Chemistry prof receives Polanyi Prize
A Queen’s University researcher whose discoveries are revolutionizing the production of motor oil will receive the prestigious John Charles Polanyi Prize for 2009.
Chemistry professor Nicholas Mosey is one of five Ontario recipients of the $20,000 award, targeted at researchers in the early stages of their careers.
An expert in theoretical and computational chemistry, Dr. Mosey uses chemical simulation to study industrial systems, processes and phenomena. He and his team employ computer models to isolate the process in which motor oil transforms from a liquid to a film that protects car engines from wear and tear.
“Our research should help the automobile and lubricant industries in their efforts to design new oil additives that will prevent wear in engines with less pollution,” says Dr. Mosey, winner of a 2007 NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Council) Doctoral Prize. “This is a problem that has been around for decades, and is particularly timely since traditional methods don’t work well on today’s aluminum engines, plus environmental regulations severely restrict their use.”
Dr. Mosey’s team is now expanding their research to investigate broader applications in such areas as nano-materials and other settings that involve friction between objects.
“Supporting our best and brightest researchers early in their careers is key to developing and keeping them in our province,” said John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Research and Innovation, in today’s announcement. “We are proud to have such world-class talent at Queen’s University to help drive Ontario forward.”
Initiated in 1987 in honour of Nobel Prize recipient and U of T professor John Polanyi, the awards are given annually in the fields of chemistry, literature, physics, physiology and medicine or economics.
The most recent Polanyi Prize winner from Queen’s is Chemistry professor Derek Pratt, who received the award in 2007.