Eugenia Kumacheva awarded the Henry Marshall Tory Medal by the Royal Society of Canada

September 12, 2023 by Cynthia Macdonald - A&S News

Eugenia Kumacheva, a University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, has been awarded the Henry Marshall Tory Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.

The award is presented bi-annually "for outstanding research in a branch of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or an allied science.” It is named in honour of mathematician Henry Marshall Tory, who was the first president of the University of Alberta, the National Research Council of Canada, and Carleton College (later Carleton University).

Kumacheva’s remarkably diverse research explores the field of “soft matter” or polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, hydrogels and living matter. She has designed and developed soft materials for use in an extraordinarily broad range of areas, including telecommunications, security, data storage, drug delivery, anti-cancer therapies and tissue engineering.

A native of Ukraine, Kumacheva’s stellar career is notable for the number of areas in which she has made major contributions, including chemistry, physics, materials science, and engineering. Of note also are the many high-impact publications she has produced, as well as her high citation rate, multiple patents, and large number of invited, keynote and plenary lectures.

Kumacheva has received multiple national awards and distinctions. Appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2020, she is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was, until 2020, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials (Tier 1). She has been recognized with the Macromolecular Science and Engineering and the Clara Benson Awards from the Chemical Institute of Canada; the Japan-Canada WISET Lectureship from the Royal Society of Canada; and the Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council of Arts and Science. She has also been presented with the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal as a “mark of distinction and recognition to a person for outstanding contributions to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada”.

The suite of prestigious international awards that Kumacheva has won include the Schlumberger Fellowship (United Kingdom); International Chorafas Foundation Award in Physics and Engineering (Switzerland); Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (Germany); de Gennes Prize (United Kingdom); and Guggenheim Fellowship (United States.) Kumacheva is a Laureate of the L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science and was the first Canadian scientist to win this prize.

Of this latest honour, Kumacheva says: "I am delighted to be a recipient of this award not only because this is the recognition of my research accomplishments, but also because Henry Marshall Tory was an outstanding person. The legacy that he left was well beyond being a distinguished scientist. His commitment to spreading scientific knowledge and international goodwill had a huge impact on the state of science and education in Canada."

“By designing and developing materials in such a vast range of areas, Eugenia Kumacheva’s research continues to improve our lives in countless ways,” says Melanie Woodin, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “Her groundbreaking research has led to major advances in science, medicine and technology, and promises to do so well into the 21st century. It is with great pride that I congratulate her on winning the Henry Marshall Tory Medal: the latest of her many impressive achievements.