UK Catalysis Hub


Team Members

Information on the Principal Investigators for the UK Catalysis Hub are detailed below.

richard catlow

Principal Investigator – Professor Richard Catlow; c.r.a.catlow@ucl.ac.uk
Prof. C.R.A. Catlow has long standing experience in the development and applications of both experimental and computer modelling techniques in catalysis and molecular sciences.  He holds approximately £2.5M of current EPSRC funding and has extensive experience in the field of HPC simulation techniques. He has been PI of the EPSRC funded Materials Chemistry HPC consortium for 15 years and has wide experience in managing large flexible consortium grants including a portfolio partnership grant (2005-2010), a High Performance Computing Consortium grant (2008-2013), and is currently the PI of the Centre for Catalytic Science (2011-2016).

graham hutchings

Principal Investigator – Professor Graham Hutchings; hutch@cardiff.ac.uk
Professor Graham Hutchings is the director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute and is the inaugural director of the UK Catalysis Hub. The UK Catalysis Hub will coordinate and strengthen research efforts in catalytic science, allowing the UK to remain a world-leader in the field and tackle major global challenges. There will be a strong emphasis on energy sustainability, environmental protection and innovative catalytic processes to support the UK chemical industry. One of Professor Graham Hutchings major scientific achievements is the pioneering work of using gold as an active catalyst, which still remains today as an important area of research.

christopher hardacre

Principal Investigator – Professor Christopher Hardacre; c.hardacre@qub.ac.uk
Research is focused on the understanding of heterogeneously catalysed reactions including water gas shift catalysis, the use of transients to determine gas phase mechanisms, liquid phase hydrogenation and oxidation of pharmaceuticals, low temperature fuel cells and clean energy production. Of particular interest is the development of techniques to probe reaction mechanisms at short time scales in the gas phase and the understanding of solvent effects in liquid phase reactions. Strong interactions exist between his group and the theory group of Prof. Peijun Hu (QUB) in order to develop DFT methods to predict new catalysts and validate the proposals made. He has also developed a strong research group in ionic liquids within the Queen’s University Ionic Liquids Laboratory (QUILL) University-Industry research centre with interests in heterogeneously catalysed reactions, structural determination of ionic liquids, and species dissolved therein, analytical aspects, electrochemistry and prediction of physical properties of ionic liquids.

matthew davidson

Principal Investigator – Professor Matthew Davidson; m.g.davidson@bath.ac.uk
Matthew Davidson is Whorrod Professor of Sustainable Chemical Technologies and director of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies at the University of Bath. His research interests are in the application of catalysis to the sustainable manufacture of fuels, materials and chemicals. Following a PhD and Research Fellowship at Cambridge, he held lectureships in Cambridge and Durham before being appointed to a Chair at the University of Bath. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a recipient of the Harrison Memorial Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Royal Society Industry Fellowship. He currently serves on the REF 2014 Chemistry Panel and holds over £13M of funding from research councils and industry.

josie goodall

Project Coordinator - Josie Goodall;
Josie started her career in science by studying Materials science, Economics and Management (MEM) at Oxford University (2000-2004). After coming top of her year and achieving a first class degree and Masters in MEM, her science career then took a brief hiatus in during year teaching English in South Korea. On her Return to the UK she started a PhD in Materials Chemistry at Queen Mary University of London (2006) investigating the properties of nano–ceramic materials for Sunscreens and photocatalytic Materials. After completing Her PhD she went on to investigate the synthesis of nano-ceramics as phosphor materials and the synthesis on bio-inspired nano-metal sulphide materials for the electro-catalytic reduction of CO2 at UCL. She has now taken on the Role of Project Co-ordinator for the UK catalysis Hub.


Lab Manager - Dr June Callison; june.callison@rc-harwell.ac.uk
June completed her PhD under the supervision of Prof David Lennon at Glasgow University, working on the formation of side products in the polyurethanes industry. June joined the UK Catalysis Hub in 2014 as a Research Technician and is currently working as the Laboratory Manager based at Harwell. June is responsible for the management of the laboratory involving the maintenance and upkeep of instrumentation along with training of students and users. June is also involved in research projects and experimental time at Diamond within the Hub and has experience of catalyst synthesis, reaction testing (batch and flow), analysis (GC-MS, HPLC) and characterisation (EXAFS, FTIR).

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Administrative Assistant - Corinne Anyika;
Corinne joined the department in October 2016 and is a member of the professional services team who provides general administrative support to the students and members of the UK Catalysis Hub.

Research Team at Harwell

Alongside the wide involvement of partner institutions is a team of scientists based fully or partially at RCaH. Their role is to drive the progression of the Centre to become a leading facility nationally, and internationally, in the field of catalytic science. A brief description of the team is detailed below.

42 publications and 3 patents.

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Professor and EPSRC Early Career Fellow – Andrew M. Beale;
Andy Beale is a professor at UCL and EPSRC Early Career Fellow based at RCaH and UCL Chemistry. His work focuses on establishing structure-function relationships in catalytic solids as a function of both time and space using in situ and operando spectroscopic and scattering methods. Specific areas of interest include the development of novel imaging techniques for the study of single catalyst bodies under real reaction conditions, determining the nature of the active site and reaction mechanism in catalysts for NOx abatement, unravelling the self-assembly mechanism of the microporous materials and the characterisation of catalytically active supported nanoparticles. In 2013, he and a colleague successfully spun out a company (Finden Ltd).

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Resident Professor – Mike Bowker;
Professor M. Bowker (Cardiff) works in the fields of surface science, nanoscience and catalysis and has approximately 250 publications, with an h-index of 45. He has worked in both industry (ICI) and academia. He leads the Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science group in Cardiff, consisting of nine academic members of staff and 80 researchers. He founded the Wolfson Nanoscience Laboratory at Cardiff in 2006 and is Deputy Director of the recently established Cardiff Catalysis Institute. His research focuses on adsorption and surface reactivity, ranging from, for example, selective oxidation catalysis, to photocatalysis to studies of adsorption and structure of well-defined surfaces. He has been involved with the Centre at RCAH since March 2011 and spends a significant amount of his time here.

Research Associates:

Alexander O’Malley; OMalleyA@cardiff.ac.uk
Alexander is a Ramsay Memorial Fellow at Cardiff University. He performed his PhD at University College London under the supervision of Prof. Richard Catlow. His research focuses on the behaviour of molecules in microporous catalysts such at zeolites, ALPOs and SAPOs using a combination of simulation techniques such as molecular dynamics and QM/MM calculations, paired with neutron scattering techniques such as quasielastic neutron scattering and INS vibrational spectroscopy. His main applications of interest include NOx abatement catalysis, fluid catalytic cracking and methanol-to-hydrocarbons processes.

Cristina Stere

Christina Stere; cristina.stere@manchester.ac.uk
Dr Christina completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2012 from the Queen’s University Belfast under the supervision of Prof Alex Goguet and Prof Chris Hardacre on the development and application of a spatially resolved technique for the investigation of structured catalysts under real reaction conditions. She then continued as a PDRA at the same university working on plasma assisted reactions for automotive emission control coupled with developing state of the art spatially resolved techniques and DRIFT-MS system to allow in-situ studies of heterogeneous catalysts in the presence of plasma. She is currently working at the University of Manchester in the group of Prof. Chris Hardacre. Her current project looks at scalable production of high purity hydrogen through Water Gas Shift using a hybrid non-thermal plasma process and further development of in-situ DRIFTS technique for plasma reactions.

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Hasliza Bahruji; BahrujiH@cardiff.ac.uk
H. Bahruji received BSc (2002) and MSc (2005) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and PhD (2011) from Cardiff University. She was a lecturer in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia (2005 – 2008) before appointed as research associate in School of Chemistry, Cardiff University in 2012. She is currently a researcher for Cardiff Catalysis Institute and Catalysis Hub UK. Her research interest in heterogeneous catalysis for carbon dioxide utilisation and photocatalytic water splitting for hydrogen production.

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Inés Lezcano-González; ines.lezcano-gonzalez@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Dr. Inés Lezcano-González performed her PhD studies at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ) in Valencia (Spain) under the guidance of Dr. Teresa Blasco, obtaining her PhD in Chemistry in 2011 (Polytechnic University of Valencia). After three years of postdoctoral research at Utrecht University with Prof. Bert M. Weckhuysen, she joined the department of chemistry at University College London and the UK Catalysis Hub, where she is currently working as a PDRA in the group of Prof. Andrew M. Beale. Her research area is focused on the application of in situ and operando spectroscopic methods (e.g. NMR, FTIR, XAFS) for the characterisation of catalytic solids and the study of reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysis. She has also expertise in the synthesis, characterisation and catalytic testing of a variety of catalytic materials, particularly zeolites.

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Santhosh Matam; s.matam@ucl.ac.uk
Santhosh Kumar Matam received his doctorate from Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and subsequently moved as a scientist to Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology (Empa). Santhosh joined Prof. C. Richard A. Catlow’s group at the University College London and UK Catalysis Hub, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in September 2016 as a research associate. Santhosh’s research activities are primarily centred on in situ/operando spectroscopy for deriving catalyst structure-activity relationships. This knowledge can be used as a rational guide to develop inorganic solid materials for energy and environmental applications which include carbon neutral renewable energy and exhaust after-treatment technologies. He is also interested in operando reactors that allow real operation of chemical processes without intrinsic limitations. Santhosh designed and taught lab courses for graduate and postgraduates.

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Sumesh K Raman; sumesh.kureppadathuraman@chem.ox.ac.uk
Dr. Sumesh K Raman completed his PhD in 2014 from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris (ENSCP- Chimie ParisTech) under the supervision of Prof. Christophe Thomas, studying the development of new catalytic systems which enables the Ring Opening Copolymerisation of carbon monoxide and heterocyclic monomers to produce new biodegradable polyesters. After one year as a postdoc in the same group, Dr Raman joined as a PDRA in the group of Prof. Charlotte Williams at University of Oxford in 2016. At present he is working on a Catalysis Hub funded project -Comparing Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysts for Selective Polymerization- which is simultaneously involves the catalyst design as well as chemical transformation sub-themes. The current project deals with the discovery of new catalysts, novel ring opening polymerization strategies to make new biodegradable polymers through the selective polymerization of reactive heterocyclic monomers. This is a collaborative project mainly among Prof. Robert Raja (Southampton), Prof. Polly Arnold (Edinburgh), Prof. Matthew Davidson (Bath), Dr. Peter Wells (Harwell), and Dr. Emma Gibson (Harwell).

Veronica Celorrio

Veronica Celorrio; v.celorrio@ucl.ac.uk
In 2013, she was awarded a Newton Fellowship to work at Bristol University. This prestigious fellowship allowed her to initiate an entirely new research programme on complex transition metal oxides for electrochemical energy conversion, targeting to design new nanoscale materials and interfaces for the photoelectrochemical generation of oxygen and hydrogen.

She was appointed as a Research Associate to work in the Catalysis Hub project entitled “In-situ Probing Structure and Electronic Properties of Transition Metal Oxide Electrocatalysts” in September 2015.

Veronica received her PhD in May 2012 from University of Zaragoza (Spain), which was devoted to the development of novel nanostructured carbon materials with tuneable physical and chemical properties as electrocatalyst supports for fuel cell applications, and the design of mono- and multimetallic supported electrocatalysts.

Vinod Kumar Puthiyapura; v.puthiyapura@manchester.ac.uk
Dr Vinod Kumar P completed his PhD (2014) from Newcastle University, UK on the topic: “Development of anode catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolyser”. Upon completion of PhD he joined as post-doctoral research associate under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Hardacre at Queens University of Belfast (2014-2016) and The University of Manchester (2016- till date) within the ‘Energy Theme’ of UK-Catalysis Hub project. His research mainly focuses on the development of Pt based multi-metallic electro catalysts for direct alcohol fuel cell (DAFC) and characterization of the catalyst using various in-situ and ex-situ techniques (e.g.: FTIR, CV, RDE, DEMS). Dr Puthiyapura is also interested in the investigation of photocatalyst for small organic molecule oxidation reaction and development of catalyst support material for the fuel cell anode.

