University of British Columbia
New Tools and Technology to Accelerate Process Chemical Research and Discovery.
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The constant pressure to accelerate the chemical research and discovery enterprise forces us to continually challenge and optimize our workflows. This exercise is facilitated through new enabling technology, which often is born out of early-stage prototypes from academic laboratories. The journey from first proof of concept to deployed technology is a convoluted and challenging process, and requires a diverse interdisciplinary team and excellent communication to ensure the goals from all stakeholders are being addressed. Evolving a system from the academic inception to a deployable technology that meets the needs of industrial research can prove to be a research project in itself. This presentation will highlight several case studies focused on transferring new automation hardware in service of autonomous laboratory experimentation. These new tools are the product of the fusion of machine learning (ML) with advanced robotics and online analytics, which has given rise to the “self-driving” laboratory; a hybrid hardware/software system capable of executing iterative experiments while learning on the fly and deciding what to do next. These tools present enormous potential and may radically alter how scientific research and discovery is executed by dramatically shortening both the time and burden needed to explore new research challenges.
Dr. Hein is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia leading an interdisciplinary research group of 25 chemists, computer scientists, and engineers dedicated to tackling unsolved problems in modern organic chemistry. Hein obtained his Ph.D. as an NSERC PGS scholar in 2005 at the University of Manitoba and was awarded an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship to work with Profs. Barry Sharpless and Valery Fokin at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. He became a senior research associate under Prof. Donna Blackmond in 2009 prior to establishing his independent career at the University of California, Merced. In 2015, he was granted the American Chemical Society Young Investigator’s Award and transferred to the University of British Columbia. Dr. Hein has delivered over 70 invited talks including several high-profile invited lectureships including the international Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting, the Cotton Symposium at Texas A&M, the Miller Symposium at UC Berkeley, and the Gabor A. Somarjai Award Symposium at the ACS national meeting