Tuesday, November 20, 2012

POMs 2012

The 40th incarnation of POMs was held on November 2-4, 2012, at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.  It was ably organized by Jean-Michel Nunzi, his wife Gabriela Nunzi, and his graduate student Thomas Kraft.

Most of the 60 participants
The 60 participants at POMs 2012 presented 22 posters and 26 talks.  The meeting opened with the 2012 J. Phys. Org. Chem. Award Lecture, given by Shih-Yuan Liu of the Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon.  The POMs 2012 website was - here.

Queen's Chemistry at night
Next year, the 41st POMs will be held in Montreal, with Heidi Muchall as the primary organizer.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The 40th POMs - today

Today is the day to head for Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, for the 40th POMs.  Check the POMs 2012 Website - HERE.

The mixer starts at 7.30 pm, in the University Club. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

POMs Photos

Since the appearance of digital cameras, I have accumulated a number of photos taken at POMs meetings.  Many of these are accessible on the Web, but you have to know where to look, of course.  Recently, I have revised and edited the webpages I control, and I have added more pictures.

Some of Tito Scaiano's Group at the 37th POMS, in Buffalo.

The primary portal is the POMs photos webpage, in which there are links to other pages for specific meetings.  Also, I have uploaded most of the photos I have into sets on the image hosting website – Flickr.  These POMs photos sets are located – HERE.

If anyone has photos to add to these collections, please contact me - through my profile (at left).

Linda Johnston at Kathy McGilvray's poster (P36), at the 36th POMs.

Reminder: It's now time to register for the 40th POMs in Kingston.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More Sad News

Sadly, I have to report the death of Professor Rory More O'Ferrall, in Dublin.  He was born on November 9th, 1937, and he died recently on June 15th, 2012, after battling with cancer for several years.

Though he never attended a POMs meeting, as far as I recall, Rory was well-known to many of the POMs fraternity through his many and varied contributions to the field of Physical Organic Chemistry. These include, most famously, the introduction of simplified 3D-energy diagrams to analyze how reaction mechanisms may be altered by changes in the structures of the reactants. Their use was championed and exploited by Bill Jencks (1927-2007), an old friend, so much so that they became known as “More O’Ferrall-Jencks diagrams”.

Other research contributions included the measurement and interpretation of kinetic hydrogen isotope effects, quantitative studies of reactive intermediates, the chemistry of beta-lactam antibiotics, developments in free energy relationships, and interpretations of acid, base, metal ion and enzymatic catalysis.  A testimony to the importance of his work was provided by the large number of invitations that Rory received to speak at conferences and universities around the world.

As well, Rory was a leader of the teaching of Chemistry in Ireland and Europe.  He was the Head of Department at University College, Dublin, for four years, and was involved in the organization of specialist conferences and student workshops.  He was also influential by virtue of the students that he taught and the graduate students and post-docs that he infused with his love of Organic Chemistry.

He was a gracious friend and a generous colleague, and he will be sadly missed.

(Thanks to those who told me of Rory’s passing, and to those who provided me with biographical information.)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Next POMs

The 40th POMs, is scheduled for the fall of 2012, at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. 
The dates for it are Friday, Nov 2 – Sunday, Nov 4.  The website for the meeting is to be found here .  It is being organized by Jean-Michel Nunzi and his colleagues.
As most readers of this blog will already know, the 39th POMs was held in London, Ontario, on November 4-6, 2011.  The meeting was skillfully organized by J. Peter Guthrie, with the help of his wife Muriel, his colleague, Mark Workentin, and other coworkers.  It was supported by the Department of Chemistry, and the Faculty of Science of the University of Western Ontario, which is now to be known as Western University. 
Here is a link to the POMs 2011website. There were 66 registrants and the program featured 45 presentations (21 talks and 24 posters).  These numbers are somewhat lower than normal (for various reasons) but the quality of the student and post-doc presentations ranged from good to very good to excellent.  Well done, everybody!

For details of earlier POMs meetings consult the main website, especially the pages: Recent POMs meetings and the POMs history.  Also you can click on the tab - Previous Meetings, above.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Farewell - Adieu

Recently, POMs lost three distinguished colleagues: Saul Wolfe, Richard Bader and A.J. Kresge.

Saul Wolfe, Dick Bader, Yvonne Chiang and Jerry Kresge
 1. Saul Wolfe (1933-2011) was for many years an active participant in POMs, and he helped organize two meetings at Queen’s University, in Kingston, where he spent much of his academic career before he was lured away to Simon Fraser U.  

Saul became involved with Phys. Org. Chem., working on his Ph.D. with Ray Lemieux, then at the University of Ottawa.  Later on, through collaboration with Imre Czimadia (U of Toronto), he got into theoretical calculations, first semi-empirical and then ab initio.  Some of his early studies were on the origins of the “Anomeric Effect” – a largely Canadian enterprise also known as the “Edward-Lemieux Effect”, after Jack Edward (another POMs participant and organizer) and Ray Lemieux.  

Much of Saul’s other research was related to penicillin-type derivatives, their synthesis and their mode of action as antibiotics. An obituary of Saul appeared in ACCN.

2. In January 2012, we lost another theoretical chemist, and sometime POMs participant, Richard Bader (1931–2012).  I first met Dick in 1963 when I was a graduate student at McMaster U. and where he had just joined the faculty. Although I took no courses from him he was helpful to me when I was preparing for exams in theoretical chemistry. Throughout the years I followed the evolution of his ideas and was pleased to see him receive credit for them late in his career.  Dick is now best known for his “Atoms in Molecules” (AIM) approach and the use of stationary points in electron density to analyze chemical bonding, as expounded in his published papers, reviews and books. See his website  and links therein.

Younger folk may not know that Dick started out as a physical organic chemist.  His Master’s research, with Art Bourns at McMaster, was a study of the mechanism of the Chugaev reaction, using kinetic isotope effects, and his Ph.D. work with C. Gardner Swain (M.I.T.) was mainly on the origins and interpretation of solvent isotope effects.  It was as a post-doc. with H.C. Longuet-Higgins (Cambridge, UK) that he got into the deeper, murkier waters of theoretical chemistry.

There was very interesting article about Dick Bader in Scientific Computing World (2003).

3. As reported earlier on the POMs main website, we also recently lost A. Jerry Kresge (1926-2010). Besides being one of the most eminent practitioners of physical organic chemistry in North America, Jerry was also one of POMs' most stalwart members. He died just two years after his wife and long-time collaborator, Yvonne Chiang.  From the earliest years of POMs, in the 1970s, Jerry and Yvonne were active participants and frequent contributors.

Jerry Kresge and Yvonne Chiang
A good synopsis of Jerry's career and his contributions to physical organic chemistry can be read in a biographical essay written by John Richard and Rory More O'Ferrall, Advances of Physical Organic Chemistry, Volume 44, pages xiii - xxiii (2010). 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Welcome - Bienvenue

Welcome to the new POMS Blog!  I have created this blog to make it easier to update POMs news.  In the first instance, it will be used to supplement the POMs website but in due course it may well supercede it.

For readers who are unfamiliar with the Ontario-Quebec Physical Organic Mini-symposia, the first one was held in 1973.  The most recent one, the 39th POMs, was hosted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario.  The website for it was here.
By the way, the official name of UWO has been changed to "Western" which most of us have used for years!

For an overview of past POMs meetings and related matters go to the POMs website or use one of the POMs links in the left-hand column.