Award-winning materials chemist joins UVic science team


- Jody Paterson

Ian Manners, an internationally recognized researcher renowned for his transformative research in materials science, joined UVic in 2018 as a Canada 150 Research Chair, leading the development of the Laboratory for Synthetic Self-Assembled Materials. Photo: UVic Photo Services.

An internationally recognized researcher renowned for his leading-edge work in molecular and materials chemistry is the University of Victoria’s first Canada 150 Research Chair.

Ian Manners is currently a professor at the University of Bristol in Britain, where he’s the chair of inorganic, macromolecular and materials chemistry. His research area has generated much interest around the world for its potential applications in electronics, medicine and displays.

Manners is a dual British-Canadian citizen who was on faculty at the University of Toronto from 1990-2006 before returning to Britain and his alma mater at Bristol. He joins UVic as the Canada 150 Research Chair in Materials Science.

Among most-cited

His many patents, awards and research papers—pioneering, for example, a method of creating tiny polymer particles up to 10,000 times smaller than a human hair—have made him one of the most cited chemistry researchers in the world, with more than 37,000 citations to date.

David Castle, UVic vice-president research, praised the Canada 150 program for providing a unique opportunity to attract “a true international leader” in materials science to the university. Manners will be working with science and engineering researchers, and with UVic’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology (CAMTEC).

“We’re tremendously excited about having Ian join our university, where he’s going to accelerate UVic’s research discoveries in materials science,” says Castle. “Ian is also recognized for his commitment to inclusive and equitable training. We look forward to his expertise in providing a dynamic environment for the training of future scientists.”

Nano-scale materials

Manners will establish and lead the Laboratory for Synthetic Self-Assembled Materials, where he’ll continue his work with nano-scale synthetic materials. A coming generation of scientists studying with Manners and his research team will learn how to create and manipulate the properties of miniscule synthetic particles—work that will shape future technological advances on a number of fronts.

“The generous and flexible C150 research funding provided will allow us to perform the most creative and high impact research that we are capable of,” says Manners, who was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s De Gennes Prize last year for outstanding and exceptional work in materials chemistry.

“Overall, our work aims to lead to fundamental scientific advances that will ultimately enable applications in fields such as electronics, magnetics, displays and biomedicine.”

Manners joins a thriving chemistry department at UVic that has more than doubled its students and number of major research grants in the last 15 years.

The Canada 150 Research Chairs Program is a national initiative established in 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. The federal government is investing $118 million in one-time grants of up to seven years to attract top-tier international scholars and researchers to the country. The program aims to enhance Canada’s reputation as a global centre for science, research and innovation excellence.


In this story

Keywords: chemistry, research, science, engineering, Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology, Canada 150

People: Ian Manners

Publication: The Ring

Related stories