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Synchrotron researcher wins prestigious Canadian chemistry award


London, ON and Saskatoon, SK – Professor Tsun-Kong (T K) Sham, Canada Research Chair in Materials and Synchrotron Radiation at the University of Western Ontario (Western) and a driving force behind the development of the Canadian Light Source (CLS), is the recipient of the Canadian Society for Chemistry John C Polanyi Award. Dr Sham is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of physical chemistry, using synchrotron light and other advanced spectroscopic techniques to study the chemical structure of nanomaterials.

“It feels good to receive one of the most prestigious awards given out by the society,” he says. “The whole synchrotron community also deserves a lot of credit, including the scientific staff at the CLS, collaborators, my students and post-docs over the years. Their contributions really make this work possible.”

Dr Sham is one of the founders of synchrotron science in Canada, having worked with other Western researchers at the Canadian Synchrotron Research Facility beamlines at the Synchrotron Radiation Center in Madison, Wisconsin. He took on a leadership role in the development of the CLS, is principal investigator on three of the beamlines at Canada’s synchrotron, and has served on the facility’s board of directors.

“Everyone at the CLS is thrilled that T K is being recognized with the Polanyi award,” says Thomas Ellis, director of research at the CLS. “His energy and enthusiasm are inspirational. He’s a key reason for our success.”

The award will be presented to Dr Sham during the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s annual meeting, May 29 to June 2 in Toronto.