João Rocha (born 1962) is a member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences (created in 1779 and restricted to 13 Chemists) and Director of the University of Aveiro Institute of Materials (CICECO, ca. 400 people), the largest Materials Science Institute in Portugal. He got his Ph.D. in 1990 from the Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University, UK, working on solid-state NMR of clay materials, under the supervision of J. Klinowski. This was followed by a one year post-doc in the same group working on solid-state NMR of zeolite-type materials. In 1999 he became Full Professor of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry at University of Aveiro. He was Invited Professor at Oviedo University, Spain, in 2010.
Janusz Lewiński was born in 1956 in Poland. He did his undergraduate and doctoral studies at Warsaw University of Technology, and received Ph.D. degree in 1989 under the supervision of Professor S. Pasynkiewicz. Then he joined the Department of Homogeneous Catalysis and Organometallics at the same University, where he first developed his interest in organometallic chemistry, in particular the chemistry of the group 13 elements, and helped to pioneer the 27Al NMR spectroscopy in the identification of aluminium complexes. In 2001 he completed habilitation, and in 2007 he was appointed full professor at Warsaw University of Technology, where he is now Head of Organometallic and Functional Materials Laboratory. In 2007 accepted a similar position at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of Polish Academy of Science.
He spent periods as a visiting scientist and lecturer at the University van Amsterdam (Host: Prof. G. van Koten and Prof D. J. Stufkens), the Rice University, Houston (Host: Prof. A. R. Barron), and the Cambridge University (Host: Prof. A. E. H. Wheathley). His awards include, amongst others, the 2000 Polish Chemical Society′s Kemula Prize and the 2008 Sklodowska-Curie Award of Polish Academy of Science for his scientific activity in the field of organometallic chemistry.
His research addresses fundamental and applied aspects of the main group metals chemistry and is aimed at understanding the relationships between the structure, reactivity and desired functionality of various entities. He made seminal advances in the understanding of the reactivity of metal-carbon bonds in the group 12 and 13 organometallics, probing their activation of dioxygen. Aside from any fundamental curiosity concerning the structure characterization of the first aluminium and zinc alkylperoxides, a hypothesis concerning the reaction mechanism of metal alkyls with O2 was significantly advanced. His group revealed also a long overlooked decomposition pathway of zinc alkylperoxides via homolysis of the O-O bond which is responsible for the formation of oxo complexes. In this connection, he has also invented novel and efficient routes to polymer-coated zinc oxide nanoparticles for biomedical applications.
His other topics of research concern the field of supramolecular chemistry, crystal engineering and fabrication of hybrid organic–inorganic functional materials like coordination polymers based on organometallic nodes or open metal–organic frameworks with controllable size and morphology with potential applications in storage and separation of gases and small organic molecules.
Thesis: Unravelling the mysteries of unconventional superconductivity with NMR: The curious case of CeCoIn5
(Defended the PhD thesis on 10/08/2010, currently PostDoc at UCLA/LANL)