Michael Wolf

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Chemistry

Michael Wolf was born in Halifax, NS and completed his BSc in biochemistry and chemistry at Dalhousie University, and his PhD at MIT where he worked with Mark Wrighton. He was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow with Marye Anne Fox at the University of Texas-Austin, before joining the University of British Columbia as an assistant professor in 1995. Currently a full professor, he serves as graduate advisor in the Department of Chemistry at UBC. His group has contributed to the fields of conjugated polymers and materials, the photochemistry and photophysics of conjugated materials and coordination complexes, and the synthesis and applications of modified nanomaterials. He served as the director of the Laboratory of Advanced Spectroscopy and Imaging Research (LASIR) at UBC, and is the UBC lead of the Prometheus Project, BC's Multi-Institution Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Initiative. He has served as the chair of the Inorganic Division of the CSC, as well as the director for Subject Divisions on the CSC Board, and is on the editorial board of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. He won a UBC Killam Research Prize in 2003, the CSC Award for Pure and Applied Inorganic Chemistry in 2004, and was elected a Fellow of the CIC in 2015.

Primary Recipient Awards

Major Thematic Grant, Michael Wolf, 2012

Michael Wolf

The objectives of this major thematic grant are:

  1. to discover new nanomaterials to harvest and use solar energy more efficiently and at lower cost;
  2. to use these new nanomaterials in devices and evaluate their performance;
  3. to study the societal benefits and risks of nanotechnology innovations; and
  4. through a public seminar series, to give scientists and applied scientists an understanding of the underlying economic and political issues surrounding the broad implementation of these new materials and devices.

This proposal follows a highly successful Wall Institute Exploratory Workshop on Nanomaterials for Alternative Energy Applications held in June 2010, which had the goal of identifying and focusing existing expertise at UBC in the areas of materials chemistry and engineering to develop a major interdisciplinary research effort in this area, beginning with a Peter Wall Major Thematic Grant application. Fifty-five researchers from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in this three day workshop.

With this Peter Wall Major Thematic Grant, the team will take a bold, innovative research direction in solar energy conversion. By developing novel nanomaterials that can be incorporated into devices and systematically characterized, the team intends to discover breakthrough materials and device structures that could have an enormous impact on society. In the process, they will create and study the fundamental properties of new nanomaterials and establish UBC as a worldwide hub for research in nanomaterials for alternative energy applications.

As a unique component of this proposal, the team will create a public seminar series that will engage experts from economics and policy and explore the role of alternative energy and solar energy conversion in society.


Exploratory Workshops, Michael Wolf, 2009

Michael Wolf

This workshop was held June 20-23, 2010.

An exploratory workshop is proposed to bring together international, Canadian and UBC experts in the critically important area of new nanomaterials development for applications in energy harvesting, generation and storage. The overarching goal of the workshop will be to develop and identify promising areas of investigation, explore fundamental science and engineering of energy-related nanomaterials, and strengthen a UBC-wide research thrust in this field, while building an international collaborative network that researchers can draw on and participate in. Participation of UBC experts in diverse aspects of this emerging field, along with their research groups, is expected.

Discussion topics will be organized in the three thematic areas:

  1. Nanomaterials for solar energy harvesting and photovoltaics,
  2. Nanomaterials for power generation and storage: supercapacitors, batteries and piezoelectric storage, and
  3. Nanomaterials for gas storage and fuel cells.

A public lecture and panel discussion will be part of the workshop. Panel members will include scientists and engineers as well as experts in sustainability and energy policy. Welcoming international leaders in the field to UBC and hosting this important workshop will help to position UBC at the forefront of this emerging area. In addition, graduate students and postdocs will participate in the workshop and this will play a critical role in the training of these individuals.