Keynote Speakers

The Organising Committee are pleased to announce the following Keynote Speakers.

Prof Munetaka Akita

Akita Photo_smallMunetaka Akita is Professor and Director of Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science at Tokyo Institute of Technology. He received his master and PhD degrees from Kyoto University (with Prof. Makoto Kumada) and Osaka University (with Prof. Akira Nakamura), respectively. In 1984 he moved to Tokyo Institute of Technology as a research associate and was appointed as a professor in 2002. Recently, his research interests involve application of carbon-rich organometallics to molecular devices, photoredox catalysis, and supramolecular systems based on anthracene. He served as a member of the editorial boards of the Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan, Dalton Transactions, and Organometallics. He is now a member of the international advisory board of ICOMC.

Prof Simon Aldridge

Simon Aldridge_smallSimon Aldridge is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and has interests in low-coordinate Main Group and Transition Metal systems, and their applications in small molecule capture/activation. He is a past winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Main Group Chemistry Award and the Dalton Transactions European Lectureship. He recently held positions as University visiting professor at Monash University (Melbourne, 2012) and Distinguished Lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University (2014).

Prof Polly Arnold

Polly Arnold Picture_smallPolly L Arnold holds the Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. She holds degrees from Oxford and Sussex, and was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at MIT prior to returning to a lectureship in the UK in 1999. Her research is focused on exploratory synthetic chemistry.
Polly has received a variety of awards and prizes including the Seaborg Lectureship 2015 (UC Berkeley, USA) and the RSC Corday Morgan prize, 2012. Supported by the Royal Society’s 2012 Rosalind Franklin award, Polly also made ‘A Chemical Imbalance’, a call to action for simple changes to achieve equality of opportunity in science.

Dr Janine Cossy

Janine Cossy Photo_smallJanine Cossy’s early career was spent in Reims, where she did her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Champagne-Ardenne, under the supervision of Pr. Jean Pierre Pète. After a postdoctoral stay with Pr. Barry Trost, for two years at the University of Wisconsin (USA), she returned to Reims where she became, in 1990, Director of Research at the CNRS. In the same year, she moved to Paris and, since 1990, she is Professor of Organic Chemistry at the ESPCI ParisTech. Janine Cossy’s research interests focus on the synthesis of natural products and biologically active molecules and on the development of synthetic methods Her research efforts have resulted in more than 460 publications and 15 patents.

Prof Matthias Driess

Matthias Driess photo_smallMatthias Driess recieved his PhD 1988 at the Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg. In addition he studied philosophy in Heidelberg. He worked as a postdoc with Professor Robert West in Madison, U.S.A., before finishing his habilitation in 1993. Since 2004 he holds a chair in organometallic chemistry and inorganic materials at the department of chemistry. Since 2007 he is the spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence UniCat ( Since 2012 he is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and since 2014 Ordinary Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


Prof Gernot Frenking

frenking-2_smallGernot Frenking, FRSC, studied chemistry at the universities Aachen, Kyoto and TU Berlin where he received his doctoral degree in 1979. After obtaining his habilitation in theoretical organic chemistry at the TU Berlin in 1984 he moved to the USA. Following one year as a visiting scientist with Fritz Schaefer at UC Berkeley he worked at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. In 1989 he returned to Germany as Associate Professor for Computational Chemistry at the Philipps University Marburg where he was appointed Full Professor for Theoretical Chemistry 1998 and became Hans-Hellmann-Professor from 2011-2014. He is also Visiting Research Professor at the DIPC (Donostia International Physics Center) at San Sebastian, Spain. Awards include the Elhuyar-Goldschmidt Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry of Spain (2007) and the Schrödinger Medal of the WATOC (2009). His research interests lie in the field of Chemical Bonding Theory and Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry. Major topics are the nature of the chemical bond, molecules with unusual bonds and reaction mechanisms of metal catalyzed reactions.

