Chemistry Department Stars shine at South African Chemical Institute Awardss

9 Sep 2015 - 12:00

Professor Graham Jackson has authored over 100 publications and has made important contributions to chemical speciation of transition metal complexes in aqueous solution, especially in the field of copper complexes, and to the development of NMR spectroscopy in South Africa. His work on the elucidation of peptide structures using NMR spectroscopy is of particular note. He has a long and distinguished teaching career at the University of Cape Town, particularly notable in his graduation of 35 PhD and MSc students. This has made a significant impact in the training of high level chemistry graduates in the country. Within the university, Graham has contributed more widely to the development of science through his outstanding work in positions as chair the Faculty Equipment Committee, Deputy Chair of the University Equipment Committee and Chair of the Central Equipment Facility. In these positions he has successfully championed the acquisition of state of the art equipment. Finally, he also served as Deputy Head of Department and member of the Departmental Executive Committee for more than ten years.

 In addition to the above, Professor Jackson has been a long standing and dedicated servant of the SACI. He was a member of the local committee of SACI from 1990 – 1998 and then chaired the committee from 1999 – 2000. He served as Vice President of the SACI from 2000 – 2001 and then as President from 2001 – 2004. He has been a member of the local committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) since 1999 and played a major role in the process of amalgamating the RSC and SACI committees in the Western Cape, so that the two now act as a single committee which ensures that activities are closely coordinated and maximises the impact of each. He chaired the local RSC committee from 2006 – 2009. Finally, he was Editor in Chief of the South African Journal of Chemistry from 2010 – 2014.

 SASOL Postgraduate Medal WinnerWade Petersen

 The SASOL postgraduate medal is an award for young innovative chemists, characterized by innovation, independence and enterprise. Winners are expected to have done something worthy of admiration in the experimental field, to have communicated the experimental results in in printed form, or at conferences and to have a broad appreciation of the role and context of chemistry as a science. Furthermore, there should be evidence that he/she has played a productive role in his/her department.

 Wade has made significant strides in the synthesis of chiral aza-quaternary centres, an as yet unresolved problem in organic chemistry. These centres are important in natural products of interest in medicinal chemistry. Wade has shown himself to be an extremely talented experimentalist, and, coupled with his high academic grasp of the chemistry theory, has managed to pull off a huge achievement for both himself and the discipline as a whole. This work has recently been published in Journal of Organic Chemistry. Wade has also played a significant role in assisting the teaching enterprise in the Department of Chemistry, acting as a dedicated and highly successful teacher as part of a programme to prepare second year students for supplementary examinations.