Green chemistry founder joins Monash Science


Eminent American chemist Professor John C Warner has joined Monash Science as an adjunct Professor.

Professor Warner is a founder of ‘green chemistry’ – an area of chemistry focused on designing products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances.

He is also the co-founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer for the Warner Babcock Institute of for Green Chemistry.

Professor Warner, who will be based in the School of Chemistry as part of his adjunct appointment, co-authored the defining text Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice with Paul Anastas.

“The birth of green chemistry came from the realisation that while students are taught what hazardous chemicals are and how to deal with them, they are not actually taught the mechanistic basis of chemical hazards. Without this knowledge, they can’t invent better alternatives.” Professor Warner said.

“Green chemistry is a paradigm shift,” he said.

“It is the ability not to just learn to effectively deal with and regulate the use of hazardous material but to think outside the box and create products without using hazardous material.”

Professor Warner has published nearly 300 patents, papers and books. His recent work in the fields of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, solar energy and construction and paving materials are examples of how green chemistry principles can be incorporated into commercially relevant applications.

He is also the recipient of the 2014 Perkin Medal, widely acknowledged as the highest honor in American Industrial Chemistry.

Professor Warner received his BS in Chemistry from UMASS Boston, and his PhD in Chemistry from Princeton University. After working at the Polaroid Corporation for nearly a decade, he then served as tenured full professor at UMASS Boston and Lowell (Chemistry and Plastics Engineering).