Two researchers from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Science receive prestigious Royal Society of Canada medals

Faculty of Science
Research and innovation
Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Awards and recognition
Professors Abdelhamid Sayari and Ebrahim Karimi
Medals of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) are among the most prestigious recognitions bestowed upon Canadian researchers. The Faculty of Science is proud to announce that two of its esteemed scientists are 2023 RSC medal recipients. Congratulations to Professors Abdelhamid Sayari and Ebrahim Karimi for this well-deserved recognition of their visionary research.

Professor Abdelhamid Sayari receives the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal

Professor Abdelhamid Sayari, from the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, has been awarded the 2023 Romanowski Medal in recognition of his outstanding discovery and development of porous materials for carbon capture and their environmental applications. One of the most cited chemists in Canada, Professor Sayari is internationally recognized for his invention of recyclable, moisture-tolerant adsorbent materials that can recover CO2 from industrial gases or directly from air with unparalleled efficiency.

The CO2 adsorbents pioneered by Professor Sayari are poised to become key materials in carbon capture at the megaton scale, in Canada and beyond. In fact, through a unique collaboration with a leading Canadian clean technology company, these materials are being used to develop an innovative CO2 capture-and-release process that will have direct implications for greenhouse gas mitigation, the environmental industry, and societal well-being.

In addition to his work on carbon capture, Professor Sayari has made ground-breaking contributions to address other environmental concerns, including wastewater treatment and air pollution abatement. He is also using CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere as a carbon source to develop innovative catalysts for the synthesis of high value-added chemicals. Professor Sayari’s remarkable contributions recently earned him the 2022 Canadian Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Award for Green Chemistry.

Named in honour of eminent metrologist Miroslaw Romanowski, the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal is awarded for remarkable contributions to the scientific study of environmental issues.

Professor Ebrahim Karimi awarded the RSC Rutherford Memorial Medal

Professor Ebrahim Karimi, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Structured Quantum Waves, has made significant, innovative contributions to physics, including the creation of novel devices capable of generating structured photonic and electron waves. These devices enhance secure communication protocols, simulate complex quantum systems, engineer the quantum wave function of electrons to characterize materials, and address fundamental questions in physics.

With an emphasis on generating and applying light and electron beams with carefully structured properties for use in modern science, Professor Karimi’s research has had a profound impact on quantum information processing (e.g., quantum key distribution), quantum sensing, quantum foundations and microscopy. His trailblazing work has the potential to revolutionize secure communications and has important implications for a wide range of industries. Professor Karimi also recently secured a highly competitive NSERC Arthur B. McDonald fellowship to support his innovative research program.

The RSC Rutherford Memorial Medals are awarded for outstanding research during the formative stage of a career in any branch of physics or chemistry.