Life after PhD – Meet a Nobelist
Meet and Speak to Sir James Fraser Stoddart
It was a great honour to host Professor James Fraser Stoddard in the scope of the popular Life After PhD event series. Life After PhD aims to showcase various career paths a PhD holder can take and it is great opportunity for junior researchers to meet with inspiring personalities and to listen to their interesting life stories. This time students had a chance to speak to very special guest, chemistry professor and Nobelist Sir James Fraser Stoddart, who is known for his passion about mentoring and guiding students.
About Sir J. Fraser Stoddart
Sir Fraser Stoddart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied at the University of Edinburgh where he received his PhD in 1966. He has then been working at Queens' University, Kingston, Ontario in Canada, at the University of Sheffield, ICI Corporate Laboratory and University of Birmingham in Great Britain, and at the University of California Los Angeles and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois in the USA.
Sir James Fraser Stoddart is currently Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry and head of the Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University in the United States. He works in the area of supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. Stoddart has developed highly efficient syntheses of mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures such as molecular Borromean rings, catenanes and rotaxanes utilizing molecular recognition and molecular self-assembly processes. He has demonstrated that these topologies can be employed as molecular switches. His group has even applied these structures in the fabrication of nanoelectronic devices and nanoelectromechanical systems. His efforts have been recognized by numerous awards including the 2007 King Faisal International Prize in Science. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Ben Feringa and Jean-Pierre Sauvage in 2016 for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.
Sir Fraser has inspired CEITEC PhD students
Sir Fraser´s meeting with PhD students and postdocs was accompanies by creative exhibition of selected quotes titled The Puzzle of Sir Fraser´s Life. Sir Fraser shared with our junior researchers his inspiring life journey from Scottish farmer´s son to a world class chemist and Nobel Prize winner. The quotes were selected from his autobiography published on the Nobel Prize website. The displayed quotes were linked to virtues and skills that CEITEC MU is trying to promote and teach in its professional development courses for researchers. The aim was to make the audience understand the importance of overcoming difficulties, stepping out of comfort zone and pushing the boundaries of conventional knowledge.
The exhibit of the precious pieces of wisdom from Sir Fraser´s life was displayed in the meeting room where the event took place, so that students could read the quotes before and after the talk. A second copy of the "puzzle" was placed at the entrance, so that each student could pick his favorite quote and get it signed by Sir Fraser.
We were very happy that Sir Fraser was touched by his warm welcome at CEITEC MU and publically praised this event. If you missed this unique opportunity to meet Sir Stoddart in person, you can watch the TV interview by Daniel Stach that will be aired on CT 24 on Saturday 25th May at 20.05 and the online English version will be available HERE or read his complete autobiography HERE.