About the Arduengo Lecture Series

Established to honor the contributions of Professor Anthony J. Arduengo III, the Arduengo Lectureship is given annually by a world-renowned researcher in the area of main group element chemistry or physical organic chemistry. Arduengo lecturers are chosen by a faculty committee in recognition of their seminal contributions to the field. Each speaker gives both a technical talk and a general audience talk as part of the Arduengo Lecture.

For more information about the Arduengo Lecture Series, please contact Dr. Timothy Snowden.

Upcoming Arduengo Lecture

The 2018 Arduengo Lecture will be presented by Prof. Tobin Marks from Northwestern University on April 12th and 13th, 2018.

Technical Seminar:  “Surface Science Meets Homogeneous Catalysis” 12:45 PM, April 12th, 2018 in 1093 Shelby Hall

General Audience Seminar: “Soft Matter and Hybrid Solar Cell Interfacial Science,” 4:00 PM, April 13th, 2018 in 1093 Shelby Hall.  A reception will follow in the Shelby Rotunda.

Supporting the Arduengo Lecture Series

If you would like to make a contribution to the Arduengo Lectureship, please visit the University’s online giving form. Select “Other” when asked where you would like your gift directed, then enter “Arduengo Lectureship Fund” into the first text box for gift designation. We appreciate your support.

Contributors to the Arduengo Lecture Series Endowed Support Fund

  • Founding Donor (Anonymous)
  • Mr. Hobbes Constantine
  • Mrs. Debra and Dr. Joe Thrasher
  • Dr. George P. Burdell
  • Dr. A. J. Arduengo, III
  • Mrs. Claudia and Dr. Markus Unverzagt
  • Mrs. Marie McCormick
  • In memory of Professor Dr. Reinhard Schmutzler

Past Arduengo Lecturers


Prof. T. Don Tilley, University of California, Berkeley
“Chemical Transformations with Unusual Metal Complexes of Low-Valent and Hypercoordinate Silicon Ligands”
“The Role of Highly Oxidized Metal Species in Water Splitting and Solar Fuels Production”
Details and Lecture Biography


Prof. Douglas Stephan, University of Toronto
“FLP Chemistry: New Avenues In Synthesis and Catalysis”
“Catalysis: Chemistry Changing Your Life and Mine!”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Hans Reich, University of Wisconsin, Madison
“Structure and Reactivity of Organolithium Reagents”
“Organic Chemistry of Selenium in My Life and Yours”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Robert Grubbs, California Institute of Technology
“Design and Applications of Selective Metathesis Catalysts”
“Bugs, Windmills, and Victoria’s Secret: Fundamental Science to Commercial Products”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Robert Moss, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey
“Classic Carbenes and Carbene Complexes”
“A Chemist’s Avocation: A Celebration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Dr. Konrad Seppelt, Free University of Berlin
“A Chemist’s Way of Thinking”
“Generation of (Radical) Cations by Means of Extreme Oxidants”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Guy Bertrand, University of California-Riverside
“Novel Stable Non-Arduengo Carbenes and Related Species”
“Bending the Rules”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Dr. Holger Braunschweig, University of Würzburg
“Borylene Complexes as Reagents in Organic and Organometallic Synthesis”
“Boron: Applications in Chemistry and Beyond”
Details and Lecturer Biography


Prof. Peter J. Stang, University of Utah
“Abiological Self-Assembly: Predesigned Metallacycles and Metallacages via Coordination”
“Chemical Publishing in the 21st Century: Perspectives of a JACS Editor”
Details and Lecturer Biography

Biography of Anthony J. Arduengo, III

Saxon Professor of Chemistry Anthony J. Arduengo, III was born in Tampa, FL in 1952. An inquisitive experimentalist at an early age, “Bo”, as he is commonly known, mischievously dabbled in the chemistry of household materials until entering the undergraduate program at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970. After earning his B.S. in 1974 and then his Ph.D. in just two years at Georgia Tech under the guidance of Professor Edward Burgess, Bo spent one year as a Member of the Research Staff at DuPont Central Research. In 1977, Dr. Arduengo was enthusiastically recruited by Professor J. C. Martin onto the faculty at The University of Illinois. At Illinois, Professor Arduengo established milestones in main group chemistry, including creation of the first stable carbonyl ylide, as he set the stage for his scientific triumphs of later years.
In 1984, Professor Arduengo was made an irresistible offer of support and research autonomy by the Central Research and Development Department of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in Wilmington, DE. The unique opportunity to explore fundamental chemistry with access to the facilities of a world leading corporation provided the perfect setting for Bo to unveil several of the most meaningful chemistry discoveries of the late 20th century.  These accomplishments included, but are not limited to, the first planar T-shaped (10-P-3) bonding arrangement at phosphorus (e.g., ADPO), discovery and experimental establishment of the edge inversion process, creation of the first stable nitrile and chloronium ylides, design and investigation of highly electrophilic carbenes (e.g., DTTC), isolation and structural characterization of the thiazol-2-ylidene carbene model of the vitamin-B1 cofactor, and design and synthesis of the first thermally stable, structurally characterized imidazolin-2-ylidene carbene. These groundbreaking efforts have fundamentally changed our thinking regarding molecules possessing unusual valencies. As such, the findings have spawned new areas of applied chemical research and catalysis now explored by countless investigators worldwide.
In 1996 under the auspices of the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Prize, Bo returned to academics with an appointment as guest Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry of the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina in Braunschweig, Germany.  Bo became the Saxon Professor of Chemistry at The University of Alabama in 1999.  He continues pioneering research on two continents in the seemingly disparate areas of main group element chemistry, physical and synthetic organic chemistry, unusual valence structures, carbenes, and materials chemistry.  Professor Arduengo has been recognized nationally and internationally through an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Prize, the 1996 Gold Medal for Excellence in Main Group Element Chemistry from the International Council on Main Group Chemistry, the Chute Lectureship in Dalhousie Canada, and in 2007 as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to his contributions to the scientific literature, Bo has authored or co-authored 17 patents.  His discoveries are incorporated into marketed products including DuPont’s Kapton®-ZT polyimide film and new crosslinking catalysts used in commercial paints and other polymer systems. Professor Anthony J. Arduengo, III is a true chemistry pioneer and a scientific visionary. His remarkable breadth and depth of knowledge, myriad interests, unwavering curiosity, and intrepid drive to explore the unconventional has fostered some of the greatest fundamental and applied chemical discoveries of the last 30 years.