Friday, March 24, 2017

Students claim prizes at chemistry conference

Students claim prizes at chemistry conference

Professor Stephen Loeb congratulates prize-winning chemistry students Mitchell DiPasquale and Jacqueline Gemus.

Two UWindsor students received honours at the Southern Ontario Undergraduate Chemistry Conference, March 18 at York University.

Jacqueline Gemus, a student in professor Rob Schurko’s research group, won first prize in physical chemistry.

Dr. Schurko says Gemus’ main area of interest is the mechanochemical synthesis of porous framework materials known as zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) and the use of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance to monitor the formation of these amazing framework materials.

“Jacqueline has made a wide array of new materials, and this work will be the first that describes ZIFs with mixed linker ligands which are simply made by vigorous grinding — a great example of ‘green chemistry,’ which uses no solvents and produces high yields of the final materials,” says Schurko.

Mitchell DiPasquale, a student from the laboratory of Bulent Mutus, head of chemistry and biochemistry, claimed second place in bio/medicinal chemistry.

Dr. Mutus calls DiPasquale an amazing undergraduate student who has excelled in protein chemistry research and has single-handedly explored the role of a repeating set of amino acids in the enzyme that produces sulfide in the human body.

“His research has, for the first time, shown that this amino acid motif plays a role in the regulation of sulfide production, as well as being responsible for a totally new previously undiscovered activity for this enzyme,” he says.

The University of Windsor was represented at the colloquium by a contingent of 14 undergraduate students from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. A total of 127 presentations by students represented every university in southern Ontario, plus Laurentian and Nipissing.

See the original story at:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

University of Windsor tops "Canada's Rising Stars"

The University of Windsor was top among five universities named "Canada's Rising Stars" in UniversityHub's recently released Canadian University Rankings.

The publication says the institutions named already have a lot to offer and promise to become household names in the near future.

UniversityHub cited UWindsor's investment in infrastructure, programs and research among the reasons for its inclusion in the list and called the recently announced Science Research and Innovation Centre "an incredible space for creativity and collaboration."

Monday, March 20, 2017

ChemiConn, Chemical & Biochemical Connections Event

ChemiConn: Chemical & Biochemical Connections Event

Registration deadline: April 14, 2017

May 11, 2017 | 12:30 – 17:30 p.m.
University of Windsor, Ambassador Auditorium
401 Sunset Ave. Windsor, ON, N9B3P4

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry cordially invites you to join us for the ChemiConn, Chemical & Biochemical Connections Event 2017 at the University of Windsor Ambassador Auditorium. This event will offer you an opportunity to connect with several local, provincial, and national industries involved in various areas of chemical and biochemical sciences, and to learn more about their expertise and challenges.

Program highlights:
1) Several industrial participants from different areas of chemical and biochemical sciences to discuss R&D in industry, and related challenges.
2) A networking session and mixer to connect with researchers from Chemistry and Biochemistry and potential future employers.
3) Representatives from Federal and Provincial funding agencies to discuss various funding programs available for collaborative projects with academia.

To register, please visit www.chemiconn.wixsite.com/uwindsor or write to chemiconn@uwindsor.ca

* Smart, business casual dress expected

Registration deadline: April 14, 2017

Undergrad researchers attend SOUSCC

Undergrad researchers attend SOUSCC

This Year’s Southern Ontario Undergraduate Chemistry Conference (SOUSCC) was held at York University on Sat March 18. There was a total of 127 presentations (Analytical, 21; Bio/Med, 28; Computational, 12; Inorg/Materials, 22; Organic, 32; Phys, 12) from all the universities in Southern Ontario plus Laurentian U and Nipissing U.  

The brilliant undergraduate researchers that represented our Department were:


Faculty attendees: Loeb, Green and Mutus

Two of our students received prizes:

JACQUELINE GEMUS (Schurko Group)- 1st Prize Physical Chemisty
MITCHELL DIPASQUALE (Mutus Group)- 2nd Prize in Bio/Medicinal Chemistry

Congratulations to all!

Submitted by Bulent Mutus, Department Head

Saturday, March 18, 2017

University of Windsor professors exploring new frontier of stretchable electronics

University of Windsor professors exploring new frontier of stretchable electronics

In the thin layers of the polymers oozing out of a machine that looks an expensive version of an ink jet printer lays the next frontier of electronics.

The research being done into new synthetic polymers in Simon Rondeau-Gagne’s University of Windsor lab is the first step in creating wearable electronics.

“Probably in the next decade every object is going to be connected through the Internet,” said Rondeau-Gagne, who accepted an assistant chemistry professor’s position at Windsor last July after completing his post-doctoral work at Stanford University.

“There’s a want for smart electronics. Stretchable electronics will be an important piece of the Internet of things.

“Once we have a material that is stretchable, robust enough to take repeated use and can self-repair, the potential is whatever industry’s designers can imagine.”

Rondeau-Gagne is combining his expertise in designing synthetic materials with Professor Tricia Carmichael, who has already built an international reputation for her work in the stretchable electronics field.

Carmichael, a researcher at IBM’s headquarters in Armonk, New York before returning to her hometown in 2005, said the two research teams offer complimentary skill sets.

“My team’s strength is we’re good at building things and working with different materials and integrating them into stretchable electronics that are stable and maintain their functionality,” Carmichael said.

“Simon is an expert in synthetizing different materials and designing them for different functions.

“Together we can do stuff that no one has ever done before.”

Beyond smart clothing that could monitor in real time the body’s condition, Rondeau-Gagne envisions such possibilities as stretchable electronics helping restore the electrical impulse connections in a damaged spinal cord or new materials in car doors that self-repair after being dented.

“I think one of the emerging uses will be in elder care,” Carmichael said.

“It allows for constant monitoring of pulse, blood pressure, sweat or where they are,” said Carmichael, who oversees a team of nine student researchers.

“However, there are still huge challenges to doing all these things.”

The first step is for Rondeau-Gagne to find the right material.

Rondeau-Gagne said what his research team of six students is doing is akin to building a foundation for stretchable electronics.

“It’s like sci-fi stuff,” said Rondeau-Gagne, a native of Chicoutimi-Saguenay.

“The material I’m working with looks like ink, but when it’s solid it looks like blue plastic.

“It makes a film, but it’s only 40 Nano-millimeters thick.”
Rondeau-Gagne already has been successful in creating a polymer containing transistors that could be ‘re-healed’ with heat.

He hopes to soon finish developing self-healing materials that don’t require an outside stimulus to allow Carmichael to use her expertise in stretchable electronics.

“I believe within a year we’ll reach that point,” Rondeau-Gagne said.

“Tricia has a real expertise in these electronic devices and stretchable materials. She’s had great results already using rubber materials.”

Indeed Carmichael’s team has already created a new type of rubber. It’s clear and impermeable to gases and was modification of the rubber used for the inner tubing in car tires.

“What we were able to do is develop a transparent version of this material,” Carmichael said. “That means we make displays to use in it.”

However, the ultimate goal is to find a synthetic compound that is more stretchable, can take repeated use, self-repairs and can handle the heat produced by the transistors and circuitry embedded in it.

“We already have materials that can be stretched 100 per cent,” Rondeau-Gagne said.

“However, even if it can stretch 10,000 per cent, if it can’t be stretched more than a couple times without the circuit breaking, we can’t use it. There’s going to be pressure and stretching all the time with wearable electronics.”

Carmichael said the field of stretchable electronics is developing rapidly with the growing investment from major corporations and foundations.

“Simple demos (of stretchable electronics) are real,” Carmichael said.

“There’s a huge community who make wearable electronics by sewing things into their clothes. There’s already a cottage industry.

“I visited a wearable electronics company in Toronto making real products – sweat sensors for clothing. It’s coming.”

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Science Research and Innovation Facility (SRIF) to be built

Today, the Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, announced $15 million dollars in federal funding for the new Science Research and Innovation Facility (SRIF), which will be a $30 million dollar building attached to the north end of Essex Hall.

The new SRIF will feature:
3rd Floor: Materials Chemistry laboratories
2nd Floor: Biochem, Biological, and Cancer Research Laboratories
1st Floor: Magnetic Resonance Centre, X-ray Diffraction Laboratory, numerous microscopy and instrumentation laboratories

UPDATE Jan. 13, 2017: Government of Canada Announcement


Chris Houser, the Dean of Science, sent out the following announcement earlier today

Science Faculty, Staff and Students,

I’m excited to announce that UWindsor is building a dynamic new facility that will be devoted entirely to scientific research.  The 46,000-sq-ft, three-story Science Research and Innovation Facility (SRIF) will be built on the main campus, adjacent to the northern wing of the existing Essex Hall building.  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, MBA ‘01, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, is on campus today to make the official funding announcement.

The transparent exterior will create a welcoming fa├žade and let natural light flood into the flexible scientific labs, as well as the social and collaborative spaces. The main entrance will open directly into a full-height atrium “hive” space - a lounge that grounds the interconnected three-story facility.

The modern and efficient layout is designed to encourage easy collaboration between faculty, students and industry professionals. The facility will meet LEED standards for environmental sustainability, and incorporate innovative solutions to provide world-class wet and dry lab facilities for materials chemistry, biochemistry, biology and medical physics. 

By providing an environment that fosters creativity and inspires 21st-century learning and innovation, the Faculty of Science will successfully attract and empower the finest faculty, staff and students to the Faculty of Science at the University of Windsor.

Construction on the Science Research and Innovation Facility (SRIF) will begin soon and we expect it to be completed in Spring 2018.   We will provide you with more information about the facility and the construction schedule over the coming year.  

More information will be posted as it becomes available!

Sessional positions available for Summer 2017

Employment Opportunities

A notice for sessional positions available for Summer 2017 posted for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor.  

Please visit:

03-59-110 (01) – Topics in General Chemistry
(For Engineering Students)

03-59-365 (91) – Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry
[Distance Education]