Dr. Hugh Horton, Interim Vice-Dean holds a BSc from York University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He subsequently held an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Queen's since 1997, and Full Professor since 2012. He is an active member of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), having been Treasurer since 2013, and was previously the CSC’s Director of Accreditation for undergraduate chemistry programs.
Dr. Horton’s current responsibilities in the Faculty of Arts and Science include the development of new international and domestic program opportunities, academic liaison to Queen’s Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceaux Castle, Sussex, England, and liaison to the Faculty of Applied Science. His departmental portfolio consists of: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Geology and Geological Engineering, Geography and Urban Planning, Kinesiology and Health Studies, Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics and Statistics, and Psychology.
Dr. Horton's research is in the field of surface chemistry, where his research group's main focus is an exploration of the forces controlling the interaction of small molecules with surfaces. He and his students have worked on developing new scanning probe microscope techniques for the measurement of nanoscale forces. More recently, he has been exploring the formation of a new class of materials based on N-heterocyclic carbenes – these unusual molecules, which are are usually highly unstable, can be used to form very strong carbon-metal bonds to metal surfaces, creating an extraordinary stable organic-metal junction with applications in nanoscale electronics and biosensing (see Nature Chemistry, 6, 409-414, 2014).