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.