Department of Chemistry events

Semester 1 & 2 all Departmental Seminars are held in Dainton Building - LT1 unless stated otherwise.

Semester 1 (September - December 2019)

Departmental Seminars in Semester 1 will all be held at 12 pm.

September

There are currently no events planned for September. For any upcoming events contact the webmaster.

October

4 October 11:00
Alfred Denny building LT2

Level 1 Safety Briefing

7 October 13:00
Diamond building LT7

CoSHH Lecture

11 October 11:00
Alfred Denny building LT2

Experimenting with Danger

16 October 14:00
Richard Roberts Auditorium

Speaker: Dr. Phil Taylor
(Syngenta - Jealott’s Hill International Research Centre)

Host: Dr Jennifer Dick

Industrial Seminar: A life in Industrial Colloid Science

Abstract: Phil Taylor will give an overview of his career in Formulation Technology where he was worked as a colloid scientist for 30 years. After studying colloid and surface science at Bristol, he joined ICI Agrochemicals at Jealott’s Hill Research Centre and has remained there ever since. He will give a brief company overview of Syngenta (formerly ICI then Zeneca) and why he chose to work there and why he has stayed for such a long time. The talk will cover some of his career highlights, giving summaries of some projects that have proved useful to the company as technology platforms or which have progressed into products. These will include a golf course wetting product used widely around the world, a means of controlling phase behaviour of concentrated surfactant solutions, Pickering emulsion based microcapsules and finally modelling spray droplet retention on leaf surfaces. Legislative issues will be discussed, with particular reference to the issue of microplastics in the environment.

16 October 14:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Professor Malcolm Forbes
(Center for Photochemical Sciences, Bowling Green State University, USA)

Host: Prof Julia Weinstein

Light-Matter Interactions and Theory cluster & Laser Lab seminar: Photons, Radicals, Bubbles and Beer: Using Photochemistry and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to Understand the Universe

Abstract: Our laboratory has a long-standing interest in the structure, reactivity, and dynamics of free radicals in both homogeneous and heterogeneous media. In this lecture, the basic tenets of steady-state and time-resolved (CW) electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy are explained, and their use in understanding the physical and chemical behavior of free radicals is outlined. Examples to be presented include the use of stable nitroxide spin probes to investigate the drying and curing of architectural coatings, and to probe the physical properties of structured (non-Newtonian) fluids at the molecular level. Chemical reactivity involving free radicals can be studied directly using TREPR, for example in the study of the mechanism for the lightstruck flavor (so-called “skunking”) of beer. Reactivity can also be investigated using spin trapping techniques. Two different trapping methods will be presented: nitrones can be used to confirm the mechanism of action of biocompatible polymer initiators, and the reaction of hindered amines with singlet oxygen can be used to quantify the kinetics and topology of such reactions in confined media. Finally, the application of EPR spectroscopy to study two aspects of polymer chain dynamics in liquid solution will be presented: 1) main chain radicals of acrylic polymers studied as a function of polymer structure and temperature, and 2) long-range radical-triplet state pair interactions in acrylic polymers.

November

6 November
Location TBC

Careers Day

7 November 15:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Allan Watson
(University of St Andrews)

Host: Prof. Joe Harrity

Departmental Seminar:
Fundamental to Applied: C–X Bond Forming Methods Inspired by Med Chem

Dr Allan Watson is the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry 2019 Hickinbottom Award given for developing approaches to understand the mechanism of catalytic reactions and to generate new ways of making C-X bonds.

14 November 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Kogularamanan (Rama) Suntharalingam
(University of Leicester)

Host: Prof Jim Thomas

Departmental Seminar:
Taking the cancer stem cell gamble with cytotoxic metal complexes

Abstract: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a distinct population of tumour cells that have the ability to self-renew, differentiate, and form metastatic tumours. CSCs effectively evade conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy as these treatments specifically target fast growing cancer cells, and CSCs, due to their stem cell-like properties, divide more slowly.
After surviving treatment, CSCs are able to regenerate the original tumour and/or produce invasive cancer cells that are able to colonise distant organs. For these reasons, CSCs are widely thought to be responsible for cancer relapse. Therefore, to provide a durable response and prevent tumour recurrence, chemotherapeutics must have the ability to remove the entire population of cancer cells, including CSCs. Therapeutic strategies capable of selectively killing CSCs and disrupting the microenvironments (niches) supporting these cells are the focus of several research programmes. Potential CSC therapeutic targets such as cell surface markers and various deregulated signalling pathways have been identified, but there is still no clinically approved drug that specifically kills CSCs. Most of the compounds undergoing pre-clinical or clinical investigation as CSC-specific agents are completely organic in nature. Recent work by our group has shown that metal complexes (copper, cobalt, iridium, nickel, and manganese) are capable of potently and selectivity killing CSCs (over bulk cancer cells). Here we present a series of novel copper(II)- and manganese(II)-phenanthroline complexes bearing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or organelle-targeting peptides that can specifically kill CSCs in vitro, and provide insight into their mechanism of action. Encapsulation of the former into polymeric nanoparticles with CSC-targeting antibodies and their delivery into CSCs will also be discussed.

