GEQO Awards 2019

Annual GEQO Awards | GEQO Awards 2019

Having evaluated the applications received for the GEQO-2019 awards according to the procedure established in the GEQO Awards Regulations, it is my pleasure to announce the winners of this call:

Rafael Usón Medal to Miguel Ángel Ciriano for his great contribution to the development of Spanish Organometallic Chemistry, highlighting the thematic variety of his research. His work has been innovative and of extraordinary quality in organometallic chemistry of rhodium and iridium in aspects of synthesis, reactivity and applications in catalysis.

GEQO Award for Research Excellence to Eva Hevia for the uniqueness, importance and originality of her work in organometallic chemistry of the main groups. Her contributions in the field stand out for their quality and international impact.

GEQO Award to Young Researchers to Arkaitz Correa for the innovation and quality of his work in the field of catalytic functionalisation of organic compounds with metal complexes, in these first years of his independent research career.

The evaluation meeting of the candidates presented took place on May 27th. The evaluation committee was formed by the following members:

Dr. Agustí Lledós Falcó (GEQO 2018 Medal).
Dr. José María López de Luzuriaga Fernández (GEQO Excellence Award, 2018).
Dr. Luis Oro Giral (RSEQ Medal, 2007).
Pedro Pérez Romero (RSEQ Medal, 2016).
As secretary of the Commission (without vote) I myself attended as President of the GEQO.

Ana C. Albéniz
President of the GEQO


GEQO Rafael Usón Medal

Prof. Miguel A. Ciriano

Miguel Ciriano was born in Pozalmuro (Soria) in 1949. PhD degree in Chemistry from the Universidad de Zaragoza (UZ) in 1974 under the supervision of Prof. Rafael Usón, and Research Assistant under Prof. F. Gordon A. Stone (1976-78, University of Bristol, U.K.), who initiated him in organometallic chemistry. He returned to the UZ as Associate Professor of General Chemistry in 1980 first, then Scientific Researcher of CSIC (1987) in the ICMA, and Research Professor of CSIC (2003), currently in the ISQCH (CSIC-UZ).

Guided by a strong motivation in the search for novelties, he discovered the first indenyl ruthenium compounds, the unique metal-metal bonded mixed-valence linear tetra-iridium compounds (‘iridium blues’), and trans-annular oxidative-addition reactions of halocarbons to rhodium and iridium complexes. Further, he described the first ‘rhodium blues’, linear hexametallic chains of iridium atoms, and a linear rhodium wire. His scientific curiosity led him to prepare and study trinuclear rhodium complexes, polynuclear early-late metal complexes, and organo-imido rhodium clusters. More recent notable outcomes have been the activation and transfer of oxygen to an olefin with 100% atom economy, ligand-to-metal electron transfers that result in mixed-valence compounds M(-I,I), and catalytic processes such as one of the fastest dimerization of aldehydes to esters. Most exciting recent findings have been the first mononuclear organoimido-rhodium complexes (with a multiple Rh-N bond), and very unusual pseudo-tetrahedral rhodium and iridium complexes that are active catalysts in the selective synthesis of E-enynes. His published production is collected in 140 scientific papers and five chapters in specialized books.

GEQO-Excellence in Organometallic Chemistry Research Award

Prof. Eva Hevia

Originally from Gijon (Spain), Eva Hevia is currently a Professor in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bern.Research in her group focuses on polar organometallic synthesis and catalysis, at the crossroads of inorganic, organic, and green chemistry. Some of her recent contributions include the use of cooperative bimetallic compounds for the activation of pharmaceutically relevant organic molecules, as well as the advancement of new methods that replace the use of toxic organic solvents in this chemistry by more sustainable and biorenewable systems. .

Eva received both her MSci degree in Chemistry and her Ph.D. degree from the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain) in 1998 and 2002 respectively. The latter was under the supervision of Professor Victor Riera and Dr Julio Perez. After a three-year position at the University of Strathclyde working as a Marie Curie Fellow with Professor Robert Mulvey, in 2006 she took up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and Lectureship there. Subsequently she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010, Reader in 2011 and to Full Professor in 2013. Since February 2019 Eva holds a chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the University of Bern, Switzerland.

Elected to the Fellowship of Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), Scotland’s National Academy, and to the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc), Eva has authored over 130 peer-reviewed papers to date and her research has been recognized with a several awards including the 2017 RSC Corday-Morgan Prize, which recognises the most meritorious contributions of chemists working in the UK and the inaugural edition of the SRUK Emerging Talent Award in 2016, which honours the most promising Spanish scientist researching in the UK under the age of 40.

GEQO-Young scientist Award

Dr. Arkaitz Correa

Arkaitz Correa was born in Bilbao (1979). He studied Chemistry at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), where he got his PhD in 2006 under the guidance of Prof. Esther Domínguez. Along 2005, he did a 3-month internship at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) in the research group of Prof. Ben L Feringa. On January 2007 he joined the research group of Prof. Carsten Bolm at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany) as a postdoctoral researcher for two years funded by the Basque Government. Then, he moved to the ICIQ to work under the supervision of Prof. Ruben Martin as a postdoctoral researcher (2008-2010) and next as a “Juan de la Cierva” fellow (2011-2014). On May 2010 he worked in a collaborative project with Bayer CropScience at the CIC-Cartuja in the group of Prof. J. M. Lassaletta. During these years, he has worked in several topics such as hypervalent iodine chemistry, metal-catalyzed cross-couplings, carbon dioxide fixation and asymmetric catalysis. In April 2014, Arkaitz started his independent career at the UPV/EHU as a Ramón y Cajal fellow and his research is focused on the functionalization of C-H bonds within peptide and heterocyclic frameworks upon sustainable metal catalysis. He is author of more than 40 scientific articles, 3 book chapters, a patent and has participated as Guest Editor in a book on “Ni- and Fe-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions”. His work has had a remarkable impact within the scientific community and has so far received more than 4379 citations, resulting in a H index= 30 (June 2019).