GCNZ19 will feature a fantastic lineup of speakers. Stay tuned for updates and announcements for plenary and keynote speakers!

Confirmed speakers

Plenary lectures

Associate Professor Matt Kanan (Stanford University, USA)

Matt Kanan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and a Senior Fellow in the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. The Kanan group addresses challenges in catalysis and synthetic chemistry related to energy conversion and sustainable resource utilization. His group has pioneered the study of grain boundary effects on heterogeneous electro-catalysts for CO2 and CO reduction and invented carbonate-promoted C–H carboxylation reactions for commodity carboxylic acid synthesis. Matt was recently named a Dreyfus Environmental Postdoctoral Mentor (2016), one of the Talented 12 by Chemistry and Engineering News (2015), and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2014). Prior to Stanford, Matt was an NIH Postdoctoral Researcher at MIT working on water oxidation catalysis in the laboratory of Daniel Nocera. Matt completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry working with David Liu at Harvard and studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Rice University.

Distinguished Professor Bruce H. Lipshutz (UC Santa Barbara, USA)

Bruce Lipshutz was awarded a B.A from State University of New York at Binghamton (Howard Alper) and his Ph.D from Yale University (Harry H. Wasserman). After two years as postdoctoral fellow with E. J Corey, he joined the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor. He has won many awards, most recently an EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award (2011) Organic Letters Publication of the Year (2016) and the American Chemical Society H.C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2017)

After over a quarter century of traditional organic chemistry leading to our ranking as the most waste-generating research group in all of Santa Barbara County, we decided to “make the switch.” Thus, since 2008, the focus has been, and continues today, aimed at getting organic solvents out of organic chemistry. In full appreciation for the manner in which bio-catalysis is run; i.e., in water and under mild conditions, so has the goal been to document that chemo-catalysis should, and can, be run in water as well. To enable this alternative reaction medium, water, to replace organic solvents, micellar catalysis has been advanced, akin to “directed evolution” performed on enzymes. Hence, nanoparticles (NPs) have been engineered to serve as nanoreactors, composed of newly engineered surfactants that self-aggregate in water and in which state-of-the-art synthetic chemistry can now be done, in most cases, “faster, better, and cheaper” than that run in organic solvents. With these new NPs available, both existing and new reactions can be studied, operating under new “rules” associated with chemistry in water that do not apply to reactions run in organic solvents. Opportunities for development of new ligands that enable ppm level catalysis by various transition metals, precious or otherwise, are of great interest, as are advances in tandem, 1-pot reactions involving both chemo- and bio-catalysis. Applications are also being extended to flow chemistry in water, offering new opportunities for safe scaling of reactions of industrial importance. In brief, we are providing an ever-expanding new toolbox of reactions, in water, as the chemical enterprise begins its essential movement into a water world.

Professor Audrey Moores (McGill University, Canada)

Audrey Moores is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry (2007-17) at McGill University, where she started her independent career in 2007. She completed her PhD from the Ecole Polytechnique, France in 2005, under the supervision of Prof. Pascal Le Floch and received the Best Thesis award of the Ecole Polytechnique that year. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University in 2006 under the guidance of Prof. Robert H. Crabtree, funded by a Lavoisier fellowship from the European Union.

She is a leading expert in the field of catalysis using metal, metal oxide and biomass-based nanomaterials, with a special emphasis on sustainable processes and use of earth abundant starting materials. Her research was recently highlighted in Nature in 2016, and she was selected as an emerging leader in 2017 by the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Her scientific contributions are well cited (>3680 citations; h-index=30).

She is the associate director of the Facility for Electron Microscopy Research (FEMR) at McGill since 2017 and the co-lead of the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative- Material theme, since 2017. She was the co-associate director of the CCVC for 4 years (2012-2016) and the scientific director in the board of GreenCenter Canada, an Ontario-based tech transfer company (2016-2019). She is a member of the advisory board of the Green Chemistry Institute (America Chemical Society) since 2018. Since 2016, she is an associate editorship for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

She received a Discovery Accelerator Supplement Award in 2018 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, was invited by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization for to teach a 5-day workshop in South Africa in the fall 2018 and was recognized as one of the three finalists for the McGill Principal’s prize for public engagement through media in 2019. In 2022, she will co chair the Gordon Research Conference in Green Chemistry.


Keynote lectures

Professor Sally Brooker (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Professor Sally Brooker (MNZM, FRSNZ, FNZIC, FRSC) studied at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand [BSc(Hons) first class; PhD with Professor Vickie McKee]. After postdoctoral research at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany with Professor George M. Sheldrick, she took up a Lectureship at the University of Otago where she is now a full Professor. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently including a 2017 Queens Birthday Honour for services to science (MNZM), the 2017 Hector Medal (RSNZ) and 2017 Burrows Award (RACI). Her research interests concern the design, synthesis and full characterisation of, primarily paramagnetic, di- and poly-metallic complexes of transition metal and lanthanide ions with polydentate acyclic and macrocyclic ligands, as these have interesting redox, magnetic, catalytic and photophysical properties (otago.ac.nz/brooker).

Dr Justin Chalker (Flinders University, Australia)

Justin M. Chalker earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Pittsburgh in 2006. At Pittsburgh, he contributed to the total synthesis of several natural products under the direction of Theodore Cohen. Supported by a Rhodes Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Justin then completed his D.Phil under the supervision of Benjamin Davis where he developed several tools for the site-selective modification of proteins. In 2012, Justin started his independent career as an assistant professor at The University of Tulsa where he established a diverse research program in organic chemistry, biochemistry and material science. In 2015, Justin moved to Flinders University as a Lecturer in Synthetic Chemistry and recipient of an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. In 2017, Justin was promoted to Senior Lecturer and Research Leader in the Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology at Flinders University. Justin has earned >$2M AUD in competitive funding for his scholarly activities and he has been recognised with several awards for his efforts in teaching and research. These include the South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year (2016), Green Chemistry Emerging Investigator (2017), Dream Chemistry Award Finalist (1 of 5 globally, 2017), the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry New Talent Award (2018), Eureka Prize Finalist for Outstanding Early Career Research (1 of 3 in Australia, 2018), the SA Science Excellence Awards STEM Educator of the Year (2018), and most recently the AMP Tomorrow Maker fellowship (2018).

The Chalker Laboratory is a synthetic chemistry laboratory interested in the intersection of organic chemistry, biochemistry, materials chemistry, and environmental science. Sustainability is a central theme in the majority of these projects. Most recently, the Chalker Lab has pioneered the synthesis and applications of polymers made from elemental sulfur. These materials can be made in a single step from elemental sulfur (a by-product of the petroleum sector) and renewable alkenes such as plant oils (even used cooking oil). These materials have proven useful in a variety of environmental applications and they are also recyclable and in some cases biodegradable. These features of sulfur polymers have provided a foundation for advances in the following areas of green chemistry, environmental stewardship, sustainability and the circular economy.

Professor Stuart James (Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Stuart is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast. His current research interests are in mechanochemical synthesis and porous liquids. He has demonstrated the synthesis of a range of products by mechanochemical means, initially using ball mills and latterly twin screw extrusion, which allows for continuous production without solvents at scale. In 2012 he co-founded MOF Technologies to manufacture MOFs mechanochemically. He is also interested in gaining greater fundamental understanding of mechanochemistry through kinetics studies and modelling. He has also put forward the original concept of liquids with permanent microporosity and demonsatrated these new materials in 2015 (Nature, 527, 216). In 2017 co-founded Porous Liquid Technologies to accelerate the commercialisation of that technology. In his lab porous liquids are now being developed for more energy-efficient separation processes.

