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Inorganic Chemistry Exchange 2018



ICE host map 2017

2018 Host Laboratories

Choose from one of the following mentorship opportunities (west to east)

Please reach out to any of the closest regional ICE representatives listed below for information at your school.

Why should I be interested in the ICE opportunity?

Below are just some of the reasons why you may want be a part of ICE this summer;

1. Expand your network and leave your comfrot zone by travelling and working at other Canadain Universities

Maja in the Lab


2. It is an amazing experiential learning opportunity where you can be a part of cutting edge research in the areas of nanomaterials, solar energy, catalysis, and so much more!

Sahana and a fluorescent dye

3. You get the opportunity to apply what you are learning in the classroom and further develop your critical thinking and problem solving skills with the help of amazing mentors.

Jenn and her column


4. You get paid ($$$) and have the opportunity to go to conferences and the travel expenses are also covered as part of the program!

Omar at the vacline
Exchange Details, Timelines and Research Projects

The following outlines the timelines as part of the program;

October 2017: Download the application form and submit to your regional or school representative by November 3, 2017

December 2017:  ICE Student Scholars are selected by the national organizers and are matched with faculty supervisors

January 2018: Apply for an NSERC USRA at host institution

May 2018: Travel to host university (travel costs are covered as part of the program), spend the summer participating in research at your host lab

August 2018: Travel to the ICE conference in Edmonton, Alberta (travel costs are covered) to present the results of your summer’s research



Want to know more about the Research at different Groups?

The Baker Group focuses their efforts towards research in sustainability, Specifically; base metal tandem catalysis, green routes to fluorocarbons, conversion of renewable feedstocks to chemicals and fuels. Students are introduced to many analytical techniques, including multinuclear NMR, EPR, MS, e-chem, IR/Raman, UV-vis with TD-DFT modeling, quantitative GC and UPLC/MS, and students can leverage the resources of the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI), including high throughput instrumentation and flow chemistry tools. Students also benefit from CCRI seminars and workshops, international exchange, visiting scientists and social activities. Research projects span basic to applied chemistry and labs feature enhanced "industry-like" safety envelope.

The Bieringer group focuses on the preparation of novel inorganic solids and the investigation of their physical properties (including magnetism) in an attempt to establish structure - property relationships. The materials of concern belong to the groups of transition metal oxides, lanthanide oxides and metal oxychlorides. It is particularly intriguing to focus on simple solids with, if possible only one paramagnetic ion and otherwise diamagnetic cations and anions. exhibiting interesting magnetic and physical properties. The principal tools for the investigation of new solid structures are powder X-ray diffraction and powder neutron diffraction. The investigation of physical properties, crystallographic structures and electronic structures allows the identification of structure-property relationships in solids. A systematic investigation can enable us to alter materials and their properties in a controlled fashion and therefore tailor specific materials.

The Gates Group bridges the traditional areas of inorganic chemistry and polymer science. The development of synthetic methodologies to prepare new macromolecules with interesting structures and properties is a challenging frontier in chemistry. Most known polymers contain backbones composed of combinations of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, and their properties are tailored by structural modification of the side-group or the main-chain architecture. The incorporation of inorganic elements into the polymer backbone can lead to unique properties not obtainable by modification of known organic macromolecules.

The Grosvenor and Scott research groups are focussed on the development of solid-state materials for nuclear materials and catalyst applications.  The Grosvenor group is interested in the development of solid-state oxides materials while the Scott group is focussed on the development of nanoparticle materials, including bi-metallic and oxide-based nanomaterials.  The materials studied by the Grosvenor and Scott groups are synthesized by a range of synthetic techniques and studied using a variety of X-ray-based techniques, including X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption spectra, which is performed at the Canadian Light Source.  Students involved in the Grosvenor-Scott collaboration will be involved in the synthesis of both bulk and nanoparticle oxide-based materials, the testing of the nanoparticle materials for catalytic applications, and the examination of these materials using a variety of X-ray based techniques in order to understand differences between nanoparticle and bulk samples.

The Koivisto group focuses on the design and synthesis of novel bio-inspired dyes for energy extraction, photovoltaics and medical imaging/therapies. Specifically, the group designs dyes for application in the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) and students in the Koivisto group get to test their dye target in an actual device, further appreciating the idea to innovation approach and structure-property relationships.

