New Zealand's largest chemistry school celebrates 100 years

03 March 2015

The School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland celebrates 100 years this month with a range of public events and lectures.

Distinguished visitors for this Centenary event include Nobel Laureate and University of Auckland Hood Fellow Professor Robert H Grubbs, one of the most influential chemists of our time and a pioneer in polymer and applied chemistry.

A public lecture by Professor Russell Egdell of the University of Oxford is also part of the celebrations. Professor Egdell is a Professor of Chemistry and a science historian who will give a talk on the life and work of Henry Moseley, a brilliant student of New Zealander Earnest Rutherford. Moseley was killed by a sniper at Gallipoli at the age of 27 while acting as Signals Officer for Allied forces at Gallipoli.

Moseley is credited with inventing x-ray spectroscopy and the modern form of the periodic table and it is widely accepted that his brilliant work would have eventually seen him win the Nobel Prize. He was nominated but was killed before the prize could be awarded.

Professor Terry Collins from the Department of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University and a graduate of the University of Auckland will give a talk on green chemistry.

Rutherford Medal winner and Distinguished Alumni Professor Christine Winterbourn (CNZM) will give a lecture titled Chlorine Chemistry in the Body: Antimicrobial Defence and Inflammation.

Also speaking is Associate Professor Gordon Miskelly, Associate Dean, Faculty of Science of the University of Auckland who will talk about the historical highlights of the School over the years.

Professor Kevin Smith, Head of the School of Chemical Sciences, says the Centenary is a chance to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the School of Chemical Sciences.

“We encourage everyone to come along and celebrate with us and to hear about the significant developments in Chemistry since the School was founded one hundred years ago.”

The 100th Anniversary of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland is being celebrated with a range of public events and distinguished visitor lectures.

More details on the Centenary Celebration website.

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