The Harold A. Iddles Lecture Series

Professor Cynthia Friend


Cynthia Friend

T.W. Richards Professorship of Chemistry
Professor of Materials Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Director of the Rowland Institute
Harvard University

Tuesday, April 1
11:10 a.m. Parsons N104
"Enhancing Energy Efficiency:The Power of Fundamental Surface Chemistry" 
3:40 p.m. Parsons N104
"Science as a Vehicle for Improving Quality of Life:  Examples from Catalysis"











Cynthia Friend is the T.W. Richards Professorship of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences , and the Director of the Rowland Institute at Harvard.  She joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1982 as a member of the Chemistry department after completing a year of postdoctoral research at Stanford University and after earning her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981.  At Berkeley, she worked with the late Prof. Earl L. Muetterties, a preeminent organometallic chemist.  At Stanford, she worked with Prof. Robert J. Madix in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who pioneered the field of surface chemistry.  She graduated from the University of California, Davis in 1977 with a degree in Chemistry.

Friend has held several leadership positions at Harvard, including her current position as Director of the Rowland Institute, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2002-05), Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (2004-07), and Associate Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (2002-2011), and Radcliffe Trustee (1990-93).   Friend also served as Associate Director of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, at Stanford University (2011-2012) while on leave from Harvard. 

Friend’s current research is focused on developing solutions to important problems in energy usage and environmental chemistry.  The two major facets of her work are (1) design and development of new processes for sustainable and efficient chemical synthesis using alloy catalysts as a means of reducing dependence on fossil fuel resources; and, (2) investigation of new semiconductor materials for light-induced reactions, including water splitting and degradation of organic pollutants. Her work is described in over 220 publications. 

Professor Friend has received a number of awards and honors for her scholarly work, including the 2009 George Olah Award in Hydrocarbon Chemistry and the 1991 Garvan Medal from the American Chemical Society.  She has also received an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award in 2007.  Friend was elected as a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2010 and of the AAAS in 2009.  In 2011, she was bestowed an honorary doctorate of science degree from Bowdoin College.

Professor Friend has also played several leadership roles in the wider academic community.  She is currently a Senior Editor for Accounts of Chemical Research and is a member of the editorial advisory boards of J. Am. Chem. Soc., Chem. Sciences, and ChemCatChem.  Friend has served on many advisory panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  Friend also co-Chaired two major workshops:  the 2011 Catalysis workshop for NSF and the 2006 workshop “Building Strong Chemistry Departments through Gender Diversity” for NIH, DOE and NSF.  She is also a member of the Claire Boothe Luce Board, a philanthropic organization aimed at developing the careers of young female scientists and engineers.

The Harold A. Iddles Lecture Series was established as an annual event of the Chemistry Department upon Professor Iddles' retirement in 1961. Chemistry alumni and friends established this fund to support a lecture series which includes one technical presentation and a second presentation of broader interest for the general public. This alumni gesture has served as a continuing recognition of Professor Iddles' service to the department as its head from 1929 to 1961, and of the educational and research programs he fostered.  Dr. Iddles, educated at Michigan State College (B.S., 1918) and State University of Iowa (M.S., 1922), received the Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1925 and then studied in Austria, Germany and England. During his long tenure at New Hampshire, he was widely recognized as an outstanding teacher and tireless advisor to students. For over thirty years some of the most distinguished chemists in the world have visited the University of New Hampshire as Iddles Lecturers.  

Previous Iddles Lecturers

Arthur C. CopeMichael J. WelchAndrew D. Hamilton
Louis F. FeiserDietmar SeyferthJacqueline V. Barton
Frederick E. BrinckmanClayton H. HeathcockDavid Parker
James P. CollmanPaul C. LauterburF. Sherwood Rowland
William N. Lipscomb, Jr.Allen J. BardPeter Wipf
Kenneth B. WibergMark S. WrightonR. Mark Wightman
George C. PimentelAnders KjaerThomas v. O'Halloran
Kurt MislowRudolph A. MarcusJohn LaMattina
R. Bruce MerrifieldVincent du VigneaudPamela  Björkman 
Sidney H. FoxRonald C.D. BreslowMary J. Wirth 
Francis O. SchmittDaryle H. BuschBarbara J. Finlayson-Pitts
Philip AisenManfred EigenFred Wudl
Jerrold MeinwaldJohn D. RobertsRaoul Kopelman 
George S. HammondGabor A. SomorjaiKim D. Janda
Garry A. RechnitzIra W. LevinMarsha I. Lester 
Walter M. StockmayerF. Albert CottonWilliam B. Tolman
R.M. AchesonJohn T. Yates, JrWeihong Tan
Louis P. HammettJohn E. McMurryTimothy M. Swager
Paul G. GassmanPaul S. AndersonMark Ratner
Orville L. ChapmanRichard P. WaynePeter Mahaffy
Royce W. MurrayChris Enke 

Lectures are open to the public.  For more information, contact the Department of Chemistry at 603-862-1550.