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Howard Alper, O.C, Ph.D., FRSC


Dr. Howard Alper has been named President of the Royal Society of Canada for a two-year term commencing November 2001.

Howard Alper is Professor of Chemistry and Vice-Rector, Research, at the University of Ottawa. The basic research which Alper has been pursuing spans organic and inorganic chemistry, with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and commodity chemical sectors of industry.

He has discovered new reactions using homogeneous, phase transfer, and heterogeneous catalysis (e.g. clays, dendrimers). He has also used chiral ligands in metal catalyzed cycloaddi-tion and carbonylation reactions, and succeeded in preparing valuable products in pharmacologically active form [e.g. ibuprofen (i.e. Advil, Medipren)]. He has published 445 papers, has forty-five patents, and has edited several books.

Alper has received a number of prestigious Fellowships including the E.W.R. Steacie (NSERC, 1980-82), Guggenheim (1985-86), and Killam (1986-88) Fellowships. Major awards to Alper include the Alcan Award for Inorganic Chemistry (1986), Bader Award for Organic Chemistry (1990), Steacie Award for Chemistry (1993), all of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. The Chemical Institute of Canada has presented Alper with the Catalysis Award (1984) and the CIC Medal (1997), its highest honour. He also received the Urgel-Archambault Prize (ACFAS) in physical sciences and engineering. In 2000, he received the first Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in Science and Engineering.

He has served on a number of NSERC committees (e.g. Committee on Research Grants), and as Chair of the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE). He chairs the Steacie Prize committee (NRC), the Research Management Board of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), and is a member or chair of several corporate boards. He represents Canada on the NATO Science Committee. Alper was appointed as a Titular Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities (1996), and as an Officer of the Order of Canada (1999).

Alper was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1984. He served as a member of the Committee on the Reorganization of the Academy of Science (1988-89), the Rutherford Memorial Award Committee (1989-92), the Program Committee (1989-92), the Council of the Academy of Science (1989-92, 1995-98 and since 1999), and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division Fellowship Review Committee (1990-93). He was Vice-President of the Academy of Science during 1995-98, and President during 1999-2001.

He is passionate about Canada, research and chocolate.