UK Catalysis Hub



Rideal Conference 2018

Rideal 2018 Conf photo main room

The Rideal Conference took place on the 26th – 28th March 2018. The event was attended by over 60 scientists and engineers across the breadth of catalysis; heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio, bridging the disciplines of chemistry engineering and biology. Attendees traveled from a number of countries to attend the meeting including; Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA.

There were many informative and entertaining talks and presentations. Plenary speakers included: Joris Thybaut (Ghent),  Wataru Ueda (Kanagawa),  Gianfranco Pacchioni (Università Milano-Bicocca),  John Woodley (DTU) and  Angelika Brückner (LIKAT Rostock).

This year there were three poster prizes awarded to Dr. Santhosh Kumar Matam, Mr. Charan Kuppili and Dr. Ines Lezcano-Gonzalez. The prizes given were a year’s subscription to the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering journal, a year’s subscription to the Molecular Systems Design & Engineering journal, a year’s subscription to the Catalysis Science & Technology journal courtesy of the RSC and a £50 Amazon voucher courtesy of Finden Ltd

The first day finished with a busy poster session and the second with a conference dinner sponsored by Johnson Matthey at The Crown & Thistle, Abingdon.  At the dinner Professor Martyn Twigg spoke about the great influence of Sir Eric Rideal on the development of catalysis.

Papers from the last “Rideal Conference” were published in Topics in Catalysis (Editors-in-Chief Freund and Somorjai), 2016, Volume 59, issue 8 -9 https://link.springer.com/journal/11244/59/8/page/1. This will be repeated for Rideal 2018 and the paper will be published in Topics in Catalysis based on the conference and with kind collaboration of Springer.

The Catalysis Hub sponsored the accommodation and travel for the plenary speakers. Twigg Scientific & Technical Ltd kindly provided the conference USB sticks containing a digital version of the program and Springer sent along some journals.

UK Catalysis Conference 2018

UKCC 2018 main conference room photo

The fourth UK Catalysis Conference took place at Holywell Park, Loughborough over 3rd - 5th January 2018. The meeting was an opportunity for catalytic scientists and engineers from across the UK’s academic and industrial communities to interact and network over the whole spectrum of Catalysis ranging from Organocatalysis, Biocatalysis, Homogenous catalysis and Heterogeneous catalysis with over 190 registered participants. The UKCC 2018 featured 4 plenary talks and 72 oral presentations as well as 47 posters covering a wide range of catalytic science. In addition, there were two additional themed symposiums  entitled "Polymerisation Catalysis" and "Dial-a-Molecule: Catalytically". Plenary speakers included: Adrian Mulholland (Bristol University, UK), Louise Olsson (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), Moniek Tromp (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Karen Wilson (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia).  There were four poster prizes given to: Martin Chan - Chemical Looping Epoxidation of Ethylene, Arron Deacy - Heterodinuclear Catalysts of the form LZnMXn for use in polymerization catalysis, Andrew Hall - Insights into Homogeneous Catalysis by FlowNMR Spectroscopy and Terri-Louise Hughes - Total Neutron Scattering of Aromatic Sorbates in ZSM-5. The conference was very grateful for sponsorship for the event from the IChemE, RSC, Quantachrome UK, BP, Avantes, GPE, MI micromeritics, STREM Chemicals Ltd, Springer, SciMed, Dial-A-Molecule, Hiden Analytical, Johnson Matthey, Sabic, Catalysis Science & Technology Journal and supported by the UK Catalysis Hub. 

Winter Conference 2017

UK Catalysis Hub Winter Conf 2017 Pickavance theatre

On the 14th and 15th of December 2017 the UK Catalysis Hub held its annual winter conference and network meeting. The Conference took place on the Harwell Campus and was attended by over 130 people.

The conference began with a lunch buffet and networking session on the 14th and a dinner on the evening of the 14th of December with a talk from Prof. James Naismith about the importance of science in driving forward improvements in everyday life.

Speakers at the conference included: Prof. Matt Rosseinsky (Liverpool), Prof. Dr. Francesc Illas (Universitat de Barcelona), Prof.  Stan Golunski (Cardiff) and Prof. Leon Lefferts (University of Twente), as well as members of the Catalysis Hub and wider international catalysis community.

There were lively flash presentations from the Hub postdocs and many discussions around a poster session. The Conference also included the presentation of the JMT medal for Catalysis to Prof. Charlotte Williams, Oxford, who gave a celebration lecture.

The  conference continued with a further schedule of talks on the morning of the 15th finishing with a buffet lunch.  

Summer Conference 2017

Summer Conference 2017 Wisteria

On the 11th July 2017 the UK Catalysis Hub held a summer conference attended by over 120 scientists and engineers across the breadth of catalysis; heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio, bridging the disciplines of chemistry engineering and biology.

The conference started with a buffet lunch at Milton Hill House, Abingdon before an afternoon of talks. Speakers included: Dr Anthony Green, Professor Damien Murphy, Chris Mitchell, Jim Anderson and Professor James Naismith. There was a fast-paced flash presentation session showcasing the range of projects across the Hub which prompted lively catalysis discussion. 

The first day finished with a busy poster session and conference dinner at Milton Hill House, Abingdon. Liz Rowsell from Johnson Matthey spoke about how important the strength of interactions between the Hub and industry was for the development of catalysis.

The  conference continued with a further schedule of talks on the morning of the 12th finishing with a buffet lunch.   

UK Catalysis Hub Winter Conference 2016 Pickavance Theatre

Winter Conference 

The UK catalysis Hub held its annual Winter Conference at the Harwell Campus on the 6th and 7th December.

Speakers included researchers from the Catalysis Hub and internationally renowned speakers and industrialists covering a range of topics in catalysis. There was a flash presentation session showcasing the range of projects across the Hub which provided lively catalysis discussion and dissemination.

The conference was followed by a half day of 'breakout' theme meetings for academics and postdocs directly involved with hub projects to discuss projects and progress with the PIS, CoIs and PDRAS of each theme.

UK Catalysis Conference 2016

The second UK Catalysis Conference which will take place at Holywell Park, Loughborough over 6th - 8th January 2016. The meeting will provide an opportunity for catalytic scientists and engineers from across the UK’s academic and industrial communities to interact and network over the whole spectrum of Catalysis ranging from Organocatalysis, Biocatalysis, Homogenous catalysis and Heterogeneous catalysis. 

Catalysis for Energy Workshop

On the 5th and 6th of October the UK Catalysis Hub hosted  a meeting at Cosener’s house Abingdon between Swiss and UK academics

The UK Catalysis Hub and the UK Science and Innovation Network in Switzerland (SIN) are organised  a bilateral meeting to gather researchers interested in Catalysis for Energy.

With depleting fossil fuels there is an increasing need for new solutions for the production of energy and catalysis plays an important part in the efficient utilisation and transformation of different energy sources. The workshop will focus on fuel cells, transportation, photo catalysis and bio fuels. In all cases, both the chemical and engineering aspects of the catalysis will be considered.

The workshop will bring the UK and Swiss community together to share research interests and exchange ideas about future collaborations.

Impact Acceleration Fellowships

Impact Grant sumary

EPSRC Granted the four Physical Science Groups based at the Research Complex (Dynamic Structural Science, Manchester X-ray imaging facility, UK Catalysis Hub and Phase modulation technology for X-ray imaging funding to Increase impact by increasing the interaction between groups and interactions with industry.

The two main aspects of the proposal were

I. Impact Acceleration Fellowships. We will bring in a minimum of 4 placements from outside the current groups to both stimulate the interaction via innovative ideas, initiate the cross-linkages, and with the time to follow up via a full 6 month visit if possible (even if split in time). These positions will support a variety of roles including sabbatical placements as well as secondments from industry and academia.

II. Impact Facilitation Workshops: We will host a minimum of 6 workshops over the 24 months of this proposal. The workshops will alternate between scientific dissemination format, translation to Industry format, and Early Career Ideas Factories.

The initial round of interviews for fellows has attracted several excellent candidates who plan to interact with the UK catalysis Hub and at least one of the other groups at RCaH. The UK catalysis Hub industry-Academia workshop is currently planned for the 3rd of July 2015 immediately following the summer conference.

Exhibits from the Harwell Open week
Open week demonstrations

Harwell Open Week

On the 8-11th of July the Harwell campus hosted a range of activities as part of their Open week, the Schedule included a schools day and VIP tours, But the highlight of the day was the Public day with over 15,000 people coming to see the scientific demonstrations across the Harwell Campus, Diamond light source, RAL space, ISIS Central laser facility Research complex and Rutherford Appleton labs. As part of the festivities the Catalysis Hub hosted a marquee including Exhibits on Biofuels (Aston University)  Gold Catalysis, Catalysis Activation, grey water recycling, and soot control (Cardiff University)  Automotive catalysis and fuel cells (Johnson Matthey)  Photocatalysis (Queens Belfast University)  and Autonomous repair (Bristol University)  

Industrial Catalysis Course

Industrial Catalytic Processes course 2015 was organised and hosted at Liverpool.

The course, titled ‘Catalysis; fundamentals and practice’ and ran over 20 – 24 July 2015, hosted in Liverpool. The Summer School provided an introduction to the fundamental aspects of catalysis to broaden and update the knowledge base in catalysis. The course also aimed to describe some of the frontier developments occurring in catalysis today, As well as providing a forum for discussion and the formation of new professional contacts.

Topics covered include

· Basis of Catalysis and Chemical Engineering

· Sustainability and renewables

· Catalysis in Bio-Tech

· Discovery

· Process Development

· Catalyst

Summer conference

The UK Catalysis Hub summer Conference and industry Academia Day
summer conference 2015

One aim of the UK Catalysis Hub is to develop the next generation of researchers, to facilitate this aim, the UK Catalysis Hub arranges an annual summer conference focusing on providing a forum for the research associates to present their work and interact.

The second Hub summer research conference was held on the 1st and 2nd of July 2015. The main conference held on the 2nd of July talks focused on talks from academics and researchers in the hub to showcase the scientific program of the Hub. The conference also included, a dinner. Andrew Harrison, Director of Diamond Light Source, spoke at the dinner about how important catalysis was and the strength of interactions between the Hub and diamond. Prior to the dinner there was a lively poster session and reception. This event was aimed to showcase research in the hub and particularly the work of the research associates involved in projects.

On the First of July Members of the Industrial Panel and Steering group met to discuss Industrial- academic interaction. Speakers included The Impact fellow (S. Jacques, Manchester) , academics in the hub and members of the steering group and industrial Advisory panel spoke and chaired discussions  on a range of topics, including industry-academia involvement, commercialisation of academic success, working with academia (industrial perspective) and working with industry (academic perspective).

The conference was followed by theme meetings to discuss the projects in each of the four mature themes. These were chaired by the PI of each theme and included short updates on the PDRAS and a discussion of Progress and future plans.

RS Discussion and Satellite meeting

The UK Catalysis Hub was granted the opportunity to host a Royal Society discussion at the Royal society in London in 2015. The Discussion is titled “Catalysis Improving Society”. The discussion centred around the idea that the successful operation of catalysis lies at the heart of the wellbeing of society and this meeting addressed modern developments in designing improved catalysts especially in non-traditional application areas such as water purification. Scientists across the breadth of catalysis (heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio) and bridging the expertise of chemists, engineers, bio-scientists and theoreticians came together for the meeting. Topics in the discussion meeting included Catalyst Design, Catalysis and Energy, Catalysis and the environment, and Making materials.

The Discussion meeting was followed up by a satellite meeting at Chicheley Hall (the Kavli Centre) titled “Catalysis making the world a better place”.  The meeting addressed modern developments in designing improved catalysts for environmental benefit.  The meeting focused on a lively discussion around topics such as is ‘water as a key resource’, ‘atom efficiency’ and’ is catalysis really green?’. For each session four speakers set the scene for a wide ranging discussion with brief 5-10 min presentations and then served as a panel to lead the subsequent discussion.

The Hub sponsored 18 Early career fellows from members of the hub in the environment, Bio, energy design and transformations themes to go to the Discussion and satellite meetings.

Catalytic Reaction Engineering Town Meeting

On 30th January 2015 UK Catalysis Hub held a town meeting with the Reaction engineering community to explore the possibility of creating a proposal for the 6th theme of the UK Catalysis Hub: Catalytic reaction engineering (CatREn). The Town meeting included presentations from Academics and industry about key challenges in the field and an open discussion about the scientific objectives for the 6th theme and how the addition of this theme would complement the existing Hub.

Following the successful Townhall meeting, the following project areas in the underpinning engineering sciences have been selected as a focus of the CatREn theme:

1. Development of methods of in situ analysis and characterisation of catalytic processes under industrial reaction conditions

2. Process Intensification; Transient catalytic processes

3. Study of Mechanisms of Catalysts Deactivation

4. Novel Methods of Kinetic Studies

The Townhall meeting also identified three initial projects of significant societal impact and bearing great potential for breakthroughs through engineering innovation:

5. CO2 conversion

6. Non-conventional feedstocks

7. Integration of complex multi-step processes

The Proposal will be led by Alexei Lapin of Cambridge University.

The Inaugural UK combined Catalysis Conference
UK Catalysis Confectioner 2015

UK Catalysis Conference 2015

The inaugural UK Catalysis Conference was held in Loughborough University over the 8th and 9th January, 2015.  There were 194 registered participants from across the UK as well as further afield (Nigeria, Ireland, Germany) including 4 plenary lecturers.  Overall, there were 56 oral presentations, 2 keynote presentations and 4 plenaries as well as 72 poster presentations covering all aspects of homogeneous-, heterogeneous-, organo- and bio-catalysis from experimental and theoretical perspectives combining both engineering and science.  These presentations were selected by the Applied Catalysis Group, SURCAT, Dalton representatives, CBID representatives and the IChemE Specialist Interest Group in Catalysis.  There was a good mix of industrialists (15), staff from the central facilities (the Diamond Light Source, National Physical Laboratory, the Research Complex at Harwell and ISIS) (11), academics, postdoctoral research fellows and graduate students (168) with allocated oral presentations from all areas of participation.  The conference was very grateful for sponsorship for the event from the IChemE, RSC, Maney Publishing, Invista, Huntsman, Hiden Analytical, SASOL and Johnson Matthey supported by the UK Catalysis Hub and Queen’s University, Belfast.  The sponsorship from Johnson Matthey and the RSC enabled 40 early career researchers to attend the conference by providing bursaries of £100 each.  In addition, SURCAT provided student bursaries to attend.  The conferences surpassed all our expectations and provided a forum for the community to network and interact.  The aim is to maintain this as an annual event and we are planning the 2016 conference currently.  This meeting will have the aim to increase the industrial involvement in the presentations and also to expand the numbers able to attend.

The UK catalysis Hub winter conference exhibition of posters
Winter conference 2015

Winter conference

On the 15th and 16th of December 2014 the UK Catalysis Hub hosted its second winter conference and network meeting. Speakers included researchers from the Catalysis Hub and internationally renowned speakers and industrialists covering a range of topics including bio catalysis, homo and heterogeneous catalysis, reaction engineering and industrial catalysis. In addition the Poster session showcased the exemplary projects across the Hub and was a lively venue for catalysis discussion and dissemination. The meetings of the EAB and IAP was also held at this conference. Over 120 members of the Hub attended this event over the two days.

Neutrons in Catalysis

The UK Catalysis Hub in association with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility hosted and ran a two day meeting about neutron scattering with an emphasis on catalytically relevant techniques. The meeting took place at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), and aimed to encourage use of the neutron facilities available both at ISIS and beyond.  Speakers from ISIS and international neutron sources gave talks about a range of techniques used to probe catalyst systems, these were then complemented by successful examples and case studies by experienced users.  Prior knowledge of neutron techniques was not needed, and current users were  also encouraged to come and broaden their knowledge of associated techniques. Over fifty attendees from academic and industrial institutions across the UK attended the event. The workshop also included a lively poster session sponsored by Johnson Matthey and dinner to facilitate further discussions