Gower research chemistry award symposium set for Friday

Ahmad Z. Qamar is the 2018 recipient of the Gower Fellowship.

Qamar, a research assistant in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, received the award for his work on “The Evolution of wax patterning on Flexible Plastics for Microanalytical Applications.”

The fellowship provided a three-month salary and $1,000 award for Qamar’s education.

He also will receive a plaque during Gower Research Award Symposium set for this Friday at the atrium at the Neckers Building at SIU. The event is presented by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

A research poster presentation for graduate and undergraduate students is set for 2:30 p.m., followed by oral presentations beginning at 4 p.m.

The fellowship is sponsored by SIU alumnus Bob G. Gower, former CEO of Lyondell Petrochemical Company, and founder of Specified Fuels & Chemicals, as well as co-founder of Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. and Ensysce Biosciences Inc.

Gower earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SIU in 1958 and 1960, respectively. He later earned a doctorate at the University of Minnesota.

Along with Nobel laureate Richard Smalley, Gower co-founded Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. in 2000, serving as its CEO until the merger with Unidym in 2007. In 2008, Gower formed Ensysce Biosciences Inc.

Gower is active in educational efforts in the Houston area. He served as president of Communities in Schools in Houston, Texas from 1988 to 2002. In 2018, SIU honored him with its Distinguished Service Award, which is reserved for people who have contributed importantly to Southern Illinois, the nation, the world, the state, and/or to SIU.

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