As humanity’s population continues to grow and age, a fundamental understanding of how to improve our lives (e.g., health, food supply, energy, environment, etc.) through materials science is vital. The  Michaelis’ research group is focused on understanding structure-property-function relationships in materials in an effort to develop advanced functional materials that can improve our well-being. Our program relies extensively on solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to address and determine the atomic and/or molecular-level structure of solids with applications targeting the health and energy streams. Specifically, we strive to improve our design and understanding of biomaterials (e.g., bioglass, dental implants, drug delivery, etc.) and renewable energy platforms including heterogeneous catalysis and photovoltaics. The Veinot team are world-leaders in this area and routinely prepare well-defined Group 14 nanocrystals on a multi-gram scale. Recently the Veinot team discovered that the optical, electronic, and chemical response of Group 14 nanocrystals are dramatically influenced by the nature of surface functionalities. This discovery opens the door to new advanced applications of these 21st century materials in alternative energy production, energy storage, biological imaging, environmental remediation, etc. While these properties can be tailored through trial and error, no structure/property relationships have been established because the exact identity surface species remains elusive. Veinot and Michaelis are coordinating their research efforts to facilitate atomic-level structural motifs of the core, surface, defect and degradation provides using novel spectroscopic methods and smart synthetic engineering recipes. 

The Price group  focuses their efforts on the development ot incorporating radiomental in radioactive drugs for imaging and treating a variety of diseases. Radioactive metal ions can be incorporated into drugs, proteins, and nanoparticles, by utilizing selective chelators. The radiometal is effectively tethered to a drug using a chelator, and if it is released from the grasp of the chelator in vivo, the “free” radiometal in the body can decrease image contrast by increasing the uptake in healthy tissues (background uptake), and can cause harm. By minimizing the amount of radiometal that is lost from the chelator in vivo, maximum delivery of the radiometal to its target (e.g. cancer, bacteria) can be achieved. The Price group is investigating new chelators for medically relevant radiometals such as 89Zr, 225Ac, 90Nb, 45Ti, and 44Sc. The Price group is currently synthesizing and studying a family of chelators based on the hydroxamic acid binding moiety for 89Zr, which will also be studied with 45Ti and 90Nb. In attempt to find a chelator suitable for those radiometals as well as 44Sc and 225Ac, we have recently been investigating modified catechols. Specifically the ICE summer student will work to synthesize new chelators based on the modified catechol binding moiety currently being studied in the Price group. Once synthesized and purified, the student will form a non-radioactive metal complexes with Zr(IV), Nb(V), Sc(III), Ti(IV), and characterize by standard techniques (NMR, MS, X-ray crystallography if possible). Students will use organic synthesis techniques such as flash column chromatography, HPLC, and TLC, and finish with inorganic coordination chemistry. It is not anticipated that students will be trained to do radiochemistry experiments during this short exchange; however, they may be given tours of the cyclotron and radiochemistry labs. 


Since 2004: the History of the ICE

In conversation with Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, one of the co-founders of the ICE program,

Q. Lisa, how did the ICE exchange get started in 2004?

A. Deryn Fogg and I had a series of discussions arounded the fact idea that across Canada, chemistry researchers were eager to recruit outstanding graduate students, and that we were all essentially training each others’ future coworkers. Recognizing the great success of the RISE programs aimed at helping undergraduate students to think maturely and broadly about their career options in mass spectrometry and photochemistry, we decided our field of inorganic chemistry needed the same type of program to increase its visibility among talented undergraduates. The goal was to identify and nurture the abilities of promising undergraduates, by giving them exciting, challenging, out-of-province summer research positions. We kept it simple the first year: Deryn sent a great student to spend the summer working in my lab in Victoria. Sébastien Monfette, who is now a research scientist at Pfizer, still speaks of how formative that experience was for him. Deryn had just become Chair of the Inorganic Division of the CSC. At the Division AGM that year (2004), she and I,  articulated her vision for a larger-scale program, and it was unanimously approved. She commissioned me, as a Division Executive member at large, to set up the ICE program as we now know it. 

Q. Lisa, reflecting on your original motivation for the program, what would you say are some of it greatest accomplishments over the last 10 years?

A. As we expected, the program has identified and supported many outstanding students over the years, many of whom  have gone on to graduate school in Chemistry, and other professional careers. What we did not fully anticipated was the collegiality and community-building that would occur among the faculty as well. The recruitment portion of the program puts us in the unusual position of selling other peoples’ research to our brightest undergraduates, and at the end-of-summer conference we get to know our colleagues and about their research programs in an informal setting where the focus is not on us (!).  The network building and exchange of ideas moves outwards from this program in great waves, for students and faculty alike.


Pictures and Alumni coming soon... but while you wait, you should consider becoming a future alumni yourself!

Contact Us

ICE Program Coordinator

Dr. Andrew Grosvenor

University of Saskatchewan 


Dr. Bryan Koivisto 

Ryerson University