Professor Doug MacFarlane (Monash University, Australia)

Professor Doug MacFarlane is an Australian Laureate Fellow at Monash University’s School of Chemistry and leader of the Energy Program in the Australian Centre for Electromaterials Science. He is the Australian Academy of Science’s Craig Medalist 2018 and winner of the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation 2018. He has published more than 650 papers and 30 patents, including papers in Science and Nature. Professor MacFarlane was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2007 and the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2009. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Chemical Communications, Green Chemistry, Sustainable Energy and Fuels, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering and ChemSusChem. Professor MacFarlane is one of the pioneers of the field of ionic liquids and his research group continues to break new ground in this cutting-edge area of inter-disciplinary chemistry. Ionic solids and liquids are a broad family of previously un-discovered materials and media that are finding application in diverse contexts including various aspects of Green chemistry including ammonia generation. Professor MacFarlane’s group has contributed seminal work in all of these fields.

Professor Kim Pickering (University of Waikato, New Zealand)

Professor Kim Pickering is an Associate Dean (Research) of the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science and leads the Polymers and Composites Research Group in the Engineering School, as well as director of WaiCAMM at Waikato University. She is a materials engineer internationally recognised in composite materials (synthetic and natural fibre/cellulose reinforced composites). She also has industrial research experience in electronic materials. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand and has been awarded the R J Scott Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand. She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 6 patents and has more than 5000 citations.

Professor Karen Wilson (RMIT, Australia)

Professor Karen Wilson was appointed was Professor of Catalysis in the School of Science at RMIT University in 2018, and was previously Chair of Catalysis and Research Director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, UK (2013-17), where she also held a prestigious Royal Society Industry Fellowship in collaboration with Johnson Matthey. She has published >240 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 60, 11720 citations Google Scholar). Karen’s research focusses on the development of tuneable porous heterogeneous catalysts for use in green and sustainable chemistry and the utilisation of renewable resources in chemical processes. Recent projects have spanned the conversion of biomass from agriculture or forestry waste to fuels and chemicals, to the transformation of bakery waste to additives for application in coatings and polymers. She has also worked on depollution technologies to remove organic contaminants from waste water in the seafood industry and palm and olive oil plantations in South East Asia.


Confirmed speakers

Dr Abdulmehdi Ali (University of New Mexico, USA)
Dr Apostolos (Lee) Alissandratos (The Australian National University, Australia)
Dr Alex Bissember (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Professor Ali Bumajdad (Kuwait University, Kuwait)
Associate Professor Eric Wei Chiang Chan (UCSI University, Malaysia)
Dr Wan-Ting Chen (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Assistant Professor Xi Chen (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
Dr Richard Espiritu (University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines)
Professor Rodney Fernandes (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India)
Associate Professor Vladimir Golovko (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
Dr Warren Grigsby (Scion, New Zealand)
Professor Milton Hearn (Monash University, Australia)
Professor Volker Hessel (University of Adelaide, Australia)
Professor Tribidasari Ivandini (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)
Dr Stefan Jopp (Universität Rostock, Germany)
Associate Professor Ariadne Juwono (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)
Dr Munawar Khalil (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)
Dr Yuni Krisyuningsih Krisnandi (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)
Dr Shinji Kudo (Kyushu University, Japan)
Professor Adam Lee (RMIT University, Australia)
Professor Feng Li (Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China)
Associate Professor Carol Lin (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Dr Imee Martinez (University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines)
Dr Xu Meng (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
Dr Markus Muellner (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Dr Vinh Nguyen (The University of New South Wales, Australia)
Dita Arifa Nurani (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)
Professor Anthony O’Mullane (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Dyah Utami Cahyaning Rahayu (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)
Professor Henrique Toma (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil)
Professor Bradley Williams (University of Technology, Sydney)
Professor Adi Wolfson (Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Israel)
Associate Professor Chen Wai Wong (UCSI University, Malaysia)
Dr Alexander Yuen (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Professor Xianhai Zeng (Xiamen University, China)

Confirmed student speakers

Abdualilah Albaiz (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia)
Naveen Chandra (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India)
Kapish Gobindlal (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Van Chinh Hoang (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Sundus Khan (Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia)
Praveen Kumar (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India)
Gabriel Luiz Lopes Fraga (The University of Queensland, Australia)
Anthony Okoani (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria)
Randhir Rai (Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India)
Prabaharan Thiruvengetam (Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India)
Olivia Zeckovic (The University of Queensland and the University of Adelaide, Australia)