Yaro Odarchenko

Yaroslav Odarchenko; yaroslav.odarchenko@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Yaroslav received his PhD in 2012 from Strasbourg University where he studied materials under nanoconfinment using synchrotron radiation facilities (ESRF, DESY and BNL). After 3 years of research at the French National Center for Scientific Research and Royal Holloway University of London where he designed, built and tested new experimental platforms for the advanced characterisation of functional materials and biomolecular systems, he joined the AMB group at the UCL in 2016 to work on the EPSRC project focused on the developing of novel catalysts for the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. He is using grazing incidence X-ray scattering and spectroscopy (XAS/XPS) techniques to probe the supported metallic nanoparticles in real-time under reaction conditions.

Facilities Members

ISIS - Dr Stewart Parker; stewart.parker@stfc.ac.uk

Diamond Light Source - Professor Andy Dent; andy.dent@diamond.ac.uk

PhD Students:

Alex Hawkins; alex.hawkins@rc-harwell.ac.uk
The application of neutron scattering techniques to investigate hydrocarbon conversion over zeolite catalysts

Andrea Zachariou; andrea.zachariou@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Diffusion, reactivity and structural change in micro-porous materials.

Daniel Dervin; ddervin01@qub.ac.uk
Combined neutron and theoretical investigations into confined hydrocarbons

Daniela Farmer; daniela.farmer@rc-harwell.ac.uk
The preparation, activation and operation of promoted copper-based low-temperature water-gas shift catalysts

Dorota Matras; dorota.matras@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Development of chemical imaging methods with application to the study of working catalytic membrane reactors

Ellie Dann

Ellie Dann; ellie.dann@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Joined the UK Catalysis Hub as a PhD student in 2015 to study improved methods for heterogeneous catalyst characterisation using in situ synchrotron techniques. This iCASE studentship is in collaboration with Johnson Matthey’s advanced catalyst characterisation to provide knowledge of structure-function relationships of heterogeneous nanoparticle catalysts. The project has involved development of a new reactor for combined, in situ XAFS/DRIFTS/MS of supported nanoparticle catalysts during operation for gas phase emissions control technology.

Emma Campbell; emma.campbell@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Uncovering the role of hydrocarbon pool species in catalytic reactions using Kerr-gated Raman spectroscopy

Jennifer Herbert; jennifer.herbert@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Development of combined X-ray methods to study deactivation processes in catalysts used for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.

Miren Agote Aran; miren.agote-aran@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Methane upgrading to higher value chemicals.

Naomi Omori; naomi.omori@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Advanced optical fluorescence imaging techniques for catalysis

Peixi Cong; peixi.cong@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Structural factors affecting the (hydro) thermal stability of zeolites

Pip Hellier; pip.hellier@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Segregation and reactivity in bi-cationic oxide catalysts

Rachel Blackmore; rachel.blackmore@rc-harwell.ac.uk
Understanding mechanochemical synthesis of mixed oxides using synchrotron and neutron techniques

Monik Panchal; monik.panchal.17@ucl.ac.uk
Multiscale imaging and in situ studies for the investigation of industrially relevant materials. Involved in a collaborative iCASE studentship with UCL and Johnson Matthey. The project is based on multi scale imaging for the investigation of catalysts, where primary research will be conducted at the UK Catalyst Hub, Oxfordshire. Particularly, this project involves atomic scale analysis using high resolution TEM instruments at the ePSIC centre, Harwell and synchrotron based XAS, to characterised on industrially relevant materials provided by Johnson Matthey.

Jay Pritchard; jay.pritchard@ymail.com
Jay completed his Masters in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, and has a background in Fischer-Tropsch Catalysis. He joined the Cat Hub in 2017 as a PhD student to study the manipulation of Fischer-Topsch catalysts for selectivity control, utilising XRD-CT to study catalysts In-Situ. Supervised by Prof. Andy Beale, the project is a collaboration with BP.

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