Queen’s research lands another Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

University District

Prestigious chair awarded to Cathleen Crudden of Queen’s Chemistry

Credit: 
Supplied by University Communications

On May 15, Professor Cathleen Crudden was named to the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry for her extensive and broad research in organic compounds. 

The Canada Research Chair (CRC) is a program facilitated by the Government of Canada that’s dedicated to generating global rank for research and development within the country. The program invests approximately $265 million per year to support researchers in degree-granting institutions across the country. 

With her interests ranging from the field of pharmaceuticals to agriculture, Crudden’s research focuses specifically on the synthesis of organic compounds with metals. 

Alongside her research contributions, Crudden has been a major player in the teaching department for Queen’s doctoral and master’s candidates, as well as postdoctoral fellows. Currently she’s a professor in the Chemistry department, specializing in organic and organometallic materials.

Crudden’s diverse research interests haven’t gone unnoticed by her peers.

“I think one of the best compliments I ever had as a scientist was that it was never obvious what I would be doing next,” Crudden wrote in an email to The Journal. “All too often people work on one problem for decades, or at least it is easy to predict what they will be doing.” 

Crudden’s passion for research began in the third year of her postsecondary degree, and has since introduced her into a diverse community of scientists. 

“I’m very proud of my group now, which has people of nine different nationalities and a large variety of points of view. This type of diversity is really important for high quality science and I’m happy to live in a country that understands and supports this.” 

“I often tell students to think about the impact of what they do. It is the first step to think about what one can do, but it’s important to think about what one should do,” Crudden wrote. 

With the announcement, Queen’s also saw the renewals of Tier 1 Researcher, Peter Davies alongside Tier 2 Chair Mohammad Zulkernine. Davies works in the field of Protein Engineering and Zulkernine in the position of Chair in Software Reliability and Security.

The depth and scope of the CRC program has attracted researchers from around the country in hopes of addressing complex and challenges facing the world today. 

For each Tier 1 Chair, Queen’s receives $200,000 per year over seven years in research funding.

Fifteen years after arriving at Queen’s, Crudden believes she is now “more patient and accepting of differences,” and plans to use her grant to collaborate with individuals within the country and abroad. 

Crudden also wants to use the grant to continue her teaching and research. “With this grant, I’ll be able to spend more time on both,” Crudden wrote.

When asked what could be expected next of her, Crudden wrote “I never expected I would be doing surface science or working with plant and animal biologists both of which I am doing now.”

“So from this, I think it is very difficult even for me to predict what I will be doing in the next few years.

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