>>   M. A. WINNIK


Mitch Winnik received a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1965. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in the area of organic chemistry at Columbia University in 1969, working under the direction of Prof. Ronald Breslow, and then spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. George Hammond at Caltech studying organic photochemistry. He joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1970, and received tenure as an organic chemist. On his first sabbatical, in Bordeaux France, he realized that he was bored with what he had been doing and decided to switch his attention to longer molecules. Upon his return to Toronto, he and his coworkers prepared a series of polymers with a pyrene group at both ends. The pyrene groups emit a blue fluorescence if the pyrenes are far apart, but if an excited pyrene during its lifetime can find a second pyrene, they form a sandwich structure which emits a green "excimer" fluorescence. In dilute solution, the rate of excimer formation from the end-labeled polymers measures the end-to-end cyclization rate of the polymer chain. For many years, the Winnik group used pyrene fluorescence as a probe of polymer dynamics in solution. In the early 1980's, the Winnik group broadened its interests to encompass polymers as materials. They first looked at polymer particles that formed stable colloidal dispersions (non-aqueous dispersions) in hydrocarbon media. In these experiments, they learned that one could obtain a wide variety of important information about the structure of multiphase polymer materials through measurements of fluorescence- and phosphorescence- quenching rates in systems in which fluorescent groups were attached to particular sites in the material. Since the early 1980’s, Mitch Winnik and his coworkers have been examining various applications of fluorescence spectroscopy to polymers, particularly in the study of polymer-polymer interfaces. Among the polymer systems under study in his research group are latex dispersions, latex films, polymer blends, block copolymers, interpenetrating networks, and water soluble polymers, particularly associative polymers.

Sabbaticals
Sabbaticals and other research leaves can be turning points in one's career. Mitch Winnik spent a year in 1977-78 with Professor Pierre Bothorel at the Centre Paul Pascal (Université de Bordeaux) in France. In 1983 he spent three months at IBM with Dr. Barton Smith, where he learned about polymers in microelectronics. He spent seven months in Japan in 1985-86 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology with Professor Shigeo Tazuke, supported by a JSPS Fellowship. In 1996, he spent six months as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Science in Mainz Germany with Professors Gerhard Wegner and Hans Spiess.

Honors and Awards
The Winnik group's efforts in the area of latex films have been recognized three times by First Prize Roon Awards (1991,1995, 1998). These awards, given by the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, recognize the top technical contributions each year to the coatings field.

In addition, Mitch Winnik has received the following personal awards:

1983 IBM World Trade Scholar
1985 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship
1991 Roon Award, First Prize. Administered by the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, for best technical publication in the coatings area
1993 Chemical Institute of Canada Award in Polymer Science, sponsored by Novacorp
1994 Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada
1995 Bell Canada Forum Award, sponsored by the Corporate Higher Education Forum. This is a Canadian national award for excellence in University-Industry collaborative research.
1996 Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
1996 Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award (Germany)
1998 University Professor, University of Toronto. This is the University's highest award in recognition of academic excellence. The number of individuals given this award is limited to two percent of the entire faculty.
1999 R.W. Tess Award in Coatings, administered by the American Chemical Society, Polymer Materials Science and Engineering division [citation: Progress in Organic Coatings 36 113-114 (1999)]
1999 - 2001 Canada Council Killam Fellowship
2000 La Chaire de Paris-Sciences, Invited Lectureship at the Ecole Supérior de Physique et Chimie Industrielle
2001 Joseph J. Matiello Lecture Award, Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology
2002 Elected Fellow of the Polymer and Material Sciences division of the American Chemical Society
2004CIC Medal. This is the highest award of the Chemical Institute of Canada for scholarly contributions to Chemistry in Canada.
2006 ISI Web of Science, Most-cited author in Chemistry
2009 The CIC Lecture, Université de Shebrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec
2010 Special issue of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry honouring his scientific accomplishments.
2010 Symposium at the Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference honouring his scientific accomplishments.
2010 3M Lecturer, University of British Columbia
2011 LeSueur Memorial Award, Society of the Chemical Industry, Canada