October ChangesPosted: October 25, 2012
My EPSRC-funded Advanced Research Fellowship ended at the end of September 2012 and while there are still papers to write up and a final report to complete, things are moving on.
I’m now working on a joint project with CatScI Ltd. to develop an industrial application of computational prediction in homogeneous catalysis. We will develop an improved ligand screening protocol for homogeneous catalysis, integrating fully the computational evaluation of catalyst properties with the company’s high-throughput automated catalyst screening and analysis facilities. In this project we will apply CatScI’s expertise in the development and optimisation of transition-metal catalysed reactions, using both calculated catalyst property descriptors and optimally designed catalyst screening data, to develop novel catalysts in a unique, industry-led project. Focusing on the need to ensure ‘manufacturability’ in the chemical industries, this two-year project aims to deliver efficient, stable and selective catalysts that perform at the right price. It is supported by a Research, Development and Innovation grant from the Welsh Government.
I’m also taking on additional teaching duties, delivering the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry part of the Chemistry 1E course, which aims to teach Chemistry, up to an approximate equivalent of A-level, to students with little or no background in Chemistry or even in Science. My lectures will cover Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Acid Base Equilibria. I’m also supervising and marking in the Level 2 teaching lab and I still have an experiment in the Level 3 teaching lab, which I continue to mark.
Fitting all of this into part-time working (0.4 FTE + teaching) is proving a bit challenging, especially given my plans for new collaborations, grant and paper writing and science communication projects, but it’s early days yet. If you are trying to get hold of me, the best way is still email, as I tend to check that at least once every weekday, with an out-of-office reply on if I expect to be unable to do so for a while.