Spain's most prestigious awards in the field of scientific research, which were presented this Wednesday in Alicante, included for the first time a distinction for people under 40 years of age. A recognition that was awarded to Guillermo Mínguez, researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol) and professor at the University of Valencia.
Guillermo Mínguez Espallargas (Seville, 1981), a researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol), which is part of the research area of the Parc Científic de la Universitat de València (PCUV), received the National Research Award for Young People 2022 granted by the Ministry of Science in the area of Chemical Science and Technology from the King and Queen of Spain in the presence of the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant.
For the first time these awards, the most prestigious in Spain in the field of scientific research, have included the distinction for young people under 40 years of age. In the case of Mínguez, who received the María Teresa Toral award, he was recognized for "the originality, potential and impact of his contributions to the synthesis of compounds with novel physical properties and functionalities".
The award ceremony took place at the headquarters of Casa Mediterráneo, which was attended, in addition to the King and Queen of Spain and the Minister, by authorities headed by the President of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, and the Government Delegate, Pilar Bernábe, as well as family, friends and representatives of the scientific community in Spain.
The award recognizes Mínguez for "the originality, potential and impact of his contributions to the synthesis of compounds with novel physical properties and functionalities"
In his speech, Felipe VI encouraged the award winners to "maintain their passion and vocation for science." The King stressed that, four decades after the birth of these awards, a "broad chain of value" has been deployed whose solidity is sustained by researchers and groups with work "whose effects may be more or less immediate and whose impact may be greater or lesser, but all have the vocation to do something important."
In the opinion of Felipe VI, research "is fundamental because of the results, but also because of the processes, the methods and the learning that it implies, since everyone adds knowledge, sometimes in an unforeseen way." And he stressed that "a transformation of the country cannot be approached without relying on science and knowledge."
For her part, the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, highlighted the importance of these researchers in positioning Spain at the head of world scientific production, stressing that science is a hope for the future.
An outstanding career
Mínguez graduated in Chemical Sciences from the University of Seville in 2004, with Extraordinary Prize. Subsequently, in 2007, he received his PhD from the University of Sheffield (UK) under the supervision of Professor Lee Brammer. He is currently co-leader of the Crystal Engineering Lab (CEL) research group, aimed at both the development of molecular materials that form porous networks and the synthesis of new two-dimensional materials analogous to graphene.
The award winner joined ICMol in 2008, where he trained in molecular magnetism with Prof. Eugenio Coronado, professor of Inorganic Chemistry at UV and director of the center. There he started a new line of research combining his previous experience in crystalline engineering and the knowledge acquired in magnetism to develop magnetic coordination polymers with dynamic behavior.
Guillermo Míguez receiving the National Research Award from Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain. Photo: ICMol
The award winner joined ICMol in 2008, where he trained in molecular magnetism with Professor Eugenio Coronado, professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the UV and director of the center.
Mínguez leads as guarantor researcher, the strategic line Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOF) of the program for María de Maeztu Units of Excellence granted to ICMol by the Ministry of Science in recognition of the scientific results of the institute, located at the Parc Científic de la Universitat de València. ICMol has been a María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence since 2015 and renewed this accreditation in 2019.
It has also obtained European funding, through a grant from the European Research Council - the prestigious ERC Grant in its Consolidator modality), but also leads or participates in national, regional projects or with companies.
Mínguez's career has accumulated several prestigious awards, such as the Princess of Girona Foundation Award in Scientific Research; the Young Researchers Award of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry; the Dalton Young Research Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Gold Medal of the European Young Chemist Award.