20 November
Location TBC

Speaker: Emily Summerton
(Johnson Matthey)

Host: Dr Jennifer Dick

Industrial Seminar: From Strepsils to Fairy Liquid to Automotive Enamels – Formulating Your Scientific Journey.

Abstract: TBA

22 November 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Professor David Beratan
(Duke University)

Contact: Prof Julia Weinstein

Departmental Seminar: 
The Mechanism of Biological Electron Bifurcation

Professor David Beratan is the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry 2019 Bourke Award, which was given in recognition of his development of tunnelling pathway and flickering resonance theories of biological electron transfer.

The process of electron bifurcation in biology, in which a two-electron donor releases electrons at redox potentials that differ by hundreds of millivolts, was first described by Peter Mitchell in the context of mitochondrial electron-transfer chains. In the last decade, it became clear that electron bifurcation plays a much larger role in biocatalysis, including reactions that drive nitrogen fixation and carbon dioxide reduction. Electron bifurcation oxidizes a two-electron donor, using the electrons to reduce cofactors on two separate electron-transfer redox chains. Because these electron transfer chains are coupled, one of the electrons may proceed thermodynamically “uphill”, provided the other electron proceeds sufficiently downhill from the bifurcating site to allow the process to be spontaneous overall. For decades, it was unknown how Nature prevented short-circuiting reactions in these coupled chains, as large driving force short-circuiting reactions are possible. I will explore some of the strategies that biomolecules seem to have discovered in order to realize high efficiency electron bifurcation, including a simple and apparently universal “tilted Z-scheme” that uses steep changes in the redox potentials along the two branches to insulate against short-circuits so effectively that other gating mechanisms apparently need not be invoked. The tilted Z-scheme is expected to be a universal feature of electron bifurcases. The scheme also provides a fundamental design principle for synthetic bioinspired electron-bifurcating molecular machines.

28 November 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Natalie Fey
(University of Bristol)

Contact: Dr Grant Hill

Departmental Seminar:
Putting calculation before experiment in organometallic catalysis

Computational studies of homogeneous catalysis play an important role in furthering our understanding of catalytic cycles and can guide the discovery and evaluation of new catalysts. An iterative process of mechanistic study, data analysis, prediction and experimentation can accommodate complicated mechanistic manifolds and lead to useful predictions for the discovery and design of suitable catalysts and I will discuss some recent examples of work in our group.

December

4 December
Location TBC

Speaker: Johan Smets
(P&G)

Host: Dr Jennifer Dick

Industrial Seminar: TBA

Abstract: TBA

6 December
Department of Chemistry

Skills Fest

A day celebrating projects carried out by L3 students aimed at developing transferable skills. Events include a debates and presentations by students. 

12 December 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Paul Wilson
(Warwick University)

Contact: Dr Seb Spain

Departmental Seminar:
Precision synthesis and nanofabrication using nanoscale electrochemistry

Established methods for surface modification and patterning are being superseded by the growing demand for smaller dimensions and higher resolutions. The existing state-of-the-art techniques of nanofabrication are (i) dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) which employs AFM tips and arrays to dispense substrates at surfaces with feature sizes of the order of 10-100 nm, and (ii) the fountain-pen probe approach which delivers material to a surface from a reservoir under either electrochemical or ‘electro-less’ conditions. However, there are limitations associated with these technologies including limited ink-substrate compatibility, the need for tip conditioning and restricted functional diversity and substrate loading. We are tackling these limitations by exploiting scanning electrochemical prob microscopy (SEPM) techniques, typically employed for high resolution nanoscale electrochemical imaging, to develop a novel and sustainable platform for nanoscale synthesis, deposition and nanofabrication. Electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) is a viable tool for the synthesis and deposition of polymers on SAM-functionalised Au surfaces, with. great potential as a novel strategy for surface modification and patterning of conducting (e.g. electrodes), insulating (e.g. polymeric) and biological (e.g. cells) substrates.

18 December 13:00
Department of Chemistry

MChem Presentations

MChem students present their initial findings from their final year research projects.

Semester 2 (January - May 2020)

Departmental Seminars in Semester 2 will all be held at 12 pm.

January

 14 January 10:00
Richard Roberts Auditorium 

Sheffield Stereochemistry 2020

For more information and registration see here.

February

 13 February 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Prof Clare Grey FRS
(University of Cambridge)

Contact: Prof Patrick Fowler FRS

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: Professor Grey is the recipient of the RSC John B Goodenough Award for 2019, which was given in recognition of her pioneering and innovative use of magnetic resonance methods to study structure and dynamics in electrochemical devices.

27 February 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Andrea Laybourn
(University of Nottingham)

Contact: Dr Rob Dawson

Departmental Seminar:
Production of Metal-Organic Frameworks using Microwave Technology

Abstract: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous materials that show great potential for a wide-range of applications including gas storage and separations, pollutant removal, catalysis, and sensing. However, current states of the art in manufacture have restricted widespread adoption of MOFs for industrial applications, as at scale they deliver poor reproducibility in quality, whilst incurring high energy and capital costs for manufacture meaning that none of the proposed applications are currently economically viable. The development of technologies that reduce the cost of manufacture in an efficient and sustainable way is a key enabling step in the transfer of MOF research from the laboratory to industrial application. Microwave technology shows great promise for scale up of MOFs as it offers benefits over other methods including significantly reduced reaction times (from hours to seconds), high space time yields and energy efficiency. This presentation discusses our progress in the synthesis of MOFs using microwave technology, including investigations of the interaction between microwave energy and MOF reactants, studies on the mechanism by which MOFs are produced, and recent progress towards the development of continuous flow microwave reactors for the production of MOFs on the hundreds of grams scale. Notably, our reactors are capable of producing MOFs on astonishing timescales (as low as 2.2 seconds) with a high level of control over MOF properties such as porosity, morphology, particle size and phase; achieved by altering the applied power, treatment time and mixing conditions, all of which are vital for processing MOFs for practical applications.

March

 12 March 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Prof Serena Corr
(University of Sheffield)

Contact: Dr Sarah Staniland and Prof Steve Armes FRS

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: TBA

19 March 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Professor Eugenia Kumacheva FRS
(University of Toronto)

Contact: Prof Steve Armes FRS

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: Professor Kumacheva was awarded the prestigious RSC de Gennes Prize for her research on the design of soft and self-assembled new materials with biomedical applications.

26 March 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Abbie Trewin
(University of Lancaster)

Contact: Dr Rob Dawson

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: TBA

April

1 April 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: TBA

Contact: Dr Seb Spain

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: TBA

The MChem Poster Session will follow this seminar (13:00, G-floor).

MChem students present posters about research from their final year research project.

12 April 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Anna Slater
(University of Liverpool)

Contact: Dr Jona Foster

Departmental Seminar: 
Supramolecular Chemistry under Continuous Flow Conditions

Abstract: Supramolecular materials have attractive properties and uses in pollution remediation, gas storage, and low-energy separations, but their synthesis, characterization, and scale-up is an enduring challenge. For example, the synthesis of macrocyclic or cage like hosts often requires high dilution conditions and large amounts of solvent; is low yielding, generating significant amounts of waste; or is extremely hard to scale up, limiting the applications of these compounds no matter how good they are at the task in hand. Using the example of porous organic cages, this talk will detail the benefits of using continuous flow chemistry for controlling the synthesis and self-assembly of supramolecular materials. By using continuous flow conditions, we are able to move towards sustainable supramolecular synthesis by shortening reaction times, finely controlling mixing and temperature regimes, and scaling-up reactions more readily than in batch.

30 April 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Dr Susannah Coote
(University of Lancaster)

Contact: Dr Ben Partridge

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: TBA

May

 7 May 12:00
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: Prof Steve Rannard
(University of Liverpool)

Contact: Dr Seb Spain

Departmental Seminar: TBA

Abstract: TBA

May 
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: 

Contact: Dr Jennifer Dick

Industrial Seminar:

Summer (2020)

June

June 
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: 

Contact: Dr Jennifer Dick

Industrial Seminar:

 June 
Dainton Building LT1

Programme: 

Contact: 

July

July 
Dainton Building LT1

Speaker: 

Contact: 

Departmental Seminar:

Previous Seminars

For a list of previous seminars from the 2015/2016 academic year, click here.
For a list of previous seminars from the 2016/2017 academic year, click here.
For a list of previous seminars from the 2017/2018 academic year, click here.