Prof Francois Gabbaï

 Francois Gabbai_smallFrançois Gabbaï who studied in Bordeaux, Austin and Munich is the Chemistry Department Head at Texas A&M University where he also holds the Arthur E. Martell Chair in Chemistry. His research focuses on the organometallic chemistry of p-block and late transition metal elements with applications in molecular recognition, nuclear imaging, catalysis and solar energy conversion. In 2009 he was recognized as the North American Dalton Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry and became chair of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry in 2011. He is a fellow of the ACS and the RSC and also serves as an associate Editor for Organometallics since 2010.

Dr Gilles Gasser

Gilles Gasser_smallGilles Gasser undertook his PhD with Prof. Helen Stoeckli-Evans at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). After post-doctoral stays at Monash University (Australia) with Prof. Leone Spiccia and at the Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) with Prof. Nils Metzler-Nolte, Gilles started his independent research career at the University of Zurich, first as a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Ambizione fellow (2009) and then as a SNSF Assistant Professor (2010). Gilles is a recipient of several awards including the Syngenta Award for the best PhD thesis in Chemistry of the University of Neuchâtel (2004), an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship (2007) and the Werner Prize (2015).

Dr Luca Gonsalvi

Photo_smallDr Luca Gonsalvi was appointed Researcher at ICCOM-CNR in Florence (Italy) in 2001 where is currently Team Leader. He received a M.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Parma (Italy) in 1994 and a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry and catalysis in 1999 at The University of Sheffield (U.K.) with A. Haynes and P. M. Maitlis. He followed as PDRA at Delft University of Technology (NL) with R. A. Sheldon and I. Arends developing new catalytic routes for ethers oxidation (1999-2001). His research interests are mainly in the fields of hydrogen activation, production and storage by homogeneous catalysis, CO2 catalytic valorisation, water-phase organometallics and catalysis.

Prof Ian Manners

Ian Manners Photo_smallIan received his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, conducted postdoctoral work in Germany and then in the USA, and joined the University of Toronto, Canada as an Assistant Professor in 1990. He was made Full Professor in 1995 and a Canada Research Chair in 2001. In 2006 he returned to Bristol to take up a Chair in Inorganic, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry. His awards include a Sloan Fellowship (from the US), the Steacie Prize (from Canada), the RSC Award in Main Group Chemistry, the RSC Peter Day Award for Soft Matter Materials Chemistry, and a Humboldt Research Award from Germany. He is an elected member of both the Canadian and the British National Academies of Science. His work is documented in > 600 papers and 4 books and has been presented in > 500 invited lectures worldwide: it has also received ca. 20,000 citations by other scientists.

Prof Florence Mongin

Mongin_smallFlorence Mongin is Professor at the Université de Rennes 1 and research group leader at the Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes, France. After receiving her PhD degree (1994), she moved to the Lausanne Institut de Chimie Organique (Switzerland) as a post-doctoral fellow with Manfred Schlosser, and then returned to the Université de Rouen as an Assistant Professor (Habilitation with Guy Queguiner, 2003). Between 2009 and 2014, she was appointed Junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Her scientific interests include the functionalization of aromatic compounds, and notably the use of synergic bimetallic bases and combinations for this purpose.

Prof Philip Mountford

Philip Mountford_smallPhilip Mountford is Head of Inorganic Chemistry and Professor of Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis at Oxford University. His research interests centre around the synthesis, structure, bonding and reactivity of organometallic compounds of the early transition and lanthanide metals, and the alkaline earth metals. This work has emphasis on compounds with metal-nitrogen multiple bonds, olefin polymerisation and ring-opening polymerisation. Recently he received the 2015 Schlenk Lectureship of the University of Tübingen, a PKU-Eli Lilly prize lectureship from Peking University in 2014, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Organometallic Chemistry Award for 2012-13 and is a former recipient of the RSC’s Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship, also for organometallic chemistry. He has held Visiting Professorships at the Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, the University of Bordeaux and the University of Heidelberg.

Prof Robert Mulvey

Mulvey_smallRobert Emmet Mulvey gained his BSc. (1981) and Ph.D. (1984) at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. Following two years at Durham University, he returned to Strathclyde in 1986 becoming a Professor in 1995. Publishing over 270 papers, his research on polar organometallic chemistry has won several awards including a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, the RSC Main Group Element Award, and the RSC Meldola Medal. He has a long held fascination with the synergies created when different metals are mixed within the same ligand environment. His work was recognised most recently by the GDCh Arfvedson Schlenk Prize for 2013.

Prof Kyoko Nozaki

Nozaki Photo_smallKyoko Nozaki received her Ph.D. in 1991 from Kyoto University under the guidance of Professor Kiitiro Utimoto. During her Ph.D. study, she joined Professor Clayton H. Heathcock’s group at the University of California, Berkeley as an exchange student. In 1991, she started her research career as an instructor at Kyoto University, became an associate professor in 1999, and then moved to the University of Tokyo as an associate professor in 2002. Since 2003, she is a full professor at the University of Tokyo. Her research interest is focused on development of homogeneous catalysts for organic synthesis and polymer synthesis.

Prof Shie-Ming Peng

Shie-Ming Peng Photo_smallNational Taiwan University, Taiwan

Shie-Ming Peng received his PhD from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, he became an associate professor (1976–80) and a full professor (1980) of National Taiwan University. He was the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry (1987–1990) and the Vice President of the National Taiwan University (1999–2002). He also served as the President of the Chemical Society in Taipei (2001–2002). In 1998, he was elected as an Academician of Academia Sinica and served as Vice President (2011–2014). He is a synthetic and structural coordination chemist. His research is devoted to developing metal string complexes and investigating their application in molecular electronics. He is a recipient of the Presidential Science Prize of Taiwan (2013) and Luigi Tartufari International Chemistry Award of the Italian Academy of Science (2014).

Prof Mikiko Sodeoka

Mikiko Sodeoka_smallMikiko Sodeoka received her Ph.D. degree from Chiba University in 1989.  After working at Sagami Chemical Research Center, she joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University as a research associate. She spent two years at Harvard University, and then moved to the University of Tokyo in 1992. She became a group leader at Sagami Chemical Research Center in 1996 and an associate professor of the University of Tokyo in 1999. In 2000, she moved to Tohoku University as a full professor. Since 2006 she has been a chief scientist of the Synthetic Organic Chemistry Laboratory at RIKEN. 

Dr Wen-Hua Sun

Wen-Hua Sun_smallWen-Hua Sun received his B.Sc. in chemistry at Lanzhou University (1986), his M.S./Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry at Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics (LICP, 1989/1994). He worked in LICP as a Research Associate (1989) and Associate Professor (1993), and at Hokkaido University with fellowships from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1995), Center of Excellence (1997) and Japan Science and Technology Corporation (1998). Since October 1999, he has served as a Professor of Chemistry and Polymer Science at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has more than 300 publications (being cited over 6700 times since 1996) and 58 granted patents of newly developing catalysts, in which some have been developed for industrial (pilot) processes.

Prof Hiromi Tobita

Photo Tobita_smallHiromi Tobita received his Ph.D. degree in 1982 from Tohoku University under the supervision of Professor Hideki Sakurai. After serving as a postdoctoral research associate in MIT (late Professor Satoru Masamune’s group), he joined Professor Hiroshi Ogino’s group in Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University in 1985 as a research associate. He was promoted to an associate professor in 1992 and a full professor in 2001 in the same place. His main research interests involve synthesis and reactivity of complexes having peculiar chemical bonds, especially multiple bonds, between transition-metal elements and heavier main-group elements.

Prof Wai-Yeung Wong

Photo_smallWai-Yeung Wong (Raymond) received BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Hong Kong. He did his postdoctoral research at Texas A&M University and the University of Cambridge. He joined Hong Kong Baptist University as Assistant Professor in 1998, rising through the academic ranks to become Chair Professor in Chemistry in 2011 and he currently serves as the Head of the Chemistry Department there. His research interests are focused on developing molecular functional materials with energy functions and photofunctional properties. He is now the Regional Editor of Journal of Organometallic Chemistry and Associate Editor of Journal of Materials Chemistry C. He was awarded the RSC Chemistry of the Transition Metals Award, FACS Distinguished Young Chemist Award and State Natural Science Award of China.