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  • Professor Cynthia Friend

    Professor Friend presents Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Professor Cynthia M. Friend from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University will present the Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry, Monday, Oct. 30, through Wednesday, Nov. 1.

She will present three lectures: 

Professor Friend

Professor Friend is the Theodore Williams Richards Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and a professor Materials Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. She is director of the Rowland Institute at Harvard, and director of the Department of Energy-sponsored Energy Frontier Research Center on Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis.

Her research focuses on important catalytic reactions and on making new materials with key chemical functionality. The major research themes in her group are heterogeneous catalysis, surface chemistry, geterogeneous photochemistry, and theory collaboration.

Honoring legacy of Professor Kolthoff

The Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry honors the Legacy of Izaak Maurits Kolthoff. He was was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 doctorate holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.