Associate Professor in Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin, Aidan McDonald, has won the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship for 2017. The Fellowship is awarded for the encouragement of research in organometallic chemistry or the coordination chemistry of transition metals. This annual Fellowship is renowned in the area of chemistry, as many previous winners of the Fellowship have gone on to win Nobel prizes for their research.
Professor McDonald investigates the chemistry of transition metals (metals from the middle of the periodic table including iron, nickel, and copper). His group’s research focuses on how such metals can facilitate more environmentally friendly chemical manufacturing, and the development of facile methods for processing 2D nanomaterials. In 2015, Aidan was also awarded an ERC starting grant, and in late 2016 he was presented with a Royal Society/SFI University Research Fellowship. Both are awarded to outstanding early career scientists.
Professor McDonald said: “I am deeply honoured to receive this award, and am very grateful to my colleagues who supported my nomination. I am also extremely grateful to the School of Chemistry in Trinity and the Science Foundation Ireland funded AMBER research centre for supporting my group’s research efforts in this early phase of my career.”
Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “It is an honour to celebrate the innovation and expertise of our community through our prizes and awards. We know that chemistry can be a powerful force for good, and quality research and communication of that research are more important than ever before.
“Our charitable mission is to advance excellence in the chemical sciences, and we are proud to celebrate our inspiring and influential winners, who share that mission.”
Award winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results, which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.
The annual awardee of the Royal Society of Chemistry Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship receives £2000, a medal and a certificate of commendation. An illustrious list of 50 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including all of the 2016 chemistry winners, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa.