The 2017 M. Frederick Hawthorne Lecture

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Professor Daniel Nocera (Harvard) was honored at the February 22, 2017 event.

Prof. Nocera’s seminar, titled “Fuels to Food from Sunlight, Air and Water”, took place at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) auditorium. Inorganic chemistry professor Dr. Alexander Spokoyny gave the introductory remarks, thanked donors Raymond and Dorothy Wilson whose generous endowment made the event possible, and spoke about the career of Prof. M. Frederick Hawthorne for whom the lecture is named. (Spokoyny conducted research in Hawthorne’s laboratory when he was a UCLA chemistry undergraduate student.)  Inorganic chemistry professor Dr. Paula Diaconescu introduced Nocera and presented him with a plaque at the end of his lecture.

The lecture was followed by a reception in the CNSI lobby and a dinner with faculty and their family members and graduate students at the UCLA Faculty Center. Photos from the events can be viewed on the on-line photo gallery.  

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(Left) Prof. Alex Spokoyny spoke about Prof. M. Frederick Hawthorne’s career. (Right) UCLA inorganic professor Dr.  Xiangfeng Duan and Prof. Travis Williams (USC).

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Over 240 people attended Nocera’s lecture in the CNSI auditorium.

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Nocera during his lecture and with the plaque presented to him by Prof. Paula Diaconescu (right) after the lecture.

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At the reception following the lecture – (Left) 2014 Hawthorne lecturer Prof. William Evans (UC Irvine) with UCLA physical chemistry professor Dr. Anastassia Alexandrova. (Right) Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate students (from left) Priera Panescu, Jeong Hoon “JK” Ko, Yolanda Li, and Kathryn Mansfield.

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UCLA inorganic chemistry faculty with the honored speaker at the dinner at the UCLA Faculty Center. From left:  Xiangfeng Duan, Richard Kaner, Alexander Spokoyny, Daniel Nocera (Harvard), Paula Diaconescu, Jeffrey Zink.

About Prof. Daniel Nocera

NoceraNocera is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University. He is widely recognized in the world as a leading researcher in renewable energy.  His contributions to the development of renewable energy have been recognized by a number of awards, some of which include the Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy, Eni Prize, IAPS Award, Burghausen Prize, Elizabeth Wood Award and the United Nation’s Science and Technology Award and from the American Chemical Society the Inorganic Chemistry, Harrison Howe. Kosolapoff and Remsen Awards. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Indian Academy of Sciences. Before joining Harvard, Nocera began his career at Michigan State University, where he was a University Distinguished Professor and then was on the faculty of MIT where he was the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy. He earned his B.S. degree at Rutgers University and his Ph.D. at Caltech. Nocera has mentored 146 Ph.D. graduate and postdoctoral students, published over 400 papers, given over 850 invited talks and 110 named lectureships. In 2008, he founded Sun Catalytix, a company committed to bringing personalized energy to the non–legacy world. In August 2014, Lockheed Martin purchased the assets of Sun Catalytix, and now Sun Catalytix technology is being fast-tracked to commercialization under the new venture, Lockheed Martin Advanced Energy Storage, LLC.

About the M. Frederick Hawthorne Lecture

Hawthorne1 1The annual M. Frederick Hawthorne Lecture was established in 2011 with Professor Hawthorne delivering the inaugural lecture.

M. Frederick Hawthorne majored in chemistry at Pomona College and went on to receive his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from UCLA in 1953. He’s considered a pioneer in boron chemistry, having created, alongside colleagues, a collection of boranes, carboranes and metallacarboranes, which have been used in a variety of applications, including medical imaging, drug delivery and nanomachines.

In 2006 Hawthorne retired from UCLA and founded the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at the University of Missouri, where he is Institute Director and Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Radiology.  He spent 32 years at the helm of the journal Inorganic Chemistry. He has authored or co-authored more than 500 research papers and 10 patents, and has received international recognition and numerous awards.  

Previous Hawthorne lecturers have been Prof. Marcetta Darensbourg (Texas A&M University) in 2016, Prof. Omar K. Farha (Northwestern) in 2015, Prof. William Evans (UC Irvine) in 2014, Prof. Philip Power (UC Davis) in 2013 and Prof. Chad Mirkin (Northwestern) in 2012.

About the Raymond and Dorothy Wilson Endowment

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The 2017 M. Frederick Hawthorne Lecture was made possible by the Raymond and Dorothy Wilson Endowment which was established in 2001. Raymond A. Wilson (class of ’43) credits his UCLA education for giving him an excellent start to an immensely satisfying 40-year career with Shell Oil Company. Although he graduated nearly seventy years ago, he has enduring memories of several UCLA chemistry professors who profoundly affected his life – Professor Charles D. Coryell and James D. McCullough. Through their generosity, the Wilsons have built a solid legacy in the department which is also a lasting tribute to the chemistry professors who had such a profound impact on a bright young chemistry student.

Event photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry