“Chemistry has tried to solve the problems it has generated”

Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana

Elhuyar Zientzia

Apparently, Marian Iriarte Ormazabal is one of the people who does not know how to say no, not at least to Elhuyar. Every time we have called him, he has given us meaning and has always shown his willingness to collaborate. On this occasion he has also not renounced the interview, but he has confessed that it has taken time to think his answers. They are therefore answers for good reflection.
Ed. Manuel Díaz de Rada

What has surprised, altered or fascinated you the most since you started working?

In my academic life there have been many innovations and discoveries in my field: in chemistry and specifically in polymer chemistry. But if there is something to highlight, it is necessary to mention the influence of chemistry on improving the quality of our daily life. The basic wisdom developed in laboratories and others has led to the creation of new materials. There are the light, waterproof and insulating materials used by those who go to the mountain; or the replacement polymeric prostheses when our bones break, or the crystals of cars that do not break, the polymeric materials that make cars faster and faster...

To this we should add what technology has helped to better understand many of the reactions that occur. That is, the improvement in characterization techniques to determine what are the materials obtained in the reactions (spectroscopy, magnetic resonance, chromatography, electron microscopy...) has allowed us to understand more easily the mechanisms of the reactions and the structures of the products.

What would you like to witness the revolution or the discovery in your career?

In the case of chemistry, because in previous years things were not done correctly, the chemical industry has caused many problems. But it is also true that chemistry has tried to solve the problems it has generated. So in the future I would like to see if chemicals are able to solve the problems that waste generates.

Marian Iriarte Ormazabal
Marian Iriarte Ormazabal (Donostia-San Sebastián, 1962). In 1985 she graduated in Chemistry from the UPV-EHU and since then has always been linked to the Faculty of Chemistry of the UPV. There he obtained his doctorate, then he was professor and since last year he is dean of the Faculty of Chemistry of the UPV in San Sebastian. He is also a member of the POLYMAT research team and is also a member of the outreach.
Eusko Jaurlaritzako Industria, Merkataritza eta Turismo Saila