The “Stepto Lecture” has been inaugurated to commemorate Bob Stepto (shown above), who passed away on 13 September 2015 at the age of 78. Prof. Stepto was a prolific and highly pedigreed researcher in his own right, with over 300 publications to his name from his career at University of Manchester Institute of Science of Technology, which in the latter part of his career was merged with Manchester University. More to the point, Bob gave 28 years of service to IUPAC, including being Chair of the Commission on Macromolecular Nomenclature (now known as the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology) for the period 1991–2000 and then Chair of the Polymer Division over 2002–05. During all this time Bob participated actively in countless projects and he was a mentor to many. In recognition of his titanic status within and exceptional service to IUPAC, it has been decided to honor and remember Bob via a plenary lecture at each World Polymer Congress. There could hardly be a more fitting first winner of this award than Prof. Michael Buback of Göttingen University, Germany.
2016 Award Winner, Prof. Michael Buback
Michael Buback studied chemistry at the University of Karlsruhe, where he received his PhD in 1972. After Habilitation in 1978 he was awarded a Heisenberg Fellowship by the German Science Foundation (DFG). He became Professor for Applied Physical Chemistry at the University of Göttingen in 1981, Full Professor for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry in 1995, and Member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences in 2000. Michael Buback has previously received the Dechema Award, the Bunsen-Denkmušnze and the Herman F. Mark Medal. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers. His research interests cover the entire field of radical polymerization with a focus on detailed kinetic studies via pulsed-laser initiation carried out in conjunction with highly time-resolved IR, near-IR and EPR spectroscopy. Further activities address the kinetics and the phase behavior of chemical processes over extended ranges of pressure and temperature. He has special expertise in the quantitative monitoring, via online vibrational spectroscopy, of species occurring during chemical transformations at pressures up to 7 000 bar. Michael has also distinguished himself through his service and leadership in IUPAC, most notably as Chair of the Subcommittee on Modeling of Polymerization Kinetics and Processes up until 2007 and then as Chair of the Polymer Division for the period 2012–15.
The photo below shows Michael (on the left) with his good friend and colleague Kris Matyjaszewski just prior to the opening ceremony of Macro2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.