Dr. Anthony J. Arduengo, III, Saxon Professor of Chemistry retired at the end of 2017. Prof. Arduengo joined the UA faculty in 1999 as Saxon professor after spending the prior 15 years at the Central Research and Development Department of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in Wilmington, DE. At du Poet, Dr. Arduengo made numerous seminal contributions to fundamental chemistry. 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. At UA, Dr. Arduengo has continued his pioneering research into the chemistry of stabilized carbene species and other structures with unusual valency. Dr. Arduengo has also established new research in the area of xylochemistry through the STANCE (Technology for a Sustainable Chemical Economy) research program. Xylochemistry seeks to use chemicals derived from wood and other plant materials in the synthesis of fine chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals. Alabama’s abundant forestry industry provides ample resources for establishing a xylochemical industry. Through the Gates Foundation Medicines for All Initiative, Dr. Arduengo has worked to develop cheap and efficient routes to medicines critical to the developing world. Prof. Arduengo is passionate about providing students with international educational opportunities. For the past several years, Prof. Arduengo has organized study abroad programs for UA students at universities in Germany. Prof. Arduengo provides instruction in organic chemistry as well as German language, allowing students to remain on track in their chemistry degree program. He also has developed a number of courses that expose students to the chemistry of cooking, wine making, and beer brewing. These courses allow students to learn about the culture of Germany, while also expanding their knowledge of practical chemistry.
Prof. Arduengo will remain at UA as Saxon Professor Emeritus as he continues to pursue research supporting the Medicines for All initiative and the STANCE research project. The Department wishes Prof. Arduengo well in his retirement and looks forward to the continued opportunity to work with him as an emeritus faculty member.