Richard Roberts Building at night

About the Department of Chemistry

The University of Sheffield has a large active Chemistry department that is housed in the Dainton and Richard Roberts buildings (117 and 116 on the campus map) located in the heart of the University campus. We pride ourselves on offering first-rate teaching and laboratory facilities providing students with knowledge and skills to succeed in future careers. The department boasts a rich history with a host of famous alumni including four Nobel-prize winning chemists.

The department currently consists of approximately 550 undergraduate students; as well as several cohorts of Chinese students from the departments international collaboration with Nanjing-Tech University. In addition, there are approximately 120 postgraduate researchers and 43 academic members of staff.

As well as providing world class research, members of our department are specialists in chemical teaching who focus on delivering a first-class education in both chemical theory and experimental techniques.

Departmental Awards

The department has been awarded multiple accolades based on equality and diversity, quality of research and student satisfaction.

The Athena SWAN award celebrates the commitment to advance the careers of Women in STEM. The department was awarded:

  • Bronze Athena SWAN in 2013
  • Silver Athena SWAN in 2016

Our research has also been rewarded. The most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014, which judges instiutions research based on multiple criteria, found that:
98% of our research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”.

Furthermore, students are very satisfied with quality of education offered at the department with the department being in the Top Five for Student Satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

Departmental History

Boasting a rich and vibrant history, the Chemistry department has been housed in the Dainton building and Richard Roberts buildings named after famous alumni of the department. There have been multiple notable alumni who have studied or worked at the department.

There have been four Nobel-prize winning laureates associated with the department.

  • Lord George Porter (Professor of Physical Chemistry 1955-66) Nobel-Prize in Chemistry 1967.
  • Prof. Sir Richard Roberts (BSc 1965 and Ph.D. 1968) Nobel-Prize in physiology or Medicine 1993.
  • Prof. Sir Harry Kroto (BSc 1961 and Ph.D. 1964) Nobel-Prize in Chemistry 1996.
  • Finally, the most recent appointment, Prof. Sir Fraser Stoddart (Lecturer 1970-1978, Reader 1981-1990) Nobel-Prize in Chemistry 2016.

Our famous alumni are not limited to academic success. Helen Sharman, (BSc 1984) became the first British astronaut, and David Wetherill (BSc 2011) has become well-known as a Paralympic table-tennis sportsman.

The Department

Teaching and Research

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