used in chemical hydrogen storage.” As a first time attendee to the Green Chemistry and Engineering (GC&E) Conference, Smith hopes to learn about new topics in green chemistry and engineering. She believes it would be an unparalleled opportunity to “open [her] eyes to the expansive world of sustainable research.”
Caitilín McManus is a third year undergraduate student at Trinity College, Dublin. She has spent the last year participating in a one-year industrial placement with GlaxoSmithKline. Her research focuses on investigating “more sustainable alternatives for palladium in the context of Buchwald couplings.” McManus finds her work to be a part of “a continuing effort to promote new technology in medicinal chemistry, with a key emphasis on greener synthesis.” McManus is looking forward to attending GC&E and hopes to learn from the opportunity about new research in green chemistry.
In addition to presenting their research at the 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Reston, Virginia, both Smith and McManus will be presented with their awards at the conference, before the morning Keynote Address on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
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