53rd Annual Inorganic Discussion Weekend (IDW)

November 11th-13th, 2022, Brock University

The Inorganic Discussion Weekend (IDW) is a celebration of the contributions that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows make to modern inorganic chemistry. The conference series was initiated in 1968 by Barry Lever, now Emeritus Professor at York University, to facilitate discussions with fellow Inorganic Chemists and has been bringing together researchers from across Ontario and Quebec for over 50 years. Although due to COVID-19, this is the first in person meeting since 2019, this conference typically attracts the participation of over 150 inorganic chemists. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are invited to contribute oral, or poster presentations and undergraduate students are welcome to contribute poster presentations. A series of events will be organized over a three-day period, providing extensive opportunities to build and strengthen relationships with fellow scientists.

IDW2022 will feature two high profile Canadian scientists as the keynote speakers:

Prof. Douglas Stephan from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto is a world-renowned main group and organometallic chemist who is best known for his ground-breaking research on the reactivity of “Frustrated Lewis pairs” and their role in bond activation processes. He received the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry from the ACS (2022) and the RSC Ludwig Mond Award (2012) for outstanding research in Inorganic Chemistry, as well as the Applied Catalysis Award (2014) for novel approaches to catalysis in industry. 

Prof. Stephen J. Loeb from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Chemistry and Functional Materials. He is best known for his research on mechanically interlocked molecules, molecular machines, and metal organic frameworks. He was the recipient of the prestigious CSC Rio Tinto Alcan Award (2012) for distinguished contributions to Inorganic Chemistry.

Steve is scheduled to move to the status of Emeritus Professor in the summer of 2022 and as such we plan to celebrate his significant contributions to the field of Inorganic Chemistry in Canada, and his dedication to the support and training of graduate students and PDFs, at this year’s IDW.

Conference Organizer

Prof. Melanie Pilkington
Graduate Program Director
Department of Chemistry, CRNS 410,
Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St Catharines ON, L2S 3A1

Tel: 905 688 5550 Ext: 3403
Email: mpilkington@brocku.ca
Website: www.mpilkington.net


Prof. Georgii Nikonov
Email: gnikonov@brocku.ca

Prof. Martin Lemaire
Email: mlemaire@brocku.ca

Cairns Research Complex at Brock


We are following Brock’s COVID-19 mandates that are created in accordance with the Ontario government direction and in consultation with Niagara Region Public Health. Currently, the vaccine mandate is paused at Brock, but facemasks are currently required for all instructional spaces. For regular updates regarding Brock’s Covid-19 policies, conference participants are encouraged to click the following link.

COVID-19 Update


Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St Catharines Ontario

Brock University is situated in the Niagara region in the City of St. Catharines. Within an hour’s drive to the City Centre of Toronto and 20-minute drive to Niagara Falls. Known as the “Garden City,” St. Catharines is surrounded by lush orchards, vineyards, and wineries to the east and west and bordered by the Niagara Escarpment to the south and Lake Ontario to the north.

Brock University sits on top of the beautiful Niagara escarpment and is the only Canadian university with the distinction of being part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In addition to Niagara Falls, the charming historic town of Niagara on the Lake, located at the mouth of the Niagara River and the shores of Lake Ontario is just a short drive away.


Travel Information

By Road

Take the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) in the direction of Niagara Falls. Follow the Queen Elizabeth Way around the lake, then Southeast to St. Catharines. Take exit 49, which will lead you onto Highway 406. Continue until you reach St. David’s Road. Take the St. David’s Road West Exit and follow until you reach Sir Isaac Brock Way.

Directions from Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto

From Highway 401 West, take 403 South to the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) in the direction of Niagara Falls. Follow the Queen Elizabeth Way around the lake, then Southeast to St. Catharines. Take exit 49, which will lead you onto Highway 406. Continue until you reach St. David’s Road. Take the St. David’s Road West Exit and follow until you reach Sir Isaac Brock Way.

Directions from Hamilton Airport

Turn left on Airport Road. Turn left on Hwy. 6 (Upper James Street) and continue to the Lincoln Alexander Parkway (the ‘LINC’). Turn east on the Lincoln Alexander Parkway which will turn into the Red Hill Parkway. Take the Red Hill Parkway to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) east to Niagara Falls. At Exit 49, turn onto Highway 406 (towards Welland/Port Colborne) and continue until you reach St. David Road. Take the St. David’s Road West Exit and follow until you reach Sir Isaac Brock Way.

Directions from Buffalo (Peace Bridge)

Cross the Peace bridge and then take the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) towards Toronto. At Exit 32B, turn onto Thorold Stone Road West and continue through the Thorold Tunnel where the road becomes Highway 58. Take the St. David’s Road West exit and follow until you reach Sir Isaac Brock Way.

Arrival on Brock Campus: The academic part of the conference will be held in the Academic South location of the Brock campus. Free parking will be available on campus in the Zone 1 car park (5 min walk, see map). Paid car parking directly opposite the Academic south location will also be available in Lot D visitor parking (see map) which is directly opposite the Academic South (South Block) location. The cost to park in Lot D is $12 daily and participants can make payment by using the HONK app and selecting Zone 2451.

A map showing the Zone 1 and Lot D parking lots, as well directions to the main entrance of South Block is shown below:

Campus map:

Parking map:


Hotel Accommodation

The Four Points by Sheraton is located directly across the road from the Brock campus and is within easy walking distance (ca. 10 mins) of the conference venue. The Best Western will require transportation to campus (ca. 15-minute drive).


169 CAD per night + Tax


169 CAD per night + Tax

Last date to secure this rate is Tuesday October 11th, 2022

Tel:905-984-4200, Booking code IDW

169 CAD per night +Tax

Last date to secure this rate is Wednesday October 12th , 2022

Keynote Speaker Biographies

Stephen J. Loeb (FRSC, FRSC (U.K.))

Professor of Chemistry,
Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Chemistry and Functional Materials
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Windsor

Steve Loeb is one of Canada’s most distinguished researchers, working at the interface of solid-state inorganic and supramolecular chemistry. He received both his BSc and PhD is chemistry from the University of Western Ontario in Canada in 1977 and 1982, respectfully. After a year as a PDF at the University of Alberta he was hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Winnipeg (1983), where he was subsequently promoted to the rank of Associate Professor (1987). He then moved to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor (1990), where he was promoted to the status of Full Professor (1996) and awarded a Tier I Canada Research Chair (2001).

Steve has received several national and international honours and awards throughout his career. Highlights include being invited as a visiting Professor to the University of Oxford (1998), elected to Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K. (2007), a recipient of the Rio Tinto Alcan Award from the Canadian Society of Chemistry (2012), awardee of the Eskine Fellowship by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand (2016) and appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2017). He has over 170 publications in peer reviewed journals to-date and a H-index of 44. In addition to his research accomplishments, Steve received the 2015 Excellence in Mentoring Award from the University of Windsor in recognition of his personal, academic, and professional guidance of students and PDFs.

Steve is a world-renowned expert in supramolecular chemistry and its applications in inorganic chemistry. Over the past 30 years, he has made significant contributions to the areas of mechanically interlocked molecules, anion recognition and metal-organic framework (MOF) materials. He is widely recognized for pioneering the use of MOFs to support molecular dynamics in the solid-state – publishing a pair of landmark articles in Nature Chemistry showing that the large amplitude rotation and translational motion of macrocycles in interlocked molecules can be made to operate in inside porous solid-state materials. Steve is scheduled to move to the status of Emeritus Professor in August (2022) and as such we plan to honour his significant contributions to the field of Inorganic Chemistry in Canada, that includes his dedication to the support and training of graduate students and PDFs, at this year’s IDW.

Douglas W. Stephan (FRS, FRSC, FRSC (U.K.))

Professor of Chemistry,
Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto

“My father was a pharmacist and from am early age I worked in his drug store. So, when I first made aspirin in an undergraduate lab at McMaster University I was hooked on chemistry”
Professor Doug Stephan

Doug Stephan is one of Canada’s most prestigious researchers in inorganic chemistry whose discovery of frustrated Lewis pairs (FLP) has received international acclaim for its broad impact on many fields of chemistry that include drug development, renewable energy, and chemical production.

Doug was born in Hamilton and received his BSc degree from McMaster University (1976) and doctorate from Western University, Ontario (1980). He then moved to Harvard as a NATO postdoctoral fellow (1980-1982). He began his independent academic career at the University of Windsor as an Assistant Professor (1982) and was promoted to Associate Professor (1985) and Full Professor (1992). He was named an NSERC Industrial Chair (2001), University Professor (2002) and Canada Research Chair (2005). In 2008 he moved to the University of Toronto as a Professor and Canada Research Chair and was appointed University Professor in 2018. In 2020, he established an additional satellite laboratory at Ningbo University as a Zhedong Scholar Chair Professor. He was an Associate Editor for Chemical Society Reviews for 6 years, the Chair of the editorial board and is now Chair of the editorial board of Chemical Communications. He is the recipient of many national awards that include the Henry Marshall Tory Medal (Royal Society of Canada, 2013); CIC Medal (Chemical Institute if Canada, 2010; J.C. Polanyi Award (NSERC, Canada 2019); E.W.R. Steacie Award (CIC, 2019) and was appointed to Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2005). He was recognized by Thomson Reuters (2014-2019) as being within the top 1% of all cited scientists and as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2015). He is the recipient of numerous prestigious international awards and fellowships. Highlights include the Guggenheim Fellowship (2022); the Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry from the ACS (2022); the Killam Prize, Canada Council for the Arts (2021); the Centenary Prize, RSC (2021); Einstein visiting Fellow, TU Berlin (2016-2019). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), a Corresponding Member of North-Rhein-Westfaelia Academy of the Sciences and Arts (Germany) and was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University. He received the Applied Catalysis Award from the RSC, U.K (2014), the Ludwig Mond award from the RSC, U.K (2010) and was awarded a Humboldt Foundation Research award (2002-2003).

As a world-leading researcher in inorganic chemistry/catalysis, Doug’s research interests span inorganic main group and organometallic chemistry. His research group is working towards the development of new catalyst and process technologies for commercial applications that include high-temperature olefin polymerization catalysis, new approaches to olefin hydrogenation catalysis and new olefin metathesis catalysis. Current fundamental research projects are focused on low valent or low coordinate transition metal complexes, the reactivity of hemilabile ligand complexes, catalytic P-H bond activation, cyclometallation and hydrophosphination routes to P-based materials and polymers, P-functionalised polyolefins and the reactivity of “sterically frustrated” Lewis acid-base pairs.

Registration to attend the 53rd IDW at Brock is now open.

The Registration Fees are as follows:

Students: $125 + HST (Saturday registration, onsite: $140 + HST)
Postdoctoral fellows: $140 + HST (Saturday door registration, onsite: $160 + HST)
Professors and other attendees: $160 (Saturday door registration, onsite: $180 + HST)

Accompanying guests: who wish to only attend the conference dinner: ($80 + HST)
Saturday-only registration: $80 + HST (onsite, without the conference dinner)

Sunday-only registration: $60 + HST (onsite)

Registration Process

For online registration, only Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted (no cheques). Please read the menu section below before selecting your preferred options for lunch (Saturday) and the conference dinner.

Click here to proceed to the registration page.

Door registration on Saturday and Sunday will be possible, albeit at a significantly higher cost (see above), and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you at the conference dinner. Payments of registration fees onsite will also take place exclusively by credit cards (Visa and MasterCard). Cash or cheques will NOT be accepted. Should you have questions, problems or concerns during the registration process, please contact Sonja Forsay, Manager, Conference and Event Services, Niagara Region via email: sforsey@brocku.ca, or by phone at 905 688 5550 Ext: 4072.

Collecting Your Registration Material

You may collect your registration material at the Cat’s Caboose between 7.30-10.30pm on Friday, November 11th, or at the conference venue on the Brock campus from 8.00 – 9.00 am on the Saturday or Sunday.

With your paid registration, you will have full access to the all the IDW talks and posters. You registration fee includes a “Swag Bag”, a lively welcome mixer at Cat’s Caboose on the Friday evening, a light breakfast (Sat and Sun), lunch on campus (Sat) and a banquet at Club Roma on the Saturday evening, immediately following the poster session. There will also be a cheese and wine mixer accompanying the poster session. A ticket for a free drink (alcoholic or soft) at the poster session and a ticket to attend the banquet dinner will be included in your registration material, together with promotional materials from our generous sponsors. Please make sure you have a look and support our sponsors in the future. You will be required to present your banquet ticket to the servers at Club Roma, so they are aware of your menu choices.

Please always wear your name tag during the conference, otherwise you may not be given access to the venues.

The Welcome Mixer at Cat’s Caboose (within walking distance of the Brock Campus and the Sheraton 4-points hotel)

Should you choose to pick up your registration material during the Friday evening mixer at Cat’s, you will be given a ticket redeemable towards one free alcoholic free drink, or one free soft drink (note the soft drink has an unlimited number of refills). Free, light snacks will be served from 7.30 pm – 11.00pm. A live band will also be playing for your entertainment from 9 pm.

Directions to Cat’s can be found at https://www.catscaboose.ca/contact.html

A link to the entertainment schedule at Cat’s can be found at https://www.catscaboose.ca/entertainment.html.


A bagged lunch will be served at the conference venue on the Brock campus. During the registration process please indicate if you have any special dietary requirements (gluten free and/or vegetarian).

The Conference Dinner

Gemini Ballroom, Club Roma, 125 Vansickle Road, St Catharines, ON, L2S 3W4

We are very excited to be able to hold the conference dinner in the Gemini Ballroom at Club Roma which is one of Niagara’s leading event and conference facilities. The Gemini ballroom with its wrap around bar can comfortably accommodate up to 500 guests, which will enable us to socially distance the tables as much as possible. We are commiteed to ensuring the safest dining experience possible for all of our conference participants.

Additional information about Club Roma and the Gemini ballroom venue can be found here:


The Menu: We have selected a plated menu that caters to all dietry requirements and tastes. Club Roma is well known for its homemade lasagna, but for those participants who prefer a gluten-free and/or vegetarian option, we ask you to indicate this by checking the appropriate boxes during the registration process. In addion to the pasta primi piatti, you will be presented with the following 4 options for your main, or secondo piatto.

  1. Harissa Glazed AAA Roasted Sirloin with BBQ Demi Jus served with Roasted Garlic and Scallion Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables.
  2. Tuscan Chicken stuffed with Prosciutto, Spinach, Asiago, Roasted Red Peppers and Goats Cheese topped with Pesto Cream Sauce, Seasonal Vegetables and Dauphinoise Potatoes.
  3. Baked Fillet of Atlantic Salmon with Ginger Citrus Butter Sauce.
  4. Vegetarian – Cauliflower Cutlet with Roasted Tomato Jam.

Please indicate which one of these options you would like during the registration process. Please note: to ensure that all participants receive the food they have chosen, we ask you to please bring your banquet ticket with you to Club Roma to present to the servers.

Additional details regarding the banquet dinner will be provided during the Saturday of the conference.

Directions to Club Roma

Club Roma has a large on-site parking lot and is located about a 10-minute drive from the Brock campus. Please note that all conference participants will be required to make their own way to this venue. A map together with directions for how travel to Club Roma by car from the Brock Campus is posted below.

Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission for the IDW 2022 is now closed.

Our poster boards are 4ft x 4ft on steel frames, so please make sure your poster fits these dimensions.

Oral presentations should be a maximum of 15 minutes with an additional 5 minutes allowed for questions.

Flash presentations should be uploaded onto the computers in the lecture theatres, either during lunch or the afternoon coffee break. Flash presentations should comprise of a maximum of 2 power point slides and be NO LONGER than 5 minutes.

Following tradition, the IDW will open with a casual social event on Friday evening to provide attendees with the chance to make new acquaintances and catch up with old friends and colleagues. This will be held at the Cats Caboose Tavern in St. Catharines, just down the hill from the Brock campus. A live band will provide entertainment from 9 pm.

Scientific discussions begin on Saturday morning with two parallel sessions of oral presentations, during which time graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will present their science in 15-minute timeslots. After the coffee break, the morning session continues with a second set of concurrent presentations, followed by a short break for lunch to be served on site. The afternoon session begins with a third set of parallel oral presentations, followed by a coffee break and then the first keynote lecture. After the keynote, two concurrent series of flash poster presentations, (where presenters will be given 5-minutes to advertise their posters) precede the poster session. The poster session will be accompanied by a cheese and wine mixer to close out the day’s formal events and provide attendees with the opportunity to network and discuss shared interests before we head off to the conference banquet. Attendees will need to make their own way to the conference banquet, directions will be given closer to the date.

The academic program continues Sunday morning, with two concurrent sets of oral presentations, separated by a coffee break. According to tradition, the scientific program will be closed out by a lecture from the second keynote speaker. This is immediately followed by the Awards Ceremony, with prizes given to the winners of the best oral and poster presentations and a few closing remarks to end the symposium.


We would like to thank and acknowledge the contributions from our generous sponsors for their support in making this event possible.

Platinum Sponsors

proto x-ray diffraction logo

Gold Sponsors

systems for research logo

Silver Sponsors

bruker logo

Bronze Sponsors

Maple Lab Systems Inc. (MLSI) is a Canadian owned company operating in the greater Toronto area and a valued sponsor of this year IDW. The company sells a range of products ranging from chemicals, lab equipment and glassware. To bring these products to the attention of our conference participants we are sharing information about the company and its products. We ask that you click on the links below containing the various products to see if any of these items meet your current and/or future needs.

Plastic Ware Accessories & Consumables    OTHER   Glassware   Equipment    CHEMICALS

CIC materials logo
canadian society for chemistry inorganic division logo
royal society of chemistry logo

The winners of Oral, Flash and Poster Prizes in the 2022 IDW are listed below (in no particular order): We are grateful to all of the sponsors, also listed below, for supporting these awards

Oral Presentations                                Recipient (Oral or Poster number) and Group   

RSC Chem.Comm.                                  Leah Webster (O22); Chadwick Group, Imperial College London

RSC Dalton Trans.                                   Zahra Sharif (O10); Baines Group, Western U

Rigaku (Crystallography)                        Marissa Clapson (O4); Drover Group, U of Windsor

Canadian Society for Chemistry            Novan Gray (O19); Emslie Group, McMaster

Canadian Society for Chemistry            Eden Goodwin; Crudden/Ragogna/Barry Groups; Carleton U

CIC Materials Division (Materials)         Vittoria-Ann DiPalo; Zenkina Group, UOIT

Canadian Journal of Chemistry              Taylor Cosby; Caputo Group, York U.

Flash Presentations

CIC                                                              Anton Dmitrienko (P14); Nikonov Group, Brock U

Honorable Mention                                  Mitchell Demchuk (P10); Drover Group, U of Windsor

Poster Prizes

RSC Chem.Soc.Rev.                                  Amanda Kwan (P15); Morris Group, U of Toronto

RSC NJC                                                     Ayan Dhara (P60); Loeb Group, U of Windsor

Canadian Society for Chemistry             Katia Paskaruk (P31); Emslie Group. McMaster U

Canadian Society for Chemistry             Candice Robillard (P7); Preuss Group, U of Guelph

Canadian Journal of Chemistry               Una Hogan (P3) ; U of Waterloo

CIC Materials Division (Materials)          Niki Mavaragani (P55); Murugesu Group, U of Ottawa.

CCDC (Runner Up)                                    Erin Fancy (P67); Pilkington/Lemaire Group, Brock U

CCDC (Runner Up)                                    Griffin LaChapelle (P42); Schroblingen Group, McMaster U