Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ-CERCA) continues its commitment to foster a strong community through ICIQ Alumni Programme.
A highlight of this initiative is the annual ICIQ Alumni Day, which recently marked its third successful edition. The primary objective of this event is to strengthen connections within ICIQ community and reunite former ICIQers, providing a valuable platform to share experiences and insights.
Prof. Emilio J. Palomares Gil, Director of ICIQ, in his welcome address, emphasised the immense value that each individual contributes to the Institute. He expressed: “The story of ICIQ cannot be told with you: the ICIQers. You have significantly contributed to groundbreaking discoveries, remarkable projects and a positive global impact. We take great pride in your achievements and extends our heartfelt thanks for investing your valuable time with us”.
This edition featured engaging presentations by three esteemed Alumni, each shedding light on their unique journeys and the pivotal role ICIQ played in shaping their professional paths.
Dr. Joan González Fabra (ICIQ Alumni October 2014 – October 2019. Group Prof. Carles Bo)
To start Dr. Fabra, an Accredited Parliamentary Assistant at the European Parliament, shared how his academic milestones are intricately linked to ICIQ. His journey at the Institute began in 2011 when he joined URV-ICIQ Master’s in Synthesis, Catalysis and Computational Designed. He later pursued his PhD under the guidance of Prof. Carles Bo, continuing as a postdoctoral researcher in the same group. He subsequently transitioned into the industrial realm, taking on the role of Regulatory Affairs Technician at Puig. In his inspiring words, González explained, “ICIQ and concretely the group of Carles Bo was key in my development: from them I learn how to work efficiently, I acquire the critical thinking and the curiosity to learn day by day”.
Dr. Cristina García Morales (ICIQ Alumni October 2013 – May 2020. Group Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren)
Dr. García Morales is the second speaker of the event. She conducted her thesis under the mentorship of Prof. Antonio Echavarren and initiated her postdoctoral career at ICIQ. She now holds the position of Senior Scientist in Physical Organic Chemistry at AstraZeneca, where she focuses on predictive models to streamline robust process designs for API manufacturing. Morales emphasised, “ICIQ’s global academic standing opened doors to another academic opportunities and the industry. Working under the guidance of Prof. Echavarren was a unique experience, not only for the scientific expertise and counsels, but also for the personal skills acquired under his leadership, such as effective communication and be creative to propose new ideas.”
Dr. Ignacio Funes (ICIQ Alumni November 2013 – September 2018. Group Prof. Feliu Maseras),
In concluding remarks, Dr. Funes recounted his academic journey, from his Summer Fellowship, Master and PhD with Prof. Maseras to receiving the Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship. He emphasised how ICIQ’s cutting-edge facilities and the mentorship of Prof. Maseras significantly influenced his academic development. Now embarking on his independent career at University of La Rioja, Funes’s research focuses on computational chemistry applied to organic photochemistry and organometallic catalysis and encourage all PhD students to have a clear objective and follow it despite of the barriers in the path.
Thank you all to the brilliant speakers from this year and Alumni who joined today. Stay tuned for further updates and opportunities to connect with the vibrant ICIQ community!
ICIQ Alumni is made possible through the support of the State Research Agency / Ministry of Science and Innovation through the “Severo Ochoa” Centres of Excellence Program (CEX2019-000925-S, MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, 2020-2024).