Professor Douglas Stephan- 2004 Ciapetta Lecturer

The 2004 F. G. Cia­pet­ta Lec­ture­ship is award­ed to Pro­fes­sor Dou­glas Stephan of the Depart­ment of Chem­istry & Bio­chem­istry, Uni­ver­si­ty of Wind­sor, Wind­sor, Ontario, Cana­da. The F.G. Cia­pet­ta Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis is cospon­sored by Davi­son Cat­a­lyst, a busi­ness unit of W. R. Grace & Co and The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The award is giv­en in recog­ni­tion of sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to one or more areas in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on indus­tri­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant cat­a­lysts and cat­alyt­ic process­es and the dis­cov­ery of new cat­alyt­ic reac­tions and sys­tems of poten­tial indus­tri­al impor­tance. The Award con­sists of a plaque, an hon­o­rar­i­um and addi­tion­al mon­ey is avail­able to cov­er trav­el­ing expens­es to vis­it the local clubs. Local clubs should con­tact Pro­fes­sor Stephan direct­ly to make trav­el arrange­ments.

Pro­fes­sor Stephan received his Ph.D. in Inor­gan­ic Chem­istry from the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Ontario. He under­took a NATO Post­doc­tor­al Fel­low in Chem­istry at Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty before mov­ing to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wind­sor where he has spent his career doing research. Doug Stephan’s research group has been active for over 20 years in study­ing the fun­da­men­tal organometal­lic chem­istry of ear­ly tran­si­tion met­als. He has received many dis­tinc­tions and hon­ors for his accu­mu­lat­ed accom­plish­ments dur­ing the course of his stud­ies, but it was his recent suc­cess in devel­op­ing a nov­el set of cat­a­lysts for poly­mer­iz­ing eth­yl­ene that have earned Doug Stephan many acco­lades both in indus­tri­al cir­cles and among his aca­d­e­m­ic peers. This devel­op­ment is expect­ed to have a major impact on the Cana­di­an petro­chem­i­cals indus­try, which is a sig­nif­i­cant part of the man­u­fac­tur­ing capa­bil­i­ty in this coun­try. Stephan’s inno­v­a­tive approach to ancil­lary lig­and design quick­ly led to dra­mat­ic find­ings of new patentable cat­a­lysts that were high­ly active under indus­tri­al con­di­tions. NOVA Chem­i­cals’ goal of devel­op­ing new sin­gle site cat­a­lyst tech­nolo­gies was sig­nif­i­cant­ly advanced with the dis­cov­er­ies of poten­tial new cat­a­lyst com­pounds from the Stephan labs. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with a team of chemists and engi­neers at NOVA Chem­i­cals Stephan’s team worked to explore and devel­op these new cat­a­lyst fam­i­lies towards com­mer­cial­iza­tion. Stephan and his group have con­tin­ued to study the struc­ture-reac­tiv­i­ty rela­tion­ship of these sin­gle-site cat­a­lysts. In addi­tion, Stephan’s group has dis­cov­ered and stud­ied a num­ber of unusu­al deac­ti­va­tion path­ways that these new cat­a­lysts exhib­it allow­ing opti­miza­tion of process con­di­tions. More recent­ly, Stephan’s group has been study­ing mod­i­fied sys­tems that exhib­it liv­ing cat­a­lyst behav­ior and their use in the for­ma­tion of co- and block poly­mers. His new efforts are focused on devel­op­ing new co-cat­a­lysts as well as strate­gies to late tran­si­tion met­al cat­a­lysts.