1998 Award Recipient

Professor Jeffrey K-S Wan (Microwave Chemistry)

Professor Jeffrey K-S Wan (Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario)

Professor Wan’s remarkable talent and pursuit of novel challenges have led to the development and utilization of fundamental chemical concepts, instrumental in advancing basic physical chemical research, as well as implementing creative solutions to diverse industrial problems.

Educational Background
Professor Jeffrey Wan was educated at McGill University (B.Sc., 1958) and the University of Albert (Ph.D., 1962), followed by post-doctoral fellowships at the University of California, Riverside (1963-65) and the National Research Council of Canada (1965-66). He has been a professor of Chemistry at Queen’s University, Kingston since 1966 (Full Professor since 1974).

Career Development
The productivity and caliber of Professor Wan’s academic career has received international recognition. He received the Queen’s University Excellence in Research Award in 1991; has attracted more than 100 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows; over 200 peer-reviewed publications in international scientific journals and holds a dozen patents.

Professor Wan is also a Fellow of Chemical Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Chemistry; a member of the New York Academy of Science; Honorary Professor in the Institute of Chemistry, Beijing and University of Lanzhou, China; editor of the journal ‘Research on Chemical Intermediates’ and hold consultant appointments with a number of national and international corporations.

Major Contributions
Professor Wan was a pioneer in the field of Chemically Induced Dynamic Electron Polarization. His work resulted in the elucidation of complex chemical mechanisms in free radical reactions, e.g. the mechanisms by which light-induced yellowing of lignin-containing pulps and papers occur. The significance of the latter to the Canadian pulp and paper industry and led to the formation of the Mechanical Wood-Pulps Network, one of the Centers of Excellence in Research funded by the Canadian government.

In another unique area of research, Professor Wan has pioneered the concept of Microwave Induced Chemical phenomena. This has resulted in several patents and many potential industrial applications of microwave induced reactions, e.g. a novel method of producing hydrogen cyanide, the destruction of environmental toxins, a microwave activated automobile catalytic converter, the processing of tar sand and bitumen and conversion of methane to oxygenated fuels.