People in the Spotlight – Announcing the 2024 ISGS Lifetime Achievement Awards

Every two years, the International Sol-Gel Society honours the achievements of our colleagues at various stages of their careers through a variety of awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honour that the ISGS can bestow on our colleagues and reflects outstanding contributions to sol-gel science and technology through broad and productive scholarship; by achievements in commercial and industrial applications of sol-gel science and technology; and/or by outstanding service to the sol-gel community that has been sustained over an entire career. Candidates to be considered for ISGS Lifetime Achievement Awards are initially nominated by members of the ISGS Board of Directors, with two awardees then selected from among the nominees via a transparent and democratic vote of the Directors.

It is a pleasure for the Board of Directors to announce that Professor Sidney Ribeiro (UNESP, Brazil) and Professor Bruce Dunn (UCLA, USA) have been selected as the ISGS Lifetime Achievement Awardees for 2024. Sidney’s achievements, including his contributions to the development of sol-gel science and technology in Latin America, were profiled in the December 2020 issue of the ISGS Newsletter. Sidney is well known to the international sol-gel community through his role as Chair of the 2009 International Sol- Gel Conference which was held in Brazil, and as a former member of the ISGS Board of Directors.

Sidney: Magic mirror on the wall, whose tie is the fairest one of all? Magic Mirror: Sidney, Sidney, I have to say, your chemistry tie has made my day!

Perhaps the best way to summarise Sidney’s passion for science is encapsulated in a comment that he made in 2016 when asked what message he would leave for people who are just beginning their careers in science. He responded by saying: “We are all born liking science. Who, as a child, in a moment of scientific inspiration, didn’t mix our mother’s perfume with in-secticide and some olive oil just to “see what came out of it”? This taste for science has to be preserved in our educational system. And for those who are starting out I say: go ahead. The country needs you. Someone said that when you do what you love you will never “have to work”. Work becomes your pas-time and it’s really awesome”. 

This sense of scientific wonder at the world around him has driven much of Sidney’s professional career.

Bruce will also be well known to the International Sol-Gel community, both as Chair of the 2005 International Sol-Gel Conference which was held in the USA, together with his frequent Plenary and Keynote lectures at Sol-Gel and Materials Chemistry/Science conferences. Bruce has been affiliated with UCLA since 1980, and has held the Nippon Sheet Glass Company Endowed Chair in Materials Science since 2003. He is well known for his research on the synthesis and applications of sol-gel-derived materials in electrochemical energy storage devices, including batteries and capacitors. His more recent work in these domains includes novel systems such as three-dimensional batteries and pseudo-capacitor materials.

A more complete profile of Bruce’s career will be included in an up-coming issue of the ISGS Newsletter.

Sidney and Bruce’s awards will be celebrated by the sol-gel community when we gather in Berlin for the 22nd International Sol-Gel Conference in September 2024. In the meantime, please join with the ISGS Board in offering congratulations for the sustained achievements that have led to these awards.