Leverhulme Travel Bursary recipient, Kay Yeung, reports from 19th IUPAC International Symposium on Organometallic Chemistry

27 September 2017

28 Sep 2017

Kay Yeung was awarded the Leverhulme Travel Bursary to attend the 19th IUPAC International Symposium on Organometallic Chemistry Directed Towards Organic Synthesis in Jeju, Korea. Here she tells us about the conference and her opportunity to attend the excellent programme of lectures and enhance her knowledge and expertise on the science field.

‘The IUPAC International Symposia on Organometallic Chemistry Directed Towards Organic Synthesis (OMCOS) is a biennial event that began in 1981. This year, OMCOS19 was held at the International Convention Centre Jeju (ICC Jeju) in Korea at the end of June. Over 800 industrial and academic chemists from around the world were brought together at this event. Many distinguished chemists from around the globe shared their latest exciting research. Thanks to the support of a SCI Leverhulme travel bursary, I had the opportunity to attend and participate the conference.

‘OMCOS19 offered an excellent programme with 8 plenary lectures, 14 invited lectures and 19 short talks. There were also 400 posters divided into two sessions, presented by postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and independent principal investigators from many universities and institutes worldwide. The conference was held as a single session so all participants were able to benefit from the whole programme and gather together for discussions in a single place.

‘The most recent developments in organometallic chemistry was shared at the symposium by renowned pioneering chemists, including Professor Robert H. Grubbs (co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), Professor David MacMillan (recipient of the Ernst Schering Prize and Harrison Howe Award), Professor Douglas Stephan (recipient of the RSC Applied Catalysis Award and Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Professor Award), Professor Chul-Ho Jun (recipient of the Korean Chemical Society Award), Professor Masahiro Miura (recipient of the Humboldt Research Award), Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones (recipient of the RSC Tilden Prize and Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award) and Professor Shengming Ma (recipient of the OMCOS Award in 2005).

‘I am currently a second year PhD student working under the supervision of Professor David Procter at The University of Manchester. My research lies in the field of asymmetric copper catalysis and therefore it was invaluable for me to attend the lectures of these influential speakers and gain inspiration for my PhD research and my academic career. In addition, there were many excellent speakers including Professor Martin Oestreich, Professor Masaya Sawamura and Professor Teck-Peng Loh. They are all active researchers in transition metal catalysis with many recent publications in high impact journals. One of the highlights of the conference was Professor Ruben Martin's OMCOS award lecture. This year, the OMCOS award was presented to Professor Martin to recognise his outstanding contribution in the field of organometallic chemistry. His talk was titled "Catalytic carboxylation techniques with carbon dioxide". The conference was an excellent chance for me to meet these prominent scientists in person in addition to other like-minded researchers during the breaks and poster sessions.

‘There were posters presented on two days of the conference. I presented my work titled "Enantioselective generation of adjacent stereocentres in a copper-catalysed multi-component coupling of imines, allenes and diboranes" in the second poster session. My poster was well-received with interesting discussions and great ideas for my future work. The poster session developed my presentation skills and confidence. Also, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet other chemists, especially those who are also working in the same field. I cherish the unique and invaluable experience gained from this prestigious event particularly because it was the first international conference that I have attended. At the end of the conference, there was a poster award ceremony. I was absolutely delighted to receive a poster award sponsored by Wiley V-CH. Out of the 400 poster presenters, there were 9 awards given out. It was a great honour to receive an award at OMCOS and for my work to receive recognition from eminent researchers. I was presented with a certificate and a book prize by the Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry.

‘I would certainly recommend this conference series to postgraduate students and researchers working in synthetic organic chemistry. The speakers and poster presentations were all excellent. The conference was interesting and insightful. I believe that the conference has really broadened my knowledge of organometallic chemistry and the networking opportunity will certainly help with my future career.

‘I would like to thank SCI for their generous funding and support towards my travel and accommodation expenses which made this trip possible. It has been a truly memorable experience for me to meet researchers from around the world and be inspired by their exciting chemistry shared in the lectures and posters. It was a valuable opportunity for me to develop my presentation skills and discuss my research with other chemists. Finally, I would also like to thank Professor Procter for his support and guidance in my research and his contribution to my poster.’

Kay Yeung
PhD Student
University of Manchester

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