Dr Richard Kong AMRSC
Winner: 2022 Dalton Emerging Researcher Award
For the development of and mechanistic insight into novel bond breaking and bond making methods using main-group reagents.
Celebrate Dr Richard Kong
Dr Kong is a synthetic inorganic chemist whose work focuses on breaking and making chemical bonds using metals. During his PhD, he used non-toxic, earth-abundant metals such as aluminium and magnesium to make and break carbon–carbon bonds.
The manipulation of carbon–carbon bonds is important for many processes: from the synthesis of pharmaceuticals to the recycling of carbon dioxide. Finding new and better ways to achieve these transformations using earth-abundant metals means that society will be able to recycle waste and make crucial chemicals sustainably.Read winner biography
Dr Richard Kong was awarded a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) in 2016 from the Australian National University, completing a final honours year under the supervision of Professor Anthony F Hill. The following year, he began his Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry at Imperial College London under the supervision of Professor Mark R Crimmin, supported by an Imperial College London President's PhD Scholarship.
On finishing his PhD studies in 2021, and in a bid to move to ever colder climes, he started at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, to study with Professor Kyle M Lancaster as a Klarman Fellow.
How did you first become interested in chemistry?
I had some excellent teachers who were incredibly supportive and engaging. I also had the opportunity to attend a chemistry summer school towards the end of high school which really solidified my interest in the science.
What motivates you?
I find it an absolute privilege to be able to try out new ideas each day. The freedom to experiment and step a little further into the unknown is tremendously rewarding.
What has been a highlight for you (either personally or in your career)?
Being able to travel the world and live in different countries has been a highlight of my career, along with the friendships that have developed in each place.
What does good research culture look like/mean to you?
I feel a good research culture involves the seamless exchange of ideas between team members, and a willingness to learn from others and share your own expertise. A supportive, kind, and trusting environment is ultimately conducive to great science.