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Edward Piers

$20,750.00 (raised so far)

About Edward Piers

Dr. Edward Piers was born in 1938 in Neerlandia, Alberta to Oona and Grace, the fifth of seven children. He entered the University of Alberta after graduating from high school, earning a B.Sc. in 1959 followed by a Ph.D in organic chemistry (1963).

Edward’s illustrious career with UBC began in 1963 when he joined the Department of Chemistry as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1965 he was hired as a faculty member with the department, where he progressed through the ranks and continued as professor until his retirement at age 65. Edward was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a year after retiring and passed away in 2010 at the age of 71.

“A true scholar and gentleman”, Edward’s distinguished 40-year career encompassed excellence in both research and teaching. He made significant contributions to the discipline of chemistry, and in particular organic synthesis: his research program resulted in over 190 publications. Edward’s exemplary teaching and mentoring skills inspired many students to pursue careers in the field of organic synthesis. The recipient of several prestigious awards for research and teaching, he was elected to Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada in 1989. He was also twice awarded the CIC Departmental Master Teaching Award for his inspiring undergraduate teaching.

Edward was a committed Christian who actively integrated his faith with his vocation, often serving in leadership positions in Christian educational institutions.

He is survived by his beloved wife Shirley, his two sons, Warren and Kevin, both of whom have Ph.Ds, and six grandchildren.

Edward was passionate about chemistry and was dedicated to teaching and inspiring young minds. He is sorely missed.

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The impact of your support

During his long, distinguished career at UBC, Edward mentored over 90 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and inspired many to pursue careers in chemistry. He was a passionate and accomplished leader who understood the importance of fostering new talent.

The Edward Piers Memorial Award in Organic Chemistry has been established with a gift from his family in celebration of Edward’s academic contributions and service. It will be awarded annually.

Your gift will support a deserving graduate student working in any branch of organic chemistry who demonstrates academic excellence, experimental skill and dedication to the field through service and leadership.

Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • Ed had beautiful handwriting both on paper and on the chalk board. His conformational drawings were practically art!

    Christine Rogers, worked in his lab as a post-doc
  • Ed taught us how to think on our feet and answer while "at the board". A fond memory is him flashing the peace sign as he walked down the hall.

    Renata Oballa, worked in his lab as a PhD student
  • Ed was a gentleman and a gentle man. He was probably the most even-tempered mentor on could have asked for. As a teacher, he provided constructive criticism but was also liberal with praise. In the lab, he usually started a conversation with, “Well?”. On a personal note, he was the only one who ever called me Edward and I got my first job based on his recommendation, without ever even interviewing!

    Ed. Ruediger, Former Ph.D student
  • Ed was the model supervisor and mentor. He provided support and encouragement coupled with the freedom to explore new avenues. He was a gentle giant with a superbly witty sense of humour yet his passion for science never waned.

    Stephen Lau, Ed's Penultimate Postdoc
List of Donors
All Donors
  • William de Waal

  • Stephen Lau

  • William de Waal

  • alan kaller

  • Hans Reissig

  • Alexander Dauth

  • Robert Keziere

  • Timothy WONG

  • Michael Fryzuk

  • Christine Rogers

  • Kevin Piers and Gloria Strydhorst-Piers

  • Warren and Marrian Piers

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