Established in 2011 to acknowledge and promote the work of women chemists/chemical engineers worldwide 

Awardees are selected based on excellence in basic or applied research, distinguished accomplishments in teaching or education, or demonstrated leadership or managerial excellence in the chemical sciences. The Awards Committee is particularly interested in nominees with a history of leadership and/or community service during their careers.

The inaugural presentation of the Distinguished Women in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering awards took place during 2011 World Chemistry Congress and 23 women were recognized. A full-day award symposium featuring the awardees and a theatrical reflection on the life of Marie Curie were parts of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. Celebrating the achievements of women in chemistry and honoring Marie Curie were only one of the objectives of IYC2011, and several international activities on this theme were initiated that year.

The celebration and recognition of women in chemistry that was begun in 2011 has continued at each biennial IUPAC General Assembly and World Chemistry Congress since then. In addition to an awards program that is held at each meeting to present the awards, a symposium is also held to discuss the status of women in chemistry across the globe. Challenges that women can encounter in their careers and routes to navigate challenges have been addressed by the distinguished awardees. The presentations have been motivational, and have been very helpful to women who are newer in the field, to help them understand that everyone faces challenges in their careers, and, that those challenges are not unsurmountable.

>>>>  Call for Nominations for the 2023 Award (posted 2 June 2022)

A list of recipients of the Award since its inception may be found HERE (PDF)

Women are recognized for their distinction and excellence in chemistry and chemical engineering,
whether in research, leadership, teaching, management, industry, government, academia,
or whatever work sector in which the women are engaged.

… of related interest …

Gender Gap project
Gender Equality project
Global Women’s Breakfast
Diversity and Inclusion

2021 Announcement of the IUPAC 2021 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Awards (released 8 Feb 2021 in sync with GWB event on Feb 9 and to celebrate he International Day of Women and Girls in Science February 11)

2019 Announcement (release 7 Feb 2019 in sync to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science February 11)

Presentation at the Congress in Paris, July 2019

The 2019 Distinguished Women in Chemistry recognized in Paris during the World Chemistry Leadership Meeting and pictured with the WCLM panelist (see CI July 2020 for a report) (WCLM): (L to R): Chris Willis, Martin Brudermüller (BASF SE, WCLM panelist), Luisa Torsi, Elizabeth Ann Nalley, Guest Ben Feringa (NP 2016), Otilia Mó Romero, Janine Cossy, Ilham Kadri (Solvay, WCLM panelist), Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev (PhosAgro, WCLM panelist), Susan Bourne, Donna Blackmond, (unidentified), Molly Shoichet, Carolyn Ribes (Award presentation and Women in Chemistry Special Symposium coordinator), Kim Baldridge, Guest Jean-Pierre Sauvage (NP 2016), Angela Wilson (co-coordinator), Guest Jean-Marie Lehn (NP 1997), and on the far right, IUPAC President Qi-Feng Zhou.

Also in 2019, in celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table and the 100th anniversary of IUPAC, a number of the women who received the IUPAC Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award have contributed to a special issue of Pure and Applied Chemistry, in which they provided short technical reviews, career advice and insight for future scientists and engineering, or simple examples of how they have navigated the many challenges and opportunities they have encountered in their own careers. This PAC issue was released in time with the International Day for Women and Girls in Sciences, Feb 11, and also coincided with the announcement of the Awardees of the IUPAC 2019 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. The Preface co-authored by Fabienne Meyers, Carolyn Ribes and Angela K. Wilson is reprint in Chem Int April 2019; (See earlier project for additional reference and details)

2017 Announcement (7 March 2017)

Presentation at the Congress in São Paulo, July 2017

The 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry recognized in São Paulo (L to R): Vanderlan Bolzani (Women in Chemistry Special Symposium coordinator), Ingrid Montes, Misako Aida, Veronika Meyer, Yvonne Mascarenhas, Angela Wilson (Symposium co-chair), Zafra Lerman, Frances Separovic, Carolyn Ribes (Symposium co-chair), Concepcion Gimeno, Thisbe Lindhorst, Lifeng Chi, and on the far right, IUPAC President Natalia Tarasova. The gentleman in the back row is IUPAC Secretary General Richard Hartshorn.

See Congress report in CI Oct 2017 <>

2015 Announcement (1 May 2015)

Awardees of the IUPAC 2015 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering announced 
Professor Lucia Banci, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Professor Margaret Brimble, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Professor Ewa Bulska, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Warsaw, Poland
Professor Karen Gleason, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
Professor Janet Hering, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology, Dubendorf, Switzerland
Professor Nadia G. Kandile, Ain Shams University, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt
Professor Maki Kawai, RIKEN & The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Professor Hyunjoo Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea
Professor Carmen Najera, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
Professor Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff, AiCuris GmbH & Co. KG, Wuppertal, Germany
Professor Roberta Sessoli, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy
Professor Livia Simon Sarkadi, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Presentation at the Congress in Busan, Korea in August 2015

Presentation of the Awards during the IUPAC General Assembly/Congress in Busan, Korea in August 2015.

2013 Announcement (31 May 2013)

The awardees of the IUPAC 2013 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering are as follows:
Professor Irina P. Beletskaya, Moscow State University, Russia
Dr Annette Doherty, Senior VP Product Development, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, UK
Professor Mary Garson, University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Evamarie Hey-Hawkins, University of Leipzig, Germany
Professor Kazue Kurihara, Tohoku University, Japan
Professor Liliana Mammino, University of Venda, South Africa
Professor Elsa Reichmanis, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Professor Concepcio Rovira, Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, Spain
Professor Maria Vallet-Regi, Universidad Complutense, Spain
Professor Angela Wilson, University of North Texas, USA
Professor Yi Xie, University of Science & Technology of China, China

Presentation at the Congress in August 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey

Pictured above are recipients of the IUPAC 2013 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award. From left to right, Yi Xie, Kazue Kurihara, Mary Garson, Liliana Mammino, Elsa Reichmanis, Concepcio Rovira, Angela Wilson, Evamarie Hey-Hawkins. Additionally in the picture on the right are Gulcin Erem Berkel, The Dow Chemical Company, sponsor of the presentation, and Professor Nicole Moreau, former IUPAC President.

2011 Announcement

The awardees were: Nouria A. Al-Awadi (Kuwait); Faizah Mohammed Abdel Mohsin Al-Kharafi (Kuwait); Ayse Aroguz (Turkey); Vanderlan Bolzani (Brazil); Novella Bridges (USA); Luisa De Cola (Germany); Joanna Fowler (USA); Véronique Gouverneur (UK); Magdolna Hargittai (Hungary); Nancy B. Jackson (USA); Susan M. Kauzlarich (USA); Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus (Germany); H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol (Thailand); Nicole J. Moreau (France); Linda F. Nazar (Canada); Izabela Nowak (Poland); Carolyn Ribes (Netherlands); Sara Snogerup Linse (Sweden); Yoshie Souma (Japan); Natalia Tarasova (Russia); Klára Tóth (Hungary); Lesley J. Yellowlees (UK); and Ada E. Yonath (Israel)

Presentation at the Congress in August 2011, in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Pictured are a number of the awardees and organizers of the 2011 program, pictured with Susan M. Frontczak, who enacted Marie Curie in a play performed in honor of the International Year of Chemistry.

See account in  Chem Int Nov 2011,