Faculty of Science

Research Profile: Didier Savard, Chemistry

January 06, 2012

During the first year of his PhD research at SFU, Didier Savard blew up a few things. On purpose, of course — he was extensively involved in many chemistry-related events including Science in Action, an innovative program that offers science immersion days to high school students, and in the organization and preparation of multiple chemistry demonstration shows (ChemQuest, GeekWeek and others).

Didier obtained his Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Ottawa while working under the supervision of Dr. Muralee Murugesu in the field of molecular magnetism. His research involved the synthesis and preparation of molecular-sized magnets and other magnetism enabled molecules.

After completing his Master’s degree, Didier decided to begin his PhD at Simon Fraser University under the supervision of Prof. Daniel B. Leznoff, whom he met at the Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference in 2009 (CSC2009) during the second year of his master’s research. He wanted to perform research in an area related to the field of his master’s degree but ultimately wanted to explore new chemistry and characterization techniques in order to broaden his knowledge of inorganic chemistry.

Didier’s current research involves the preparation of thiocyanate-based coordination polymers analogous to cyanide-based coordination polymers. His research will potentially lead to the synthesis of novel compounds for applications in the industry presenting unique properties of interest such as negative thermal expansion, vapochromism, gas absorption, light scattering, non-linear optics and many more. To date, Didier has published a fair number of publications in peer-reviewed journals because his Master’s and PhD work involved fundamental research.

Upon applying to the graduate school at SFU, Didier received the Pacific Century Graduate Scholarship (PCGS) and the DuPont Graduate Entrance Scholarship (DGES). Recently, he won the SFU Chemistry Poster Competition Travel award which will enable him to travel to a chemistry conference of his choice to present his most recent findings. He has also received an SFU Graduate Fellowship.

His current plans are to complete his PhD by Summer 2014 and to then consider academic opportunities to further his work in the field of inorganic chemistry.

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