Speakers

Karl O. Christe, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, University of Southern California, USA

Dr. Christe has 53 years of experience in the synthesis of novel high energy oxidizers and rocket propellants and has managed and scientifically directed a large number of government funded research contracts. He has invented solid propellant fluorine gas generators for chemical laser weapon systems and has discovered the first purely chemical synthesis of elemental fluorine. In addition, he has made major contributions to the chemistry of fluorocarbons, inorganic high polymers, chemical laser technology, and methane oxychlorination. His latest research interests are in the areas of high oxygen carriers and green replacements for ammonium perchlorate. Dr. Christe has worked as a consultant for numerous firms including Chrysler, Science and Technology Applications, US Enrichment Corp., E. Merck Scientific, Pratt & Whitney, and Havelide. He has received numerous awards, including the ACS Award in Iodine Chemistry (2015), the ACS Tolman Award (2011), the Alfred Stock Gedaechtnispreis of the German Chemical Society (2006), the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (2003), the Prix Moissan (2000), the ACS Award in Fluorine Chemistry (1986), and the NASA Apollo Achievement Award (1969). Dr. Christe has also been elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2010) and the European Academy of Sciences (2009).

Thomas Lectka, Ph.D.

Jean and Norman Scowe Professor Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Dr. Lectka graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Chemistry in 1985. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1990 (with Professor John McMurry), where he studied carbocations with three-center, two electron bonds, and was an ACS Organic Division Fellow. He performed postdoctoral studies as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Heidelberg (1991), and as an NIH Fellow at Harvard University (1992-1994, with with Professor David Evans). He joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department of Johns Hopkins in 1994, and was promoted to the Scowe Professorship in 2012. His research laboratory studies the properties of unique organofluorine compounds, organic fluoronium ions, selective aliphatic fluorination as a synthetic method, and the synthesis of nonnatural products. He has been the recipient of an NIH First Award, an NSF Career Award, an Eli Lilly Grantee Award, a Sloan Fellowship, a Dreyfus-Teacher-Scholar Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Steven H. Strauss, Ph.D

Professor of Chemistry, Colorado State University, USA

Steve Strauss graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a B.A. in Chemistry in 1973. He earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Northwestern University working with Duward Shriver. He was then an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Stanford and Harvard universities with Professor Richard Holm before joining the CSU chemistry faculty as an assistant professor in 1981. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and promoted to professor in 1991. In 2002, he was named the CSU Research Foundation Researcher of the Year in recognition of his parallel pursuit of fundamental and applied research and in 2012 was Professor Laureate of the CSU College of Natural Sciences. In March 2016, Strauss received the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry. He has been a consultant for Akzo Nobel, Air Products and Chemicals, Albemarle, BFGoodrich, Central Glass Company, Exxon, and National Semiconductor.

David O’Hagan, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, University of St. Andrews, UK

Professor David O’Hagan was born in Glasgow and studied chemistry at the University of Glasgow (1982). He carried out a Ph.D (1985) in polyketide antibiotic biosynthesis at the University of Southampton with Professor John A. Robinson and then spent a postdoctoral year at the Ohio State University with Professor Heinz G. Floss, investigating peptide antibiotic biosynthesis. In 1986, he was appointed to the University of Durham where he continued to explore natural product biosynthesis but also developed a strong interest in organo-fluorine chemistry. In 2000, he moved to his current position as professor and head of Organic Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. His research interests extend from the synthesis and properties of organo-fluorine compounds, fluorination enzymology, fluorine-18 chemistry for positron emission tomography (PET) through to fluorinated organic materials. 

He was a founding member and a past chair of the RSC Fluorine Group. He was awarded the IChemE ‘Judges Award’ for fluorinase enzyme isolation in 2002, was elected FRSE in 2004, was awarded the RSC Malcolm Campbell Memorial Prize in Medicinal Chemistry in 2005, was a recipient of the RSC Tilden Medal in 2006/2007, was the RSC ‘Natural Product Reports Award’ Lecturer in 2009, was awarded the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for ‘Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry’ in 2012, was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award in 2013 and was awarded the RSC Organic Stereochemistry award in 2015.