Meet the Boss

Current Position:

Professor and Chair of Inorganic, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry,
European Union Marie Curie Chair
School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, UK

Ian also holds a Position as Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada and an Honorary Professorship at Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Ian was born in London, England in 1961 and, after completing his Ph.D., moved first to Germany and then the USA for postdoctoral work. He then joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Toronto in 1990. After 15 enjoyable years in Canada, he moved back to his Alma Mater (University of Bristol, England) in 2006. Ian’s research interests focus on the development of new synthetic approaches involving catalysis and self-assembly and their applications in molecular chemistry, polymer and materials science, and nanoscience.  His outside interests include music (especially that of Dvorak, Rachmaninov and Mahler), nature (especially birds, trees, butterflies and wild flowers), hiking, global politics, history, travel, cricket, the Simpsons, the Royle Family, German and local beer, and excellent pubs and restaurants. Ian lives with his wife, Deborah, in a 200 year old cottage near Tintern in the beautiful Wye Valley in South Wales. They have two children, Hayley and Chris, and two Grandsons, Rhys and Gavin.

Publications, Invited Lectures and Metrics:

Over 630 papers in scientific journals, 11 patents and 4 books.

Over 470 invited, keynote, and plenary lectures nationally and internationally.

H-index = 83. Citations by other scientists > 18,000. (Web of Science, 9.2015)

Qualifications and Experience:


  • 1990 - Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
  • 1994 - Associate Professor (Tenured) Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
  • 1995 - Full Professor Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
  • 2001 - Canada Research Chair, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2006 - Professor and Chair of Inorganic, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, and Marie Curie Chair, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


  • Research Associate 1988-1990, Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Advisor; Prof. H. R. Allcock. Area of Research : polymer chemistry (polyphosphazenes)
  • Postdoctoral 1986-87, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Aachen, Aachen, West Germany. Advisor; Prof. P. Paetzold. Area of Research: main group chemistry (iminoboranes)


  • Ph.D. Chemistry, 1982-85, University of Bristol, Bristol, England. Advisor; Prof. N.G. Connelly. Area of Research : organometallic chemistry (organotransition metal radicals)
  • B.Sc. Chemistry, First Class Honors, 1979-1982, University of Bristol, England.

Selected Research and Teaching Awards, Honours, Fellowships, and Lectureships:

  • Honorable Plenary Speaker, International Conference of Polymer Advanced Technology, Hangzhou, China (2015)
  • Invited Speaker at the Seoul Inter-Academy Science Forum (IASSF), South Korea (2014)
  • Honorary Professorship at Jilin University, Changchun, China (2014)
  • University of Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology Distinguished Lecturer, Ontario, Canada (2014)
  • 3M University Lecturer in Chemistry, Western University, Ontario, Canada (2013)
  • Center for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS) Lecturer (Concordia Univ., McGill Univ., and Univ. of Montreal) (2013)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) (2012)
  • RSC Peter Day Award (for Soft Matter Materials Chemistry) (2012)
  • Visiting Scientist at the University of Bayreuth (2011)
  • Gordon Stone Lecturer at the University of Bristol (2011)
  • Elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS) (British National Academy of Science) (2011)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Award (2011)
  • Siedle Lecturer, University of Indiana, USA (2011)
  • Spinks Lecturer, University of Saskatchewan, Canada (2011)
  • Macrogroup UK Medal (2010)
  • Humphrey Memorial Symposium Lecturer, University of Vermont, USA (2010)
  • Kilpatrick Lecture Series 2010, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA, (2010)
  • European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant (2010 - 2014)
  • Ralph Milkovich Memorial Lecturer, The University of Akron, Ohio, USA (2009)
  • 2009 Distinguished Lecturer, Hong Kong Baptist University (2009)
  • Frontiers in Chemical Research Lecturer, Texas A&M University, USA (2008)
  • 2008 Bayer Distinguished Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis, USA (2008)
  • Wiberg Lecturer: Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany (2008)
  • George W. and Pauline Watt Centennial Lectureship, University of Texas at Austin (2007)
  • Tilden Lectureship, Royal Society of Chemistry (2007)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry Award in Main Group Chemistry (2005)
  • Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2005)
  • European Union Marie Curie Chair (2005)
  • Reed Lecturer at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY, US (2003)
  • 2002 Fall Lecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, US (2002)
  • Karasek Lectureship, University of Waterloo, Canada (2002)
  • Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award, Canadian Institute of Chemistry (2002)
  • Canadian Institute of Advanced Research Young Investigator Award (Canada's "top 20 under 40" in Science and Engineering) (2002)
  • Steacie Prize (2000) (top award in Canada in all areas of science and engineering given to one person per year aged 40 or under)
  • Elected as Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) (Canadian National Academy of Science) (2001).
  • Tier I (Senior) Canada Research Chair (2001).
  • Visiting Professor at University of Bochum, Germany (2001)
  • Visiting Professor at University of Rennes, France (2000)
  • Premier’s Research Excellence Award (1999).
  • Alcan Lecture Award, Canadian Society of Chemistry (1999)
  • Royal Society Corday-Morgan Medal 1997 (Royal Society, UK).
  • NSERC E. W.R. Steacie Fellow (1997-99).
  • Canadian Society of Chemistry Award in Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry (1997).
  • University of Toronto, McLean Award (1997).
  • Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (1997).
  • Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry (1996).
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1994-98) (Sloan Foundation, USA)
  • Faculty of Arts & Science Outstanding Teaching Award (1993-94).
  • University of Toronto Senior Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to Teaching (1993).
  • Canadian Society of Chemistry IUPAC Travel Award (1993).
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (England) European Fellowship (1986-87) for Postdoctoral Work at Aachen

Editorships and Memberships of Editorial and Editorial Advisory Boards of Journals:

  • Chem. Soc. Rev. (2011 - )
  • Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2010 - )
  • Polymer Chemistry (2010 - )
  • New Monomers and Polymers (2001 - )
  • Macromolecules (1997-2000)
  • Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers (2000-)
  • New Journal of Chemistry (1998-2001)
  • Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics (2000 - 2008)
  • Macromolecular Rapid Communications (2000 - 2008)
  • Organometallics (2001 - 2004)
  • J. Chem. Soc. Dalton Trans (2001 - 2008)
  • Advances in Polymer Science (2003 - 2008)
  • Polyhedron (2006 -2009 )
  • Journal of Organometallic Chemistry (Associate Editor)
  • Dalton Trans. (Editorial Advisory Board)

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