Marcel Golay & Leslie Ettre Awards

Marcel Golay

The Marcel Golay Award was instituted in honor of Marcel Jules Eduard Golay, the inventor of capillary columns. Dr. Golay, one of the pioneers of gas chromatography, introduced the theory of dispersion in open tubular columns (capillary columns) and demonstrated their efficacy at the second International Symposium on Gas Chromatography in 1958. Dr. Golay joined PerkinElmer in 1962 as a senior scientist, and invented the Golay infrared sensor, which, at the time was the most sensitive infrared sensor available. Golay's invention helped establish PerkinElmer as a major source of infrared technology. He also extended the theory of preparative columns and examined the properties of various chromatography sampling systems. The open tubular gas chromatography column is the most popular analytical gas chromatography column in use today. Dr. Golay worked as a senior scientist at PerkinElmer up until his death in 1989. The Marcel Golay award is presented to a scientist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in capillary chromatography.

2017 Marcel Golay Award Winner

The 2017 Marcel Golay Award was presented to Professor Luigi Mondello of the University of Messina, Italy. He is an analytical chemistry expert who has authored over 450 publications and over 1000 conference presentations. He was awarded for his presentation entitled From two- to five-dimensional separation techniques: a personal journey towards the ultimacy of chromatography and hyphenated detection. See below for his research abstract.


The advancement in chromatography theory and instrumentation was initially and still is driven by the need for more comprehensive techniques, able to accurately and precisely discriminate targeted and untargeted analytes in challenging sample mixtures, with the highest possible sensitivity and selectivity. This Award lecture will illustrate different analytical solutions implemented in an effort to resolve high- to extremely complex mixtures, relying on heart-cutting (LC-GC, LC-GC-GC-GC-prep., LC-LC-GC, GC-GC) or comprehensive (GC×GC, LC-GC×GC, LC×LC) multidimensional techniques. Matrix composition and the analytical goal will direct the choice of coupling an additional GC, LC or MS stage, to exponentially extend the capability of the resulting multi-dimensional hyphenated technologies. System-oriented interfaces/devices have been customized in MD instrumentation, based on the optimization of partially concurrent solvent evaporation, valve-based or Deans switch systems with multi-cutting capabilities, or an automatic collection device as the back-end. The interfacing of two capillary GC columns in a comprehensive way relied on a cryogenic modulator, split flow and vacuum outlet flow modulation. The hyphenation to state-of-the art quadrupole and triple quadrupole MS in fast GC and GC×GC approaches, LC×LC approaches and an unified LC-GC×GC-MS/MS platform allowed for the selective determination of trace level contaminants. In parallel, our efforts have been put in developing dedicated data analysis software, to glean useful information from the complex data sets driven by the comprehensive separations, and Linear Retention Indices tool for reliable identification of unknown components in spectral libraries, as also demonstrated in miniaturized LC or SFC-based techniques.

Previous Marcel Golay Award Winners


Luigi Mondello

University of Messina, Messina, Italy



Robert E. Synovec

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA



Daniel Armstrong

University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA



Tyge Greibrokk

University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway



Robert Kennedy

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA



Paul Haddad

University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay TAS, Australia



Marcel Golay

The Leslie Ettre Award was established in 2008 in honor of the late Leslie S. Ettre who worked at PerkinElmer for 32 years and made major contributions to gas chromatography (GC), including writing and editing over 40 books and almost 400 articles and papers. Ettre retired from PerkinElmer as Senior Scientist in 1990 but remained active in the science community as a professor and research fellow with the Chemical Engineering Department at Yale University for 16 years. He was a member of a number of editorial boards and continued to publish papers up until his death in June 2010.

The Leslie Ettre award is presented to a scientist 35 years old or younger who presented the most interesting original research in capillary gas chromatography with an emphasis on environmental and food safety. The winner of this award receives a research grant of $2,500, a $500 travel contribution to attend the next ISCC meeting and free registration at the next meeting. The winner is also invited to give an oral presentation at the next ISCC meeting. The jury for the award is chaired by Ruben Garnica, Gas Chromatography Product Manager for PerkinElmer, and includes several prominent scientists and previous award winners.

2017 Leslie Ettre Award Winner

The 2017 Leslie S. Ettre Award was presented to Keisean Stevenson, a professor at the University of Alberta, for his presentation entitled The effect of column geometry and carrier gas flow on a thermodynamics-based model for peak width prediction in GC. See below for more information.


Method development and optimization in gas chromatography (GC) and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) are often necessary but time consuming endeavours. The process usually involves chromatographers making educated guesses about which columns and instrumental conditions might work best for a separation then, through trial and error, adjusting conditions until they are satisfactory to optimal. Being able to accurately predict the retention times and peak widths of compounds, and simulate separations under several chromatographic conditions can greatly help to speed up the method development process in GC and GC×GC.

Accurate modelling of retention provides a useful tool with which chemists may predict and simulate separations. Thermodynamics-based models have been shown to provide accurate and reliable predictions across a wide range of experimental conditions (temperatures and over ramp rates) over which retention index-based methods often suffer from lower predictive accuracy. Additionally, thermodynamics-based methods are more amendable to comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) when compared to the isovolality curve methods required for adapting retention indices to the second dimension column in a GC×GC separation.

The work presented illustrated an approach to modelling retention in GC by using thermodynamic parameters estimated on a reference column of a given stationary phase chemistry to predict retention times and peak widths on any other target column of the same chemistry regardless of its geometry, experimental conditions or the instrument in which it is installed. These thermodynamic parameters act as a bridge between columns and when combined with concepts from fluid dynamics, chromatographic rate and plate theory, and numerical optimization techniques allow accurate prediction of retention (with predictive errors of <1% for retention time and <7% for peak width). This work accounts for errors that may arise from variations in instrumentation and deviations in column geometry from the nominally reported inner diameter and film thickness. It also highlights a new approach to accounting for extra column band broadening and column coating efficiency in the prediction of peak width. This predictive tool is designed to minimize experimental time and effort required for optimizing methods; as such, it requires only a few, fast and simple experiments (5 temperature programmed separations of a single calibration mixture) from the user of the target column.

Previous Leslie Ettre Award Winners


Keisean Stevenson

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada



Cecelia Cagliero

University of Torino, Torino, Italy



Sander Jespers

Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium



Kari L. Organtini

Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, USA



Dr. Anastasiia Kanatyeva

Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia



Dr. Danilo Sciarrone

University of Messina, Messina, Italy



Ms. Dan